Live audience-led informal discussion and debate. Martin Hughes-Games chairs as Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Iolo Williams answer audience questions.
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Some of you felt something was missing from Springwatch. Some of
you, well it's important to you. Tonight, for one night only, my
spectacles, thank you very much. APPLAUSE
The buffing cloth. And now, we're ready for everything,
even including Unsprung. Good evening!
We are sitting here panting. Welcome to Unsprung. What is
Unsprung? It's where we pant a lot. We are Unsprung. It's where we
answer your questions, look at your pictures and videos and throw in
extra things as well who. Is in the house tonight? We have a big
audience here. We have. Look at them ought. It's huge. Did we go to
the Jobcentre? Dodgy characters as well. Level-headed Joe.
APPLAUSE She's standing by to receive your
questions, more information anything you want to talk about,
get in contact with Jo. Can we get a wave from Lynsey. Thank you for
our dipper stuff. Yeah, fantastic dipper material.
APPLAUSE Top stuff. Let's hope this works.
We start with a little quiz. Tonight's quiz has a twist. These
are photographs of creatures that live on us. I hope people in the
audience, where are they? Down there. Person A, what animal is
living on you? That's A. Now person B, what animal is living on person
B? I hope not. Person C, please hold it up. Oh, dear! And finally D,
can you hold up D, Jo! I so hope not. So that's A, B, C and D, get
your answers in now. Is Iolo with us still? Are you there? Yes, I am.
I can hear you loud and clear. You've got none of those things
living on you. We're back with you in a second. Hang on please. We
have coasters, where are the coasters? These have been sent in,
can you hold them up please, Kate, Amy Whitewick has sent us lovely
coasters to put our cups of tea. Our cups of tea that we never get
to drink because we're too busy. The tea is stone cold. There's mine.
Thank you very much. Martin there's yours. Beautiful. My favourite
animal too. That's a stoat. Thank you, very much indeed. Those are
stunning. I'm not putting that miserable cup of tea on it though.
Straight away a very good question. Charlotte McWilliam, oh, where is
it, come on find it. She said, "I ate a double yoked egg for my lunch.
If it had been fertilised would two chicks have grown from the one egg,
who thinks that the chicks, two chicks would have hatched out?
Anyone thinks they would have hatched out? Not many. Who thinks
they wouldn't have hatched out? More think they wouldn't. Over to
our expert. It is very interesting, in fact, I had an extraordinary
morning one morning when I went to collect my chicken eggs and I
cracked open one and it was a triple yoker. -- yolker. I didn't
know the answer. But I did check with the BTO. They said that
actually they will hatch out. So anyone who put their hands up and
said they will hatch out, so sometimes they come across this
very confusing thing where they see four eggs in a nest and suddenly...
Blackbirds. Yes, and there will be five chicks. There you R I hope
that answers your questions. Can we quickly see the picture of a happy
I vent that happened at Kate's house, I think only this morning.
have got them here. So, I've got Aylesbury ducks and we put some of
the eggs in an incubator and... That little event started this
morning and lovely Paul Carter who is looking aafter my house at the
moment, sent me this photograph and then this... How adorable is that?
How wrong is Chris Packham? It's not a pure bred species though. If
it were a harl Quinn or Eider... It's mine and that's all that
matters. If anyone wants to think of a name for the new little duck
let us know. Now... What? Elle. Very good. Excellent. Chris this is
from Susie 882, my favourite question, "What do female bats do
with their babies when they hunt? Do they carry them or just hang
them up somewhere?" Great question. Actually, when they give birth they
initially nurse them and they don't hunt. They stop feeding for a while.
The bats are obviously hanging up with them and they're suckling them
in there. Then in some species they have nursery roost, where they
normally give birth to their young, in a specified place. Extra females
take care of the youngsters whilst they forage and replenish their
energys. They will hunt with the baby? They leave the baby behind
with the other bats hung up in the nursery roost. My friend said they
go flying with them. Yeah, they do. Some of the females in some roots
have nurseries where they leave them behind. Like nanny bats.
Fantastic question. Shall we look at some beauty? A quick bit of
beauty. We get so many Flikr photographs. We never do them
APPLAUSE Impressed? Some of them were quite
good, yes. LAUGHTER
Yeah OK. I liked one with all the dew over the head of the insect. It
wasn't symmetrical... But nevertheless an interesting concept
that I'm going rip off later. go to Iolo, I don't know if you can
hear me, this is a question, after Monday's programme, I got tweeted
by Jeanette Millward who said, because you showed us angel wings
and said that the black bat girls had nailed the Manx Shearwaters.
What she wants to know is this - oh, wrong question! I'll get there in
the end. How does a Manx Shearwater become the victim of a black bat
girl when they're nocturnal and they can't hunt at night? Good
question. Yes they are mainly nocturnal, but they will arrive off
the island before it's fully dark. If you get moon light the black
gulls will hunt them then. They will put their heads down entrance
to burrows. Sometimes sheer waters come out to the entrance, if they
time that time that incorrectly they end up as food. This island is
scattered with angel wings. There's the answer then. That was a great
question. Thank you Iolo. Right, here's some now it's a bit ropey,
this footage, sorry, Anthony Allen and Kate Tomkins, who I've just
insulted quite badly - but it's robins doing something very
unusually. Have a lock at this: Look at this: We have called this
This is Kate's footage. We saw the green wood peckers during that
strange dancing. Sort of Vogueing. Yeah, now we've been sent this.
There's communication going on between those two. I've not seen
this. There's a great book you can refer to by David Lack, who studied
them for a long time. They are very aggressive birds. So there's one or
two things. This is prior to fighting, two Robyns seeing who is
toughest. Or it could be a male and female. Male and females look the
same. You can't sex them in the field. It could be a male
displaying it a feel mail. I'm going to plump for the latter. When
I see robins fighting they don't bother with preamble. The signs
they are able to read are so subtle that they can go immediately into a
frenzied bout of fighting, if they're evenly matched. Should we
have an ask the audience. They might know a bit about birds?
Anyone with any thoughts? mentioned David Lack I was taught
by his son Andrew. Yeah, I think I've been told that they have UV
cryptic chests like a lot of other birds. I just wonder whether they
could be perhaps showing off that in some way because although they
all look the same and have the same red chests, they actually are
subtly different. I don't know, I'll throw that into the ring.
APPLAUSE Very good. That is our top geeky
story developer there. Thank you very much.
He's won an award already. He's heading for another one. Last week,
I promised you a lynx in the studio. Royston? Hold on. It's the best I
could do. That's rubbish. Unfortunately I failed. But we've
got something better. So now if everyone can be quite quiet again,
please, could Pauline please come in, where are you? Just outside.
Where do we want Pauline to go? I'll sit on the edge. Kate can you
talk to Pauline. I can. Love to talk to Pauline. We hope this is
going to work. In you come. look at that! If we can just, I
know everyone wants to go aawww. We need to be very quiet. Yes, if you
would. Tell me about this little creature. This is a little one
we've had in nearly a fortnight now. She's just about eight weeks old.
She's still on the bottle, but starting to take fish. She's a baby
otter. But how on earth did you come to get her? We are a rescue
centre and she actually just turned up in somebody's shed during the
day. One of our release managers went down and quite rightly put her
in a cage and waited in case mum turned up. But she didn't. We've
been looking after her. We have heard there was an otter found
killed on the road. It's likely that it was mum, but she was a long
way from a waterway. We have to think of these things when these
animals come in. It was very important that you did watch her
through the day, because mum could have come back. Absolutely. That's
the thing with wildlife, a lot of them get picked up too early. It is
important to see, to give them the chance to go back with mum. Eight
weeks old. You're bottle feeding her. You're handling her. Is there
any chance she's going to get back to the wild? Absolutely. That's why
we do it. It's a long rehab programme of 18 months. We copy the
time the mother would normally chase them away. We have pens with
ponds in. She will go into a pen with eight metre pools and we try
to rear them in pairs and no doubt, another one will come along. People
are surprised how big they are. Aren't they. Only eight weeks old
and she is a really robust baby. And just to have this privilege to
really get a good look at an otter. Can we see some of these features.
The fantastic tail, which is a third of the body and so important
for them for swimming. The fact that they've got these wonderful
webbed feet which help is really great. That fabulously thick fur
insulating them. You can't experience this, but I can, that
wonderful musky smell. Absolutely. She's absolutely gorgeous. Thank
sow much for bringing her in and What's she called? Tan. We try to
give them water names. That was very special. Thank you. Thank you.
You never know, do you, but she was calm. It's a lovely story that.
Everything worked well and she's going to go back to the wild.
other otter is called Cistern and it's leaking everywhere! OK, next
question. You are You are rubbish! While we are at it... No, we are
not not being nasty about the watch any more. What is it? It's high
fashion, you wouldn't get it. being disingenious here, because
your daughter loves that watch. can love it as much as she wants.
If she goes to a fairground and plays with one of those things
where you put a pound in and grabs something, she might get one as
well. Later! Serious thing. This is from Pat, having seen all the
toadlets in last night's programme and hearing kphepb about black
birds taking them made me think about something in our garden, a
black bird took a shrew. Birds condition be readily available. I
suppose it phus be needs must. rare event. Predators of any kind
always want to pick on things they can overcome without the risk of
injury, because if they're injured in any way, any simple way, the
next time they go huping they might be at a disadvantage. The balance
of nature is so fine that that disadvantage means they won't be
hunting effectively. A black bird can easily murder a worm or a slug
but there's always a risk of getting bitten by a shrew. It might
get infected, it's a risky proposition. We don't see this an
but occasionally we might. I spoke to the BTO and they say our black
birds are in trouble and that might be happening because it's so dry
they can't get worms so that's why. People at home, you can help our
black birds. You can put out these. Meal worms, they like them. Even
better if you can do them live, actually. You can get them live.
You can go on to the internet and buy live ones and they're great.
They wriggle and scare your mum. You can also open your compost heap.
What about the grass snakes though? Cancel that last idea!
Our black birds are in trouble. Body weight is down to less than
100 grams. Iolo is back with us. had a question from Sue and she
actually asked exactly what you explained, how do the puffins
manage to hold the sand eels in their beaks, thanks for that. She
also said, why are their beaks so fantastically colourful? What is it
for? Well, the beaks are fantastically
colourful because it's used in courtship. They use that beak. The
male and female puffin come together and they'll fence, they'll
nibble and use that and it's also a sign of just how healthy the bird
is. So, a female puffin seeing a male puffin with a whacking great
big colourful blue, red and yellow bill is going to think, that's the
chap for me. He is in peak condition. He is the strongest,
biggest puffin around. That's what that beak does. Brilliant.
Fantastic. Thank you very much. you showed us the shearwaters, down
the burrow. We might be able to top that. We might be able to go live
now down a puffin's burrow. Let's see if this is going to work. It's
a bit dodgy, but she's asleep down there. We can probably speak live,
I hope, to the person who put the camera down, because that's in
Shetland. Helen, can you hear me? Yes, I can. Hello. This is Helen
from the RSPB in shuthand. -- Shetland. How did you get the
camera down? We managed to find a burrow with two entrances a little
down the cliff. We managed to get a small camera and secure is in using
it. When did you put the camera in, ahead of them coming back in, I
suppose? We hid it in place last We can look at footage you recorded.
Here is the puffin itself. Can you tell us, are these the same puffins
back to the same burrow? They do return each year. So you know these
two? Have they laid an egg down there? They have, yes. Do they take
it in turns, they come and go into the burrow? That's right. They've
shared responsibility so the mum and dad take turns. It's a 40-day
incubation period. So you know when the egg is going to hatch? We are
expecting it somewhere in the 17th June. We might just be able to see
that. We are off air on 16th. Hello, Helen! If we get one
hatching that will be fantastic. Let's move on quickly. We have
something dear to your heart. We have some art. I will move over.
Let's all go over and see this. Hello, Kate. Kate, a lady who uses
natural fabrics in the form of feathers to make exquisite works of
art. Combining nature with a human device. Which is the one you have
made for us? This over here, inspired by your programme last
week, where you showed a Jay feather and also the features on
otter. It's beautiful. What is so amazing is just the feathers seem
to take on a totally different texture. Do you go out shooting a
lot, sorry, how do you get hold of these wonderful feathers? These
over here are pigeon feathers. I have about 200 people over the UK
who are pigeon fanciers, I write to them and send them photographs of
what I am going to do and they send me moulted feathers twice a year in
April and and October. Fantastic. The other sorts of feathers, - can
we have a look at this one. It's fantastic. If you rotate that in
front of the camera, does it change colour? Is that the mallard? Yes.
Fascinated by the fact it's a common bird we see all the time and
it's this miraculous colour. We had somebody who contacted the
programme and asked why British birds were so dull in colour and
all you have to do is look at that. Look at the Jay and the mallard and
realise they're anything but. Didn't you also keep in contact
with game-keepers as well and they provide you with feathers? Yes, I
did a project last year, game birds would have been shot and cooked in
the kitchen of Tatten Park. So they lived on in your... Can we look at
more of Kate's work. Some of the pieces, which are particularly
large, some of the larger pieces need to be seen. This is the Tatten
Park piece. Mostly tpezant, quail. What about this one? This is magpie.
Tail feathers? These were wing feathers. This is crow. How many
feathers did you use in that one? Can you remember? Something lying
20,000 feathers. How long did it take? It took me about four years
to collect enough feathers to make that piece. It was from game-
keepers who control the bird population on their farms. Did you
sketch it out, the idea first? Have you stuck them on to
something? Yes. So you have built a frame? A form. That's about four
metres long. It's sensational. a shame we couldn't have it in here.
Thank you very much indeed. Who is going to have that one then? Later!
Fight you for it! Thank you so much for bringing them in. They're
That's a challenge. Caroline, from the RSPB here, I think you should
start collecting feathers for Kate and then maybe she can build an
installation for you guys here. would be fantastic. If anyone at
home, we love it, if you are inspired by any of the artists we
show, get out there and make something and take a photo and send
it to us. I am going to do one quickly, excuse me, right Robin
wrote how do lizards detach their tails and does it hurt? OK, I don't
know whether it hurts but it's called autoony and it's under
nervous control, they have a weakening in the tail, it doesn't
split between two vertbrae, they decide, a muscle activates and
shatters the vertbrae, the muscle blocks detach. A nervous programme
is switched on in the tail that's detached to wriggle about to detach
a predator. All that happens in a split second. Most species can grow
a stump back, not a perfect tail, not just lizards, crustaceons. Even
if spiders lose a leg they can, when they next moult. I want to
look at this. Can Iolo see what we see? It's a little test. I can see
bits of them. Vince has sent us a video of something that happened in
his bird box. OK. Have a look at It's obviously a dispute here with
two blue tits. Like a blue tit boxing ring in there. This is blue
tit cage fighting. Got you! could make a lot of money out of
this chaps. It's just a dispute over a box involving probably two
males there fighting over ownership of that box and the successful one,
I would imagine, would then have got a female and would have built a
nest. I still reckon we can make money out of that! Who was the guy
that sent that? I have lost it now. It was Vince. Clearly you have a
very lovely bird box there. We have to watch this programme, pole
dancing and cage fighting. My nine- year-old daughter, questions about
hedgehogs, do they lose their prickles, are baby hedgehogs born
with prickles and do old hedgehogs turn grey? Have a look at this
picture. Baby hedgehog. It's here. There it is. Look, they're by a 10
10p coin. I would suggest hedgehogs don't give birth to their young
with spines. 50% of the audience have been through that process, and
it would be too painful. They have them held beneath the skin and the
follicles break and they begin to develop immediately. They don't
lose them. They're actually made of fur. They're a modified type of fur
and they will stay with the hedgehog throughout its life.
Individual spines are shed and they regrow new ones and to the best of
my knowledge and I have seen a few in my time, they don't go grey at
the end of they've life. -- their life. Now the quiz. What's
happening? Few people have got it completely right. It's reassuring
really that they don't know what they are. But Rich on Twitter and
Rose. What is A, please. It's a tick. B? It's a human flea. C is
the eyelash mite. Most ladies in this room will have them. The make-
up means they can't escape from underneath the eyelashes and
they're common in women. What have you got pubiclice. We want to
celebrate wildlife champions. If you are a wildlife champion and
Springwatch Unsprung is back with more audience-led informal live discussion and debate.
Martin Hughes-Games chairs as Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Iolo Williams answer audience questions and give in-depth analysis on what the season's wildlife is up to.