• Short Summary

    Pilot film for a series of nature films - birds, insects and badgers are featured.

  • Description

    L/S of gypsy caravan being pulled by a horse. Caravan passes the camera. "Pedro" is the name of the gypsy. The Fens - a windmill, a stream. C/U of a Stonechat on his nest, he feeds baby birds. Reed Warblers babies are seen in their nest being fed. C/U of the Bittern sitting on her eggs. Various shots of the bird. Narrator explains why she sticks her beak in the air (partly as camouflage, partly to spear any predators). Two Swans in flight - the camera follows them as they fly over the reeds. Bittern settles onto the nest. Narrator explains that we are lucky to see this bird as they are rare and very shy. Eggs begin to hatch and the mother bird pushes them off the nest into the water. We see the baby birds being fed. C/U of the fluffy birds on the nest. In some parts of England the Bittern is known as the Butterbump. One of the chicks bites the mother's beak. Shots of an owl in flight. C/U of the Short Eared Owl. Two Yellow Wagtails feed their chicks together. C/U of short haired owl with its wings spread out to protect its chicks, they move around under the wings.

    "Had enough of birds?" asks the narrator. Yes thanks. Cows walk along a river bank. C/U of the surface of the river. Gnat eggs float on the water. Microscopic C/Us of creatures just below the river's surface darting around. C/U of eggs hatching into lavae or "wrigglers" as they are known. Lots of different shots of gnat lavae underwater. X-ray type shots of the gnats - they are transparent so we can see how what happens inside them. Sacks of air expand and contract so that the animals can move up and down. C/Us of the tail of the gnat. Another gnat is shown - this one will grow up to be a "biter" (not all gnats bite). Gnat moves around in the water. C/U of the eye of a "Phantom" - transparent gnat. We see food passing through the gnat's body. We see a gnat lavae shedding its skin. Various shots of the pupae - funning looking things. Extreme C/U of the pupa rising up to the surface of the river and hatching out into a gnat.

    Camera moves through the wood. C/U of an entrance to a burrow or set. Two cute little badger cubs are in the set. They move around a bit. Various shots of badgers sniffing around for rabbits. One has a rabbit in its mouth. Two badgers try to get something out of a tin can. Badger gets to grips with a bees nest. He overturns it and eats the lot: bees, grubs and honey. Most of the stings don't get through his tough hide, but one bee manages to sting him somewhere sensitive and he shakes his muzzle. C/U of the two cubs - a bit bigger than when we first saw them. They are nuzzling away at the edge of a river looking for food. Narrator talks of the criminal nature of the badger. M/S of badger eating some chicken food then of badger approaching a hen on a nest. Hen puffs up its feathers to try and frighten him off. C/U of the badger eating some of the eggs. The narrator speaks of Brock's human characteristics - spare rooms in his burrow for friends, funerals (?) and outside toilets. Badger runs off with an egg in his mouth. M/S of Pedro moving off with his caravan. Narrator states:

    "Pedro the gypsy is moving on, perhaps into the Midlands of England or South into the rich lands of Suffolk and Essex. He goes where the fancy takes him and so shall we when we next meet."

    Note: it seems that this was made as a pilot film. Pathe must have intended to make others based in other parts of the country. This seems to be the only one made at this time, although the title is the same as the earlier series of films made by Mary Field, Percy Smith and others.

    Extra note: I think commentator is regular Pathe Pictorial commentator David de Keyser - SL.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:50:07:00 / 02:03:11:00

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