Learning to fly

Alan Wright

I cannot think of a better way to spend Day 20 of 30 Days Wild than learning how to fly like a pied wagtail.

Of course, being a human without the benefit of having wings, this is something I am unlikely to do in the present technological climate.

So the next best thing is watching a fledgling pied wagtail learning to fly like a pied wagtail.

Today, I spend a long time watching the wonderful interaction between mum and youngster on a log sticking out of a lake at Leighton Moss, which belongs to our conservation colleagues the RSPB.

The action was taking place above the water and the parent was flying between the log and a post sticking out of the water. It then flew back and looked at the young 'un tweeting: "There you go it's easy."

A tentative look from the fledgling and then it leapt from the log, hugging the top of the water, occasionally lifting itself up. As it neared the post it took a real leap of faith and headed upwards.

Would it make it? Mum held her breath. I held my breath. Nearby ducks, geese and a great crested grebe and its chick all held their breath. I'm sure a pike under the surface of the water would have been interested too.

Our fledgling lurched and made a grab - and landed on top of the post. It took a

moment to get its breath and then it flew back to log.

This was the start of years of flying around our countryside and towns, and then wandering along with its wagging tail.

The young wagtail is flying but its pied-ness has not come through yet. It's still a bit grey with a black bib, but in the coming weeks it will take on full black and white.

Another brilliant wild day in our 30 Days Wild Challenge for the whole of June.