Episode 6 Autumnwatch


Episode 6

Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games are at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust's Slimbridge reserve. They explore the UK's spectacular coastline and marine life.


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Transcript


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It's Friday, it's 8.30, which means you're in for a treat of autumnal

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wildlife. We have prer grin falcons, fiesty foxes. And we're be bringing

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you the best of British wildlife. In 1969, Hal David and Burt

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Bacharach wrote Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head. And they were

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right. Welcome to the wetland! And wildlife Centre.

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There are lots of birds here and they have a fabulous cafe, with top

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carrot cake! It's been a very busy week here at

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Slimbridge, lots of action and new arrivals. Including some more

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Bewick's swans. They may be late, but they've started to fly in. Just

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how many have arrived and which characters? We'll be giving you an

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update later on. We'll also catch up with the family of foxes that we

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first met back in the summer, in Springwatch. What has been going on

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in their incident-filled lives? It's a regular soap opera.

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you're regular viewers, you'll know we like to have a guest presenter

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on board for the programmes. And this week, we have one of the best

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birders, the one and only Iolo Williams. But instead of sending

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him out after birds, we've sent him out after something much bigger.

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And the whales show us how rich our waters are around the coastlines.

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So we're going to focus on the glories of our seas in autumn. The

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United Kingdom has 8,000 meals of coastline and a fantastic diversity

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of marine life. Drk-8,000 miles. 28 species of

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marine mammals and hundreds of beautiful invertebrates. But you

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don't have to go underwater to see signs of it. It's a great time of

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year for a walk along the shoreline. The autumn storms throw up all

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sorts of treasure. This is a This is also the time of year when

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some animals choose to give birth. Grey seal pups are apreering on the

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beaches in ever- increasing - appearing on the beaches in ever-

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increasing numbers. Meanwhile, the breeding season for our fabulous

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sea birds has finished so now is the time to take stock of how

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successful the season has been. The many birds, the season to see

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them here in the UK is just getting started. Now is the time that many

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waders come to Britain, and compared to where they've come from,

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it's actually quite warm. We're lucky, aren't we? Our coast

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is absolutely fantastic. In Europe, we have so much more coastline than

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any other country. That's why it's so important for migratory birds.

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Now, we're giving you a tricky quiz tonight. It's a sound. I've never

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:04:42.:04:48.

heard anything like it. CROAK-LIKE NOISE SKOPS

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-We'll give you clues as we go through the programme, but if you

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have any ideas, do get in contact. As it's a marine show, do get in

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touch with your questions. We'd love to hear from you. You know

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what I've got in my hand? A graphic. A chart! Fantastic. I have a

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graphic representation. Let's start with the basics of marine life.

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This was taken on Monday by the Met Office. This shows water

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temperatures. Here we are, and we have pale green around the United

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Kingdom, but on the same latitude, in Labrador, it's blue. Here we are

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12 to 13 degrees, water temperature, but water temperature over here at

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the same latitude is four degrees. And what makes the UK unique in

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terms of its marine environment is that our seas very rarely freeze.

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Water temperature is controlled by all sorts of things, salinity, but

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the warm current. It comes up here and branches and some goes around

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the top of Scotland, but some combs down and round here. And it's

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fundamently important tot life in our seas. And the autumn winds have

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a profound effect on what goes on in the seas. The winds churn up the

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waves and cause currents on the sea beds. And that releases nutrients

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which are picked up by the smallest creatures in the sea, the plankton.

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This time of year, the seas become immensely rich. Which has a knock-

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on effect, because the plankton are the base of the food chain, and if

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you have tonnes of it in the water, you can have lots of other

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creatures. One that literally scholes to our shores is the

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herring. We get incredible scholes. Sometimes we've looked at these

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things and you can get scholes which fill 4.8 cubic kilometres.

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Three billion fish moving around in a dense mass. And they're always

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listening out for predators. didn't know we had so many herrings

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left They are one of the fish doing well. Now, the herrings and all

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that marine life attracts lots of other fish, some of them - not fish,

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I've done it wrong, other animals into the seas around our shores and

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some are gigantic, epic creatures that I had no idea were here. And

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this week's guest presenter, Iolo Williams, has set sail to find out

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more. I've been watching wildlife across

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Britain for far longer than I care to remember, so it's not often that

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I'm asked to track down an animal that I've never before seen in the

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British Isles, but this week, on Autumnwatch that's exactly what

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I'll be doing. This is a fin whale. After the blue whale it's the

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second-largest animal on the planet. They're found in every ocean on

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Earth and to my surprise, I've been told a real hotspot to watch them

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is off southern Ireland. Helping me track them down is Padraig from the

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Irish wildlife research Centre. We have hundreds of miles of ocean out

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here, how do you pinpoint where to find the whales? It's a great

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challenge. We're in the right place and at the right time of the year.

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November is the peak period. We need to make sure we have good

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coverage on the four corners of the boat and the first tail- - tale-

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tail sign will an big blow, to indicate the fin Wales in the area.

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The blow is the steamy air that shoots away from the whale when it

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exhails its lungs. And another clue is the common

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dolphin. They're often associated with the fin whales, because they

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eat the same prey. Within a few minutes we found them circling the

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boat. Hello, boys!

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One minute we've got half a dozen common dolphins, and the next

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minute, the sea is boiling with them. There's a good eight, nine,

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ten here, and another dozen or so out there.

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The dolphins come to the boat to ride the bow wave created by the

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hull in the water. They surf along the water at great speed and it's

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thought it saves them energy. Although I find it hard to believe

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that they don't just do this for fun!

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With so many dolphins about, there must be plenty of fish, the same

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prey that the fin whales will be looking for. And sure enough, word

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has come that the whales are close by. We have the spoter on the boat

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telling us there are whales nearby. Oh, look, two!

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Look at the size of it! The dark colour and the fin is

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about two-thirds of the way. See the fin coming now, about two-

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thirds of the way down the back. What an experience! No sooner do

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the whales surface than they disappear again to hunt. Whilst the

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team watches for their return, Padraig has brought along a section

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of the whale's mouth to explain how they catch their prey.

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These hang from the top jaw and when the whale feeds it uses its

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tongue. And the tongue pushes out all the water. So the water comes

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out through this curtain and through these plates, and the whale

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uses his enormous tongue to lick the moustache clean, and takes up

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all the good stuff. It allows the animal to prey on

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lots and lots of small animals. After a 12 minute wait we get our

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second sighting. We're just going to park up and let the whales come

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to us, nice and gentle. Look at that. Huge, huge animals. They look

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about 25m long and they just keep coming.

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And there's the fin. Being so close to the whales gives

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Padraig a chance to photograph the animals. Each one has a uniquely

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marked fin so the pictures allow him to build up a catalogue of

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You could see the shape of the head then when he came up. They're right

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by the boat. To date, Padraig has identified 67 different whales,

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many of which return every year. His work proves that these waters

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are vitally important for large numbers of the animals and it

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should help to keep them protected well into the future. 20m away from

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the second-biggest animal that has ever lived on this planet! You

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:13:28.:13:28.

ever lived on this planet! You cannot beat that!

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I'm not easily given to envy, but that was phenomenal. It was. When I

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was stood on that boat, bright sunshine, and flat-calm seas, and

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fin whales emerging all around me. Have you never seen them before?

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have once, but not in UK waters. I knew they came to UK waters, off

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the Irish coast, but not in those numbers. We were there for a day-

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and-a-half and we must have seen about 30. And they were enormous.

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About 22m long. The thing is, you were looking at them on the surface,

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to get a good idea of their form, you need to see them underwater?

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You do. They're enormous ys huge things. A 15 tonne head. They're

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incredible mammals. Three times the length of a double-decker bus,

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apparently. When it emerges it nerver ends. More of it comes up

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and then the fin and then more comes up. It's never-ending. I have

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a chart here to give an idea of scale.

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Here is the fin whale, and the humpedback, and some of the smaller

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species. And this is you. It's a good job you stayed on the boat.

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gives an idea of the scale. They are the second-biggest animal that

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has ever lived.. There was lots of food there, did you see them

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feeding? We saw this amazing thing called lunge feeding. That's the

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schole of herring. That schole was three kilometres long. Three

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kilometres! And it was herring from sea floor right up to the top. And

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here we are, it thrusts itself up into the centre of the schole and

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opens its mouth. 70 cubic metres of fish in one go. And it has a huge,

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extended belly. It was absolutely incredible. We were surrounded by

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them. Goodness me. And they're not the only whales that do the lunge

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feeding, minkes, and humpbacked do it as well. Yes, these are some

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minke whales lunge feeding as well. What's interesting, when you go

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looking for whales, you find sea birds and dolphins feeding as well.

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Often it's gannets, gulls and dolphins picking up the fish that

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have been stunned by the whales and left behind. They always say if you

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want to find whales or dolphins, look for the gannets. A lot of

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people will be surprised that they are so close to the UK coast, but

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what do we know about them? Are they well-known? Well, I'm quite

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sad. Yes, they might be the second- biggest animal on earth, but very

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little is known about them. But whilst I was in Ireland, I was in

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the company of one of the best whale experts who is carrying out

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research as we speak. Simon wants to build up a picture of where the

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fin whales visiting the Irish shores are coming from and going to.

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The best way for him to do this is to get DNA samples. If he can find

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a DNA match from fin whales that have spwn sampled elsewhere in the

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world, it is a clue as to which populations these animals belong to.

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He gets the samples by firing an arrow into the whale's skin. This

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is like a little corerer, and it's fired into the blubber of the whale,

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and it take as small amount. About a centimetre. The biggest trouble

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is actually hitting the whales. They move at 25 knots, which is

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fast, and more often than not the arrow misses. But on this attempt,

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there is success. With an average of only three samples a year, this

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piece of blubber and skin is very valuable. One of only 28 samples

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recovered over an eight-year period. It is wrapped up, free of

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contamination and sent to a lab in Holland for analysis. How important

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is this research? I think it's critical. I still find it amazing

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that we're only three or four miles off the coast and we're so close to

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the biggest animal. It's a project we should keep a close eye on to

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learn more about these magnificent whales that we know so little B And

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that, Chris, is ground-breaking research. Hopefully, before too

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long, we'll have an idea, not only of sex, but what they're eating and

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where they come from and where they're going to, to help us

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preserve these whales. And we have other species in British water?

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killer whales, humpbacked whales, minke whales, and recently there

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was a dwarf sperm whale seen off the coast of Wales. And they are

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actually quite accessible, because if you're on a ferry crossing,

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especially one I was on, across the Bay of Biscay, you see loads of

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these animals. You do. But you only have to go over to Ireland and

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you'll see them. You're enthusiasm means I've almost forgiven you.

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Stick around because we'll see you later in the programme. All

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afternoon, I've been trying to think of a clever link, but I

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haven't come up with one, the best I can think of is that baby swans

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grow into the most attractive birds we have, don't they Michaela.

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swans are here in their numbers at Slimbridge, and we're talking about

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Bewick's, and they should be arriving in their hundreds here.

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These swans behind us are mute swans. They are resident birds here

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at Slimbridge, so there are often many on the lake. Their beaks are

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orange, whereas the Bewick's are yellow. So, how many turned up? I

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came to Slimbridge yesterday, which my Britain clars to find out.

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-- binoculars to find out. Julie, it was looking a bit thin for

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Bewick's last week, but now it's looking good. Yes, a lot have

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suddenly turned up. You've been studying them for years, which have

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turned up? Yesterday, Ridler turned up. He's 20 years old and he's been

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visiting Slimbridge since 1991. And Winky turned up, but sadly without

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his mate, Tinky. With all the new arrivals jostling for position on

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the lake, things can get heated. As Winky no longer has a mate, it

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looks like he might be slipping down the pecking order. We featured

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Dario last week as the first arrival, how he is getting on now?

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He's doing well. He was making the most of the food whilst there

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weren't many birds here. Now, Dario will be slipping down the pecking

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order as more arrive. As a single bird he'll slip down. It's the

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families that pull the weight on the pond. Do you have favourites?

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I'm particularly hoping that one swan will come back this winter.

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She's called Winterling. And she is 28. If she comes back, she'll equal

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the record for the oldest Bewick's swan on record if she comes back.

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So fingers crossed That was fascinating. And that last bit of

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behaviour that we saw, I don't think those swans were being

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aggressive, I think it was pair bonding. I think you're right.

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Because they have to get all that bonding and pairing up here,

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because by the time they fly back to the Arctic to do the breeding

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there isn't time, the Arctic summer is so short, they have to get on

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with the pairing up here. And it's beautiful to watch. So what are the

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numbers? Last night, seven turned numbers? Last night, seven turned

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up and that's the first family. There are two adults that have come

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with five cygnets. Eye and one of the adult's ancestors have been

:23:35.:23:45.
:23:45.:23:47.

coming to Slimbridge since the 196s. And now, winterling could come back

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and she would be 28 years old. But they're doing well, because that

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was a fantastic family that returned. And next Friday we're

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:24:08.:24:08.

going to have Swancam. So you can watch them! Swancam. Yes.

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There are so many birds around here, which will act as a magnet for

:24:13.:24:19.

predators. One of the guys here, James, set up a camera on a low

:24:19.:24:26.

perch to see if he could get any footage of a spectacular predator.

:24:26.:24:36.
:24:36.:24:37.

There it is, a peregrin falcon. The fastest living creature.

:24:37.:24:43.

And not only did our cameraman get this fabulous shot, but in

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beautiful light! Yes, hard to measure, but possibly exceeding 200

:24:48.:24:54.

miles an hour when they go off for their prey. That was brilliant.

:24:55.:24:58.

our cameraman, Lindsey, got the peregrin doing a bit of hunting.

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Let's look at that. You can see it's highlighted there.

:25:03.:25:09.

And it's chasing gulls on the beach on the estuary. Very hard for the

:25:09.:25:14.

peregrin here. It would much rather catch the birds higher off the

:25:14.:25:18.

water. It's an aerial predator. It doesn't like to take them off the

:25:18.:25:21.

water, because it's dangerous and it could end up in the water.

:25:22.:25:26.

the gulls are flocking together. Safety in numbers. I guess their

:25:26.:25:30.

best strategy would be to go down and sit on the water, if they can.

:25:30.:25:34.

Which they're doing there. And now they're following the predator.

:25:34.:25:38.

This is interesting. Often they follow the predator. They want to

:25:38.:25:45.

keep their eyes on the biver, because if they can't see it, they

:25:45.:25:51.

don't know what it's up to. Some peregrins, they have different

:25:51.:25:58.

characters. Some are lazy and go after small birds, but some will go

:25:58.:26:03.

after whopping great prey. They're all individuals. An update on the

:26:03.:26:13.
:26:13.:26:15.

quiz. Yes, I think it's hard. freckle says is it orcas? Wrong.

:26:15.:26:20.

And another says it could be a corncrake. None of those are right

:26:20.:26:25.

yet. Let's give a clue. Whatever it is, you'll see in the programme

:26:25.:26:30.

today. Good clue. And also, maybe the bubbles you heard in the sound

:26:30.:26:35.

clue, that's another one. Here at Slimbridge we enjoy watching birds

:26:35.:26:40.

in great numbers and when you see them in large numbers, it's easy to

:26:40.:26:44.

forget they face a lot of threats. Chris has been out and about

:26:44.:26:54.
:26:54.:26:59.

finding out about some of them. At this time of year, our sea birds

:26:59.:27:03.

have finished breeding and many have headed far out to sea. But

:27:03.:27:07.

this gives our scientists a chance to assess what sort of breeding

:27:07.:27:13.

season they've had and in 2011 it's been mixed. Razorbills and

:27:13.:27:16.

guillemots have done well in England and Wales and on the north-

:27:16.:27:20.

east side of Scotland, but on the western side of Scotland and up in

:27:20.:27:27.

the islands, they have not fared as well. The Orkneys have had a

:27:27.:27:32.

particularly bad season for nearly all of the sea birds. Kittiwakes

:27:32.:27:38.

were badly hit. In some places no chicks were raised at all. So why

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is this happening? It's complicated. Sometimes breeding success or

:27:42.:27:46.

failure can just be down to a bad storm striking at the wrong time.

:27:46.:27:52.

But there are other factors at work too. Warming sea temperatures and

:27:52.:27:55.

changing fishing picturess probably change the availability of prey.

:27:55.:28:01.

One thing is for sure, sea birds need protection more than ever. But

:28:01.:28:06.

it's not just governments that need to act. Now, one thing we could all

:28:06.:28:10.

do to look after our sea birds a little better, in fact, all marine

:28:10.:28:15.

life, is to be more careful with all of our litter. I've collected

:28:15.:28:20.

this in the last ten minutes on this very remote Hebredian beach.

:28:20.:28:26.

And look at the tile I've got here. Plastic of all kinds, milk bottles,

:28:26.:28:30.

juice bottles and this nylon cord, which is particularly dangerous. A

:28:30.:28:35.

couple of weeks ago, we went out with a team from the RSPB to see

:28:35.:28:40.

just how damaging this stuff can be for wildlifement

:28:40.:28:46.

It's 15th October and a boat load of dedicated bird lovers is leaving

:28:46.:28:52.

the west coast of Wales to travel out to a colony of our largest and

:28:52.:28:57.

most spectacular sea birds. Northern gannets, these are the

:28:57.:29:02.

missiles of the SeaWorld, diving deep to catch their fish. About

:29:02.:29:08.

two-thirds of the population of gannets come to breed off rocky

:29:08.:29:13.

islands off our coasts packing together in large numbers. They

:29:13.:29:19.

breed and then fledge in the early autumn. The RSPB team have dome

:29:19.:29:24.

Grassholm Island, the third largest colony in the UK, with 30,000 pairs

:29:24.:29:28.

of gannets. By mid-October, all of the chicks should have left the

:29:28.:29:34.

nest but some have not been able to go, because of a man-made problem.

:29:34.:29:41.

We estimate that there's around 20 tonnes of plastic on the island.

:29:41.:29:46.

About four hundred to 500 grams per nest on average. Some say, "Why

:29:46.:29:52.

don't you clear it away" but the nests are interwoven with it, it

:29:52.:29:58.

would be an impossible task. for the baby gannets, it's much

:29:58.:30:03.

more than an eyesore. We're too late getting to this one. Look at

:30:03.:30:07.

the plastic around the leg. This is one of this year's youngsters.

:30:07.:30:12.

These birds sit on the nest for 90 days, and as they grow they're

:30:12.:30:16.

turning all the time and it twists around the leg and this one has

:30:16.:30:21.

starved to death. The team has only been able to come ashore now that

:30:21.:30:24.

most of the adult birds have left and their job is to set free as

:30:24.:30:32.

many of the remaining trapped birds as they possibly K

:30:32.:30:36.

This season, they successfully freed 27 birds, although in some

:30:36.:30:46.
:30:46.:30:57.

It's an animal welfare issue now. It's a man-made issue and we come

:30:57.:31:01.

here to prevent these birds starving to death. It happens to

:31:01.:31:06.

the adults as well. Not as many, but we do find it. He's not very

:31:06.:31:16.
:31:16.:31:18.

grateful for it, but there you go! I don't know about you, but that

:31:18.:31:22.

was harrowing. You could feel the pain of those little birds. I think

:31:22.:31:28.

it's really shocking to see how much damage our rubbish does to the

:31:28.:31:33.

birds. That's a sobering thought. You've seen that first-hand,

:31:33.:31:39.

because you've been to grassome. Yes, I worked with the RSPB and one

:31:39.:31:45.

of my jobs was to go and stay with these birds. And it breaks your

:31:45.:31:50.

heart. The parents have put so much effort in that one chick, three

:31:50.:31:56.

months before it fries off, and it's caught by the legs and unless

:31:56.:32:01.

we go there and free it, it dies. But when you go there, you come

:32:01.:32:06.

away with a sense that you've achieved something. You've done

:32:06.:32:10.

something successful. You've let the birds go and they could live a

:32:10.:32:15.

long life. But it's so sad that eight miles off shore they're not

:32:15.:32:20.

immune to man's pollution. I think you've made a point there,

:32:20.:32:27.

sometimes we feel so helpless. But we're not going to focus on what

:32:27.:32:32.

man does, but it's simple what we can do to help. You go to the beach

:32:32.:32:37.

with a bag and pick the rubbish up. They do have beach clean-up days

:32:37.:32:42.

and I went with my son. And we went with a bin liner and filled it

:32:42.:32:47.

within half an hour. But you don't have to wait for an official day,

:32:47.:32:53.

you can go for a walk with the kids or the daughter, and pick up the

:32:53.:32:58.

liter I It's no point moaning about it, empower yourself to make a

:32:58.:33:03.

it, empower yourself to make a difference.

:33:03.:33:12.

Iolo, you're a diver. You must have dived with loads of animals,

:33:12.:33:17.

including seals, but have you ever seen them mating? Well, yes, I've

:33:17.:33:22.

seen them mating is shallow water, but look at this wonderful footage,

:33:22.:33:26.

seals mating underwater. Something seals mating underwater. Something

:33:26.:33:30.

I've never seen beforement At this time of year, grey seal

:33:30.:33:36.

pups are being born around our coasts. Males fight for the chance

:33:36.:33:41.

to mate. Usely copulation is a very torrid

:33:41.:33:48.

affair. But we've been sent this, by underwater cameraman, Ben.

:33:48.:33:52.

You can see the male and the female in the kelp there. One or two

:33:52.:33:57.

females in the background. Now I've been watching grey seals for

:33:57.:34:01.

decades and I've never seen anything like this before. They

:34:01.:34:11.

emerge out of the kelp into mid- water. And the male grasps the

:34:11.:34:18.

water, and gently caresses her. Usely they force themselves upon

:34:18.:34:25.

the female. But here, they grasp together. Using the flippers. And

:34:25.:34:31.

successful mating takes place. And of course he won't just mate with

:34:31.:34:36.

this one female, he'll have a harem of anything up to six, seven or

:34:36.:34:43.

eight, maybe even ten females. And then gentle biting there. She's had

:34:43.:34:49.

enough, and he'll go off and look for other females. Amazing footage

:34:49.:34:54.

there, and they did mate there. It wasn't clear there. They did mate.

:34:54.:34:59.

And I've never seen anything quite like that before. I've always

:34:59.:35:05.

watched it from land. They were incredibly gentle. Usually the male

:35:06.:35:13.

gives such a rough time, but he was very tender there. Now, watching

:35:13.:35:19.

underwater is incedsable, but you have to be - incredible, but you

:35:20.:35:25.

have to be careful, and respect the fact that they're wild animals.

:35:26.:35:30.

go down very gently and don't interfere with the seals, because,

:35:30.:35:34.

please, they have a nasty bite. Leave them well alone.

:35:34.:35:40.

sometimes they don't leave you alone, as they didn't to me in

:35:40.:35:44.

Scilly Isles. Now, you may remember back in

:35:44.:35:47.

Springwatch, back in the summer, we were featuring a very special

:35:47.:35:51.

family of foxes. Let's remind ourselves about the Springwatch

:35:51.:35:56.

foxes. They were actually down in a

:35:56.:36:01.

landfill site, Pitsea, in Essex. And there was a very high density

:36:01.:36:07.

of them. There was so much food around, it there were foxes

:36:07.:36:12.

everywhere. Here is the vixen, and she had four cubs, three males and

:36:12.:36:19.

one female. And because they were so used to humans, we got very

:36:19.:36:23.

privileged views into their secret lives. Sweet little foxes! But it

:36:23.:36:29.

turned out that she was kind of a single parent. There was no dog fox

:36:29.:36:36.

apparently around there. She was trying to bring those cubs up all

:36:36.:36:42.

on her own. But then a male did turn up. And she seemed happy about

:36:42.:36:50.

it, but things didn't go well with the cubs. This is Judge, who got a

:36:51.:36:54.

nasty bite from that male. So we had to try to find out what

:36:54.:37:00.

happened next. Would Judge be OK? So we went back to Pitsea to try to

:37:00.:37:06.

catch up with the storyment It's business as usual, here at

:37:06.:37:10.

Pitsea. This is one of the biggest landfill sites in the whole country

:37:10.:37:20.
:37:20.:37:29.

and that is what supports the large There were certainly lots of foxes

:37:29.:37:39.

around, but where is jap junior, our injured cub? There me is, a bit

:37:39.:37:44.

battle scarred around his ears, but the wound on his forehead has

:37:44.:37:51.

healed well. He's a youngster with an inquisitive streak. He's always

:37:51.:37:58.

investigating things he finds on the tip.

:37:58.:38:05.

Of the four cubs, Junior is the only one still looking for his

:38:05.:38:09.

mum's attention. His brothers and sister are hanging back in the

:38:09.:38:15.

bushes, perhaps, because the new adult male that injured Junior is

:38:16.:38:22.

still very much around. Junior is often out in the open so he's an

:38:22.:38:25.

easy target. This new male is trying to establish himself in the

:38:25.:38:30.

area, so he'll have a good chance of breeding next season. And the

:38:30.:38:36.

Springwatch family's mum seems quite happy to have him around.

:38:36.:38:46.
:38:46.:38:46.

They're even picking blackberries together!

:38:46.:38:52.

This is the new male scent marking, a clear sign that he's feeling at

:38:52.:38:56.

home here, and the mum goes right in and marks in the same place. Any

:38:56.:39:01.

other foxes in the area will definitely know they have

:39:01.:39:09.

competition. Raggedy- eared Junior has learnt from watching the others

:39:09.:39:14.

that blackberries are good to eat. But what will the presence of the

:39:14.:39:20.

new male mean for him and his brothers and sisters. He's not

:39:21.:39:26.

their biological father, so perhaps he sees them as competition.

:39:26.:39:30.

Fox cubs, especially male ones, do usually leave the territory where

:39:30.:39:35.

they are born towards the ends of the year, and with this level of

:39:35.:39:41.

harassment it looks like Junior and the others might be pushed out

:39:41.:39:45.

sooner rather than later. But can the new Springwatch family male

:39:46.:39:50.

stay as top fox in the area? When there's a standoff with another

:39:50.:39:56.

adult male it looks like things are about to get serious.

:39:56.:40:02.

Fascinating to see that out in the open, Chris. It is a rare treat.

:40:02.:40:08.

Beautiful animals as well. I know they have a mixed reputation with

:40:08.:40:14.

some people, but for me, they hold a torch to the tiger. You look

:40:14.:40:19.

better without the hat. Out there it was useful!

:40:19.:40:25.

But we did see a lot of complicated aggressive interactions. Yes, let's

:40:25.:40:30.

go back to the step-father and the cub. Look at this posture, where

:40:30.:40:35.

the tail has been brought round underneath it, and the head is

:40:35.:40:40.

going round. Now, a sub missive fox will get the head lower and lower

:40:40.:40:44.

and lower. I've seen them put their head on the ground and rub their

:40:44.:40:50.

chin on the ground. They can't get lower than that. And they're

:40:50.:40:56.

offering the other animal the back of the neck to bite. He didn't look

:40:56.:41:00.

totally convinced by his submissive behaviour. He was keeping an eye

:41:01.:41:06.

all the way through. But I think the other adult knew. They don't

:41:06.:41:13.

want to fight. They'll give as many signals as they can. The golden

:41:13.:41:17.

rule is don't cry wolf, don't pretend to be something you're not,

:41:17.:41:22.

because you could get injured. That's interesting, because another

:41:22.:41:28.

big male came along and they did face up to each other. Look at that,

:41:28.:41:35.

fabulous. Look at the ears back, that's another submissive sign. And

:41:35.:41:40.

when I've seen some go for each over, they start with the ears down

:41:40.:41:45.

and as soon as they decide who is top fox, the ears will come up.

:41:45.:41:51.

This is unusual, because typically, if they're having these

:41:51.:41:58.

altercations it's under deep cover, in bram - brambles, not in the open.

:41:58.:42:04.

But it could be because this is such a big site they are outs in

:42:04.:42:09.

the open. In fact, that did not stop there, it did progress to

:42:09.:42:13.

something far more dramatic, so we'll show you that next week, and

:42:13.:42:18.

there is a lot more to come. As well as a punch-up. Now, Michaela

:42:18.:42:23.

is out in the pouring rain. It has been noted, boys, that you've left

:42:23.:42:30.

me in the rain! Today we've been focusing on marine life and one of

:42:30.:42:34.

the major issues facing our marine life is the fishing industry. There

:42:34.:42:41.

are many neem this country who rely on fishing for their - many people

:42:41.:42:51.
:42:51.:42:52.

in this country who rely on fishing for their livelihood. So, how can

:42:52.:42:56.

we preserve the future of one of our many fascinating marine

:42:56.:43:04.

creatures? The lobster. It's a remarkable

:43:04.:43:10.

animal. Ten legs, three stomachs, one with teeth. Its blood is blue.

:43:10.:43:16.

It can live for 50 years, maybe 100 years. And some scientists think

:43:16.:43:22.

that if they are not disturbed they can live indefinitely.

:43:22.:43:27.

4 But of course, they are disturbed. Because lobsters are at the heart

:43:27.:43:37.
:43:37.:43:39.

of a thriving fishing industry. In the late 1980s and early '90s,

:43:39.:43:44.

the fishery around Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly saw a declining

:43:44.:43:54.

catch, despite an increased fishing effort. A by law was passed that

:43:54.:44:00.

prevented fishermen from catching a lobster below a certain size, but

:44:00.:44:06.

it hasn't stopped there. Don has run a lobster breeding project for

:44:06.:44:11.

the past six years, with the key objective to increase numbers. This

:44:11.:44:16.

is the starting point of the process. What's the first step?

:44:17.:44:24.

get pregnant, or egg- bearing females from the fishermen.

:44:24.:44:29.

Normally we get them in just before they are ready to hatch. And this

:44:29.:44:35.

one, the eggs are just about to hatch. Can we have a look? Yes,

:44:35.:44:39.

they're attached to these feathery structures under the tail. And

:44:39.:44:48.

they'll hatch over the next week or two. Into what? Into lava. Which

:44:48.:44:53.

float around in the surface layers of the sea. And they're very

:44:53.:44:58.

vulnerable to predation. So we're taking them through that vulnerable

:44:58.:45:04.

stage in life, where they can be eaten by sardines, and mackerel,

:45:04.:45:08.

and taking them through to a less vulnerable stage. So in the wild,

:45:08.:45:15.

how many of the eggs would survive to the lava stage? It's difficult

:45:15.:45:22.

to quantify, but something like 0.006% survival. Very, very low.

:45:22.:45:27.

Many more survive here. Once they've gone through the lava stage,

:45:27.:45:37.
:45:37.:45:45.

what do they turn into? Juveniles. The hatchry has juveniles ranging

:45:45.:45:52.

from just hatched to one to two days, like this one. He's sensing

:45:52.:46:00.

things all the time. Yes, they have taste buds on their antenna.

:46:00.:46:04.

what stage do you think about releasing them? How big do they

:46:04.:46:11.

have to get? We've been releasing them at a variety of ages. Some are

:46:11.:46:17.

released a little older than this. That's tiny. And this sort of size.

:46:17.:46:24.

What we'd like to do is release all of our juveniles at this sort of

:46:24.:46:27.

stage. Research indicates that once the juveniles are released back

:46:27.:46:33.

into the sea they stand a 50% to 80% chance of survival. So this

:46:33.:46:39.

work may become an important part in preserving the lobster's future.

:46:39.:46:44.

About 30 years ago in Norway and many other Scandinavian countries,

:46:44.:46:49.

lobster numbers crashed and they never recovered. But hopefully the

:46:49.:46:56.

work going on here in Cornwall will help its future.

:46:56.:47:00.

What a fascinate be animal. And it's great to see a project where

:47:00.:47:05.

fishermen see the need to put something back into the ocean.

:47:05.:47:10.

it's hard for me, a committed vegetarian to talk about lobsters.

:47:10.:47:17.

But it is great. That research sproj ongoing work. Very hard. What

:47:17.:47:24.

do - that research project is ongoing work. It's very hard,

:47:24.:47:31.

because what do you feed the tiny lobster. And they use people going

:47:31.:47:37.

out on a pleasure dive to put them back into the water. But that

:47:37.:47:45.

lobster film leads us nicely into the quiz reveal. Was that a set-up?

:47:45.:47:55.
:47:55.:47:55.

Amazingly, lots of you have got it right. Carol, a purple centipede

:47:55.:48:00.

and Adam and others all got the right answer. You're right. Thanks

:48:00.:48:07.

for giving it away. It's a lobster. They make that noise by rubbing

:48:07.:48:16.

hard pads on their antenna against their scales to day tract a meat.

:48:16.:48:22.

Now, what has happened to the three osprey we've been following on

:48:22.:48:26.

their migration to West Africa? We haven't really caught up with

:48:26.:48:34.

them for a while. So last week, we sent Roy to West Africa. He went to

:48:34.:48:39.

Senegal. And told us it was heaving with osprey. They're all fishing.

:48:39.:48:48.

He thinks he probably saw one of them, but he's not sure. So we'll

:48:48.:48:56.

give you the final update of our three ospreys next week. Let's hope

:48:56.:49:03.

they've all survived. It wasn't looking good for one of them last

:49:03.:49:08.

week, was it. Now, I'm glad to be in the studio

:49:08.:49:14.

now because of the rain outside. It is still mild at the moment. But

:49:14.:49:19.

what does the weather have in store for us. John, what will it be

:49:19.:49:23.

doing? In the short term, it is going to

:49:23.:49:32.

stop raining, but not before the end of the show.

:49:32.:49:39.

This rain should clear through by tomorrow. This belt, some of it is

:49:39.:49:43.

heavy, will continue through to the east coast but clear away from the

:49:43.:49:53.
:49:53.:49:53.

east by morning time. And yet again not cold. Saturday is going to an

:49:54.:49:58.

lovely day. Any showers across western areas will fade away and

:49:58.:50:05.

nearly all of us can look forward to a dry, bright and mild day.

:50:05.:50:09.

Tomorrow, temperatures should get up into the mid-teens. Sunday, more

:50:09.:50:16.

of the same. It will start cloudy along the eastern coast, but once

:50:16.:50:20.

more, the sunshine should come out and the temperatures should climb.

:50:20.:50:25.

It will be a good weekend. Very, very mild, John. Last week, you

:50:25.:50:33.

promised cold weather over Russia, which we were hoping would organise

:50:33.:50:38.

some migration. What happened? the cold weather stayed over Russia.

:50:38.:50:46.

Look at the dark blue colours, that is where the winter is arriving.

:50:46.:50:52.

And unusually across much of Scandinavia and Europe temperatures

:50:52.:50:58.

are higher than they should be. So the migrating birds are not

:50:58.:51:03.

encouraged by the mild weather. Closer to home, we're not going to

:51:03.:51:12.

get the cold air in the near future, that's for sure, but we will get

:51:12.:51:20.

some easterly winds, so there will be some migration. I'll be here

:51:20.:51:24.

next week to see if there is a change, but in the near week, not

:51:24.:51:31.

much changing. Now, I got the prediction wrong

:51:31.:51:36.

last week. We thought the cold weather would push the water foul

:51:36.:51:43.

over here, but only a few Bewick's swans have got here to Slimbridge.

:51:43.:51:48.

And we thought there might be pigeons to the east side of the

:51:48.:51:58.
:51:58.:51:59.

country, by this week, but I was wrong again. I also said the

:51:59.:52:03.

Woodcock wouldn't arrive either. But I was wrong about that as well.

:52:03.:52:08.

Some have arrived in the east of England and one in Scotland was

:52:08.:52:14.

found in a lady's wardrobe. Actually I just made that up,

:52:14.:52:18.

because I couldn't think about anything interesting to say about

:52:18.:52:25.

that lonely Woodcock. We had lots of waxwings last year,

:52:25.:52:32.

and some have arrived this year. That's super. All of this migration,

:52:32.:52:36.

I think what is happening at the moment, the weather isn't hard

:52:36.:52:40.

enough to push these birds over. So the fidgety ones are moving over

:52:40.:52:45.

any way and coming to the UK. If you're at the coast it's a good

:52:45.:52:53.

place to spot them, but if you are in the middle of the North Sea,

:52:53.:52:58.

that's an equally good place to spot them. They are on container

:52:58.:53:03.

ships which have been converted into oil rigs. We have this

:53:04.:53:13.
:53:14.:53:18.

Lenny Simpson has worked on oil rigs for 29 years but his passion

:53:18.:53:25.

is birds. I've been a bird watching, really,

:53:25.:53:31.

since I was a child. A seven or eight-year-old when I got my first

:53:31.:53:37.

pair of binoculars. Working out here we work three weeks on and

:53:37.:53:43.

three weeks off, on rota. So it can be a long time away from your

:53:43.:53:47.

friends and family, but watching the birds helps me get through long

:53:47.:53:53.

hours on board. There are sea birds to watch all year, but autumn is

:53:53.:54:00.

Lenny's favourite time of year, because many migrating birds from

:54:00.:54:03.

the mainland of Northern Europe stop off to rest on the rig on

:54:03.:54:09.

their way to the UK. I've seen about 170 species of birds. Many

:54:09.:54:15.

are common, but quite a few are rare. Early arrivals this year

:54:15.:54:22.

included Blackcap and wheat ear. But he's also seen some hunting the

:54:22.:54:30.

smaller birds. The peregrins have taken some of the other species.

:54:30.:54:37.

You find feathers and bits of birds lying everywhere. A peregrin falcon

:54:37.:54:42.

is a fantastic sighting, but this is his top sighting so far this

:54:42.:54:52.
:54:52.:54:52.

year. A short-eared owl. He stayed and rested for a few days before

:54:52.:54:58.

continuing on to the UK where he'll spend the winter. What a fabulous

:54:58.:55:08.
:55:08.:55:14.

sight 120 miles from land. members of the bird club that I

:55:14.:55:23.

belong to will probably never meet up, because we all work in

:55:23.:55:28.

different areas. The members of the oil rig bird club have been

:55:28.:55:31.

recorded all the species over the years and Lenny has been

:55:31.:55:37.

responsible for one or two records himself. Up until now I've put in

:55:37.:55:47.
:55:47.:55:50.

16,000 records. So a few over the years!

:55:50.:55:56.

Clearly a great place to go birding, but not one we all have access to.

:55:56.:56:03.

But he's given us an update. 23 species in one day, including a

:56:03.:56:12.

Woodcock. He had a bat for a week hanging under the helipad. Three

:56:13.:56:18.

short-eared owls at the same time and a Merlin chasing redwings.

:56:18.:56:23.

That's a real variety. It's astonishing. Pretty good.

:56:24.:56:28.

Thank you very much. Very curious thing, when I was down looking at

:56:28.:56:33.

the lobsters in Cornwall, I noticed something extraordinary I'd never

:56:33.:56:38.

seen before. Lots of little turn stones running around in amongst

:56:38.:56:47.

people's feet. I've nerve seen that, just acting like scavengers. Just

:56:47.:56:52.

eating anything they could get their teeth into. They are strange

:56:52.:56:59.

little birds. I remember in the 1980s, being a subscriber of

:56:59.:57:05.

British Birds, the journal. There was a writer, Mr King who always

:57:05.:57:14.

wrote in little notes about turn Stones eating strange things, the

:57:14.:57:21.

first one was eating human excrement. And the next was picking

:57:21.:57:29.

at a condom. And another was turn Stones picking at a human corpse.

:57:29.:57:38.

Check it out. It just shows how they take advantage of things.

:57:38.:57:45.

Have you got a question? A quick question. How do barnacles get

:57:45.:57:55.
:57:55.:57:56.

attached to whales' skin. Sometimes they form clocities and the

:57:56.:58:02.

barnacles attach to these lumps on the head. We're running out of time.

:58:02.:58:08.

Coming up next week, an old friend of Springwatch comes back to act as

:58:09.:58:13.

an urban correspondent for us. And we'll look deeper still into the

:58:13.:58:20.

lives of the Pitsea foxes. And Roy Davies will be giving our final

:58:20.:58:27.

Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games broadcast live from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust's Slimbridge reserve. The team explore the UK's spectacular coastline and marine life. They report on the dramatic rescue of fledging gannets, get to grips with our common lobster, and experience the autumn spectacle of thousands of waders gathering in our estuaries. There's an update on the migrating Bewicks's swans arriving at Slimbridge, and guest presenter and naturalist Iolo Williams takes to the high seas, searching for a giant of the deep, the fin whale.


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