Embarrassed to ask but...

Hi everyone,

As the subject suggests I'm a little embarrassed to be asking this but my curiosity is overriding my shame. I started walking around Lurgan park again (NI) and came across the tiniest bird I've ever seen. It's a lot smaller than a robin with cream belly and brown on top. No other colours that stand out. Its too small for me to see legs or beak details. A foot from a huge lake is a 3ft high trunk covered in other smaller trees and bushes. This is where I first seen him. He picks at the bark them flies to a very tall tree about 50m away. He did this 3 times in about 20 minutes.

I originally thought it was a baby but now i think its feeding young. This is a guess however. I know you will all be screaming reading this and that its probably a very common bird but I have tried everything to  identify it including using the tools here.

We have sparrows and wrens in our garden so i know its not either unless babies could still be a possibility. They are both too big. 

The feathers are warm toned browns rather than grey brown and the little beauty is as fast as lightening.

I know there arent many birds at this size but there is still something missing for me.

Many thanks for your patience. 


  • Treecreeper? We often call them a tree-mouse, they poke in the bark for little wigglies, working their way up the tree normally


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  • If we are talking really small birds the Goldcrest is our smallest along with the rarer Firecrest but both have colour on their head. The little Wren is also very small and predominantly brown in colour. Size is often the hardest thing to describe when working on bird i.d. Joe's suggestion of Treecreeper may fit whst you saw. You should never be embarrassed by asking what you consider to be a silly question its how we learn. I have just learnt some fresh facts about Red Kites after a non birding neighbour asked what he thought was a silly question and I have been watching Kites for a number of years.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Hi there,

    Thanks for the replies. I'm still struggling to identify my mystery creature who I have aptly named Ninja. I have looked at the Firecrest and Goldcrest and think I can rule them out. I am swaying towards a wren now as hes significantly smaller than a sparrow without any distinct markings. I think I was just put off by his behaviour. I wasnt aware wrens could be found in wooded areas alongside a lake.

    Anyhow, I'm not giving up until I am certain with Ninjas identity. I'm smitten with this little creature. I'm trying to get a little footage to show yous to see what yous think. Fingers crossed.

    Thanks again for your time.

  • If it's flying trunk to trunk, as appears the case, I agree with WJ's treecreeper.
  • yes i thought tree-creeper too, as picking at bark and quick in flight...
  • I was just checking out images of the treecreeper and I'm not sure it fits. It's belly is not white but a warm cream. They also appear to be too big.

    He also has a partner that i saw for the first time today. Both were picking insects from a low lying tree stump then flying off in same direction.

    As confused as ever.

  • As you can see from WJ's photo, the colours of treecreeper are a contrasting brown and white realistically. If the bird was vertical on a tree trunk or stump, it would have been a treecreeper.
  • The contrast in colour wasnt so great. Nor was it vertical. Ive actually seen treecreepers before and used the RSPB tool to identify it easily. No such luck this time.

  • I've spent days trying to identify this bird simply by watching it and also footage on YouTube of different birds. Im almost certain that they are a pair of wrens. The colour matches too. Im sorry it wasnt something more exotic but these tiny birds are truly majestic to me. They are the tiniest birds ive ever seen.

    Thank you for your patience and chat. My next mission is a photograph.

  • Kerrie, while I'm not able to help with the ID, what I am able to say is, don't be embarrassed to ask the question, we all need to ask from time to time, that's how we learn, and help each other to learn.

    Remember this: "The only stupid question is the one you never asked", it is so often very true.


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