Fledglings – we can’t resist them!

So many people seemed to enjoy watching the video of the fledgling flycatchers in my garden, that I thought I would stick with the theme and introduce you to a couple of other young birds that I’ve had the pleasure of videoing this year.

The Wren

First up is the Troglodytes troglodytes, the Northern Wren, also known as the Winter Wren or, most commonly, the Wren. This footage below was taken in Brittany, France in June this year.

On this particular day I was walking next to one of the lakes, in the grounds of the cottage we were renting, looking for grass snakes. I had seen and filmed several snakes over the previous days, so I had quite a good idea where they liked to sunbathe. I’d just spotted one slithering through the reeds when I heard the chatter of alarmed wrens very close by.

The adult wrens seemed to have made their nest in the reeds, and as their fledglings made their first foray into the big bad world they were very close to being eaten by hissing-syd. With much chirping, cheeping and squawking the adults guided the young away from danger. However, their little wings were still very small and, unable to fly very far, one flew straight into my legs. It’s little claws grabbed my cotton trousers and there it sat until it found the strength to continue it’s flight to the relative safety of a nearby hawthorn bush.

This clip shows a couple of the fledglings still in the reeds. Look out for their punk-like hairstyles and bobbing action!

The Green Woodpecker

Second up are a very noisy family of Green Woodpeckers (Latin name Picus viridis sometimes known as Yaffle). This time Andrew and I had gone to a lake in Dorset (to do a bit of fishing). As soon as we arrived at the lake all you could hear in the nearby trees was the sound of VERY loud chirping. On closer inspection I discovered a recently fledged family of green woodpeckers. Four in total. All very vocal, very cheeky and wanting to be fed – NOW!

Green WoodpeckerI

As I sat and watched them they practised their flying techniques from tree trunk to tree trunk. However, one wayward character (soon to be named “lucky”) decided it would be a good idea to venture onto the lawn of a bordering garden. When I saw a golden labrador bounding down the garden towards “lucky”, I really thought this little birds time was up. However, being a labrador he was more curious than vicious and followed the now panicking bird as it flapped and jumped around the garden squawking.

I was still worried that he might pick it up in his mouth so I sprung into action scaling the fence, charging over the lawn, picking up the woodpecker and legged it back to the wood. I don’t know who was more surprised me, the labrador or the woodpecker! Anyway, it’s always nice to have a happy ending and “lucky” was carefully deposited back into a tree to wait for his next adventure.

This footage shows a couple of the fledglings in the trees (prior to the fence jumping episode). Just listen to the racket they are making!

All photographs above are from Wikipedia. All videos are taken by me…


14 thoughts on “Fledglings – we can’t resist them!

  1. Hi there, Jane πŸ˜€

    Love the first photo – don’t you? Funnily enough I have this one bookmarked to use one day too. Intentions you know + time of year + teenage daughters πŸ˜€

    Great videos and photos of the wood pecker but I just love the wrens and as you say their wonderful bobbing action πŸ˜€

  2. I love watching your videos. The wren is a favourite of mine – we had so many around when we moved to the island that we called our home Wren Cottage.
    That was a lucky young woodpecker!

  3. Lovely to see green woodpecker. We’re not green woodpecker country here, though sometimes hear the occasional ‘yaffle’. Just the greater and lesser spotted; but it’s been a good many years since I’ve seen a lesser.
    Love wrens – so brave. We often have a brood or two flitting about the house on their first fledgling flights…!

  4. Shirl. Thanks for your comments. Yes, I love this picture of wrens. Wish I could get something similar… I may have to invest in a camera for my bird box. The wrens are such little characters… we don’t see them often in our garden as there is so much cover. I know they’re there from their incessant chirping, but hardly every see them. So this was a real treat.

  5. Hi again Dragonstar. To be honest I absolutely love making the videos. They aren’t brilliant, but at least they capture a moment in time and many happy memories for me. Yes, the wrens are lovely. They seem to be a favourite for lots of people – and that woodpecker was “very” lucky. My favourite bird is still the nightjar (which I’m determined to film next year so that I can show you all).

  6. Paula. I guess because we are surrounded by woods and trees we seem to be inundated with green woodpeckers. In the summer they are “yaffleing” all over the place – although hardly ever seen. We get the greater woodpecker as well, but I can’t say I have “ever” seen a lesser (would love to). Getting very rare now I think. The wrens are sweet. When you say “around the house” I presume you mean the outside and not indoors… that would be interesting!

  7. Ooooo Paula I wish you had got a photo of that.. although I suppose you don’t have the camera in your bedroom just for occasions when a swallow might hover above your bed. A friend of mine had a bat flying around her bedroom the other day… it scared the “wits” out of her (she actually said something a bit stronger)!

  8. Saw a young one today in the garden, middle of the lawn pecking for worms with three black birds. Stunning shades of colour already. How do you tell male from female before the have attained their full colours and markings?

  9. Hi K Cadman. If it was a green woodpecker that you saw, then the difference is in the “moustache”. Even on the juveniles the moustache that runs from the beak under their eyes is usually speckled black centred with red on the male, and just speckled black on the female. (ie the photograph above looks like it is probably a female – I’m not sure about my video as it’s hard to see as the film quality is pretty awful). This is similar in the adults, except that the moustache is very black (rather than speckled) with a red centre in the male, and completely black in the female. Hope this helps! Jane

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