Episode 3 Springwatch Unsprung

Episode 3

Audience-led informal live discussion and debate. Martin Hughes-Games chairs as Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Liz Bonnin answer audience questions.

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We're having a party! Throw out the tables and chairs. Join the party.


Maybe not. We'll have more of that later. Welcome to Unsprung.


Nice one. Come on, Chris - Stevie Wonder. Diplomatic - no comment.


Right. Welcome tow Unsprung. Remember, this is your programme.


It's about your photographs, your questions. We'll try to answer


those, a few things thrown in. Who is here? It's a fairly motley crew.


They are. Good dancing, though - nice. They have been practicing


that for weeks. Have they? Then we've got level-headed Jo. Hello,


APPLAUSE She's waiting for all your comments,


all your questions. Get them in to her. First, we ought to do that


quiz again, that really, really difficult quiz. Sorry. Actually,


nobody on Twitter has got it right yet. I am not surprised. Shall we


hear the quiz once again, please. We'll hear these sounds.


( Moaning sound) OK. Next one -


# Wee-ee - (Squealing) The third one, the hard one -


(Deep thumping noise) They're absolutely fascinating.


We're going to reveal all. The man who actually recorded those songs


is going to be with us later on. Is Liz there? Hello. Did you dance,


Liz? Hello. Was she dancing? Very sensible. Right. Shall we get


straight on with the question? think we should. Sorry. Here we go.


Karren's four-year-old daughter - she wants to know, if bees poo, and


if they do, are we eating it in our honey? A great question. What's her


name? The four-year-old daughter? It doesn't say here, but... Karren.


The mum, I guess. Do bees poo, and if so, are we eating it in the


honey? You'll be delighted to know that bees do poo, but they don't


poo in your honey. To produce your honey, you're actually eating sick,


you'll be delighted to know, so yeah, that's the short answer. I


could tell you how they produce honey, but basically it's bee sick.


They do poo. They poo out of their hives because otherwise it wouldn't


make them very well. They actually go down to the entrance of the hole,


having pseudocopulated, I'll - they hang with their bag legs trailing,


abdomens down, and they poo out the nest to keep it clean. You get a


small pile underneath the nest. they leave the hive to poo - that's


even cleaner. That's going away to poo. That's long distance pooing.


Bees are domesticated, and wasps are wild. Let's move on. Quickly,


before there is trouble. Wild With Plants and Cheeky Monkey - sorry -


they want to know what stops nestlings from dehydrating. We have


seen our owl chicks there. Do they get water? Why don't they


dehydrate? They do get water and get most from their food, of course.


Bearing in mind most nestlings are fed on invertebrates, thinking


about living things here, up to 60% of that is water, so they recover


all the water they need from their food essentially without drinking,


then what they do is conserve that water. I know we're always looking


at baby birds producing faecal sacks. It's very concentrated, so


they reduce the amount of water they waste to urinate and produce


faeces. That's another reason they keep them in these sax, so they can


be taken away. Pigeons produce milk for their chicks. Full of fat. The


fat gets them to grow. The only other birds that do that are


flamingos and puffins, a little known fact there. Wow. One more


thing, the most extreme version of that is the sand grouse. We have


some footage of the sand grouse. It lives right in the desert. It dunks


its feathers in the water, flies back to the nest with wet feathers


- you're not going to believe that - there are the chicks drinking the


water. I can't help noticing when you were gesticulating, you have


that green watch on, I have actually grown to like it, and I


thought I might get one of my own. Why can't that be mine? Look. It


goes with my clothing much better. Rather pleased with that - I've got


my own green watch. Right, Liz, are you there? We have a question for


you. Let me just find it. I am. Hello. She's got a lovely voice,


hasn't she? Whoa! Liz, Steve Gunnard wants to know, "How is it


that animals such as foxes and gulls can scavenge food from a


landfill that would make us humans ill or possibly even kill us? How


do they do it?" She's thinking. very good question. Scavengers tend


to have a naturally higher amount of stomach acid that helps break


down all the nasty stuff and certainly kill a lot of the bugs,


so they've evolved to be able to deal with the bugs better. They


also have a naturally higher amount of immunity. If the animal is a


mammal it's going to get that from its mother in the womb, but as the


youngsters are being fed little tidbits, they're beginning to build


up even more and more immunity to the stuff. They're basically


tougher than us humans. Good answer, very good. Here's a quick review,


Chris, on the back of that... you, Liz. Have birds got taste


buds? Let's do a little check. Who thinks that birds can taste? Have


More yes's, I would say. Have they got taste buds, Chris? You know, I


don't know the definitive answer to this in my book of bird physiology,


page 232 - I sipped it, to be honest with you. I can imagine they


must have taste buds because they would have to learn what to eat, so


when they hatch, they peck at everything - as we have seen our


herons doing, as we have seen our wrens doing and these sorts of


things. Surely if they peck at the wrong thing, it's not just the


texture and the density of it, it would be the taste of it. Surely


they must have taste buds unless they rely on their sense of smell


which can be keen in many species. What about their sight? A lot of


bugs try to make themselves look unpalatable. What about weighing


birds? They have to discern what they really want to eat. Go on.


Tell us. I haven't got a clue, except everything comes from


chickens in the end. What about your chickens and ducks? Do they


like things and not other things? They're not that discerning.


They're just out-and-out greedy. With Ping, the duckling, she's


called Ping, she's very, very sweet. She sort of lives in the kitchen,


and my dog has fallen in love with her - that's just an aside. What is


really interesting is her starting to learn how to feed, pecking at


bits of straw which she can eat and toast crumbs which she really likes.


They are discerning? Yeah. Mine won't eat citrus, but everything


else. Puffin news. Last week, I have to confess, I made a mistake.


We showed the wrong video down the puffin-cam. No! Let us have a look


at the proper puffin-cam. Remember, that's mum and dad.


( Rrr) Ooh, more curry! That's the puffins


swapping over. Remember, this is a camera down a puffin hole in


Schettlan. That egg hasn't hatched out yet, but it's due to hatch out


today or tomorrow. Will she phone us and let us know?


She will, but it will take three days to come out of the egg. It


pips first of all. We have the link on our website. You can actually go


and watch that puffin-cam, and it will hatch out this weekend


hopefully. Lots of puffins are coming in and around that nest, so


others are hatching as well. I have done my bit. Right. Now, somebody


who recorded those sounds that we just heard there - "Rrr" is


actually with us tonight. Here he is. Can you come here? He's the


legendary - the edgend that is - PROBLEM WITH SOUND


Right. Now, Chris also set that quiz and recorded those sounds.


He's now going to reveal all to us. OK. Let's just see. Everyone on


Twitter was wrong. Really? Tom on the blog thinks the last one is


someone in the bath, not doing very well. It's a right medium... Yes!


Kirsty on Facebook thinks it's owl, fox and frog - no, Kirsty. Anyone


at all level headed? No-one has it completely right at all. One person


is getting the last one. The last one is foxing. It was tricky. You


asked me to make it difficult. Thanks, Chris.


Shall we hear them in order? Let's hear the first one again, please.


(Moaning, whining sound) There is no point in asking them -


(Woo-ooh!) It actually sounds like people after a really big party.


Perfect Springwatch party music - the wild music of nature. OK. Wait


a minute. OK, Chris, tell us, please, what is that? They are the


hauntingly beautiful siren songs of female grey seals hauled out on


some rocks. Fantastic. Although having seen a grey seal in the


estuary early in the week, put their voices in. So weird, like the


mermaid song, haunting... Hauntingly beautiful. Second one,


may we hear the second sound, please?


(Whee-eee - squeaking) People who don't know in here -


because you do. Have a guess. Gene, what do you think? Putting you on


the spot. What do you reckon? No. Anyone else? Anymore ideas?


Come on, Caroline? Crows? No. on, Patrick. Have a guess. That


might be cheating. Give us the answer. Shall I give you the


answer? Give us the answer. It's an orca.


APPLAUSE No, it's several Orca. Come on.


Close, but not good enough. So you recorded that. That's - I don't


have favourite animals, but I have the greatest respect for that


animal. It's the top marine predator. We get them in British


waters. Gordon Buchanan got us some wonderful stuff last year. And they


have a voice that carries many kilometres through the oceans. I


just love this idea of this social group of animals and this


incredible vocabulary and communication that they have, and


perhaps even this idea of culture, which is being currently


investigated with the voices. Here's the last one, the really


tricky one. Here we go. ( Deep bumping noise)


We've got the theme. They're all underwater. This is the weirdest.


Chris, what is it? That is the territorial call of the male cod


fish. I thought I had heard that before! Chris, yeah. How on earth


did you make that sound? That was recorded just the other side of the


North Sea in some Norwegian water where they have a marine reserve,


where they had been - they had stopped boats with engines coming


in during the boating season, which is February-March to listen for


these sounds because they are incredibly quiet. That's what I


think of fish - they don't sound like... Well, more and more -


that's why I love this idea of fishing for sound under waters.


Every day more and more is being discovered in this environment, the


largest habitat on earth, the most rich, sound habitat on earth - we


say we live on planet earth - it's planet ocean. 70% of our world are


the oceans, and they're full of sound. Very quickly, you went out,


didn't you, Chris, to the water there. You put your hydrophones in


the water, and can we hear what he managed to record just out there?


(Cricket-type noises) Fantastic. We can actually see what


was - it was a bit of a mystery because you didn't know what it was.


No, I didn't. (Crr-rr)


(Clicking) Not making a noise, but a sound. I think that is a str idu


lating water boatman. The whole audience share your view! I like a


grasshopper in air - stridulating is a song. Unless you dip your


equipment into the water, you won't hear that sound. I think this is a


series highlight. I am not joking, seriously, because this is a whole


spectrum of experience that we just don't normally experience, and out


there there is so much of it, so much to learn. If you were a young


scientist, this might be a direction to go in. You can make


hydrophones for coppers, and listening to places like... I don't


Thank you very much, Chris! A legend!


Straight on to prune now. Those were difficult questions. We had to


go for a tough one. Terry Phillips, we have to have this. He told us


that he lives in an old mill and has discovered lots of the spoof of


the attic. Can you identify it? -- lots of this poo. It is too big for


a fox. We're looking at an intermediate animal, perhaps a


stoat. Where does he live? In Devon. I guess we're looking at a ferret


or restored, will stops do not going to the loft. I used to live


in the attic of my house and I used to hear rats. I got a trap. Why am


I telling us on television?! In the night, I heard the trap close and I


thought, I have got you! In the morning, when I went up, there was


a stoat. And you love them! They do come into houses and the hunt mice.


Along with fishing for sound, that might be a chapter in your


autobiography. Let us have a look at some extraordinary footage of a


stoat hunting. I think they are extraordinary. Look at the size


difference between this stork and the rabbits. He has got it!


Absolutely extraordinary! I did not believe it was possible that they


did that before. And we can very quickly, Adrian has sent us some


some fast that -- some fantastic photographs. That is incredible.


is a whole sequence that he filmed. This boat went down to the water to


This boat went down to the water to A quick question for less. How is


it that sea gulls, of which you have millions down there, how do


they always seem to find plumbing tractors? How do they get to them?


The same way as all sea gulls find the food sources that they do. They


use their side first. They are always on the lookout for birds


that are swirling over anything. Once they find that, they tend to


approach the area. If it is a tractor or a landfill site, they


get their share, and then they might come back at the same time.


Then they start to learn what time of day the tractor is working and


then it becomes a habit. That is how they get their regular food


sources. Very clever birds. Shall we have a quick look at her


gallery? Yes. Let's have a look of a here. We have to say a huge


thank-you to all the people who sent us end these fantastic photos


and pictures. Thank you for replacing my pie charts. Thank you


very much. Look at this, some of them are in 3-D. Just absolutely


them are in 3-D. Just absolutely glorious pictures. This was sent in


by Ben, who is four. Look at that - poodles! I particularly like the


happy beaver. We're going to sit down because we're about to have a


Earlier today, Kate Humble went out and had a close encounter with a


very special guest. Have a quick look at this. What is the cold?


is called Bran. I have a soft spot for ravens. I read a book when I


was little about a little girl with one. I have always wanted one. I


have got the next best thing, which is Lloyd. Cumin, Lloyd. -- come in,


Lloyd. This is a really privileged view of a fantastic bar. We have


seen a lot of court bids of the last few days -- corbids. They are


incredibly intelligent. How does that manifest itself? They are


always studying and looking for opportunities. He is scanning round


now to see if there is any food. You have a lovely social bond with


them. They are very time-consuming, a massive commitment. They can live


up to 40 years. The look incredibly fear some. Come and see me, good


boy. They have that extraordinary bill. We saw how agile he is in a


bit of film, do the use that to hunt or do the pecking the ground


like rooks? What do they feed on in the wild? Pretty much anything.


They are pretty opportunistic. They are one of the few birds that does


acrobatics. We're now go into have a demonstration of just how how


smart he is. He just wants to show us how clever he is. This is a


problem that very few animals, let alone birds, can work out. Can he


do it? I have made the string thinner today, which is more tough


for him. Is he going to do it? on! I want to go and help them. --


help him. Yes! Brilliant! Did you have to train him to do that or is


it something that you realised he could do because he is naturally


inquisitive and clever? Did the work it out himself? I never


trained him to do anything. He worked it out. The first time I


showed him that, when he was the Mike Mansell, he went down to the


ground, got back up on a perch, let go of the strength and then thought,


that is not working. He had mastered it in ten minutes. They


must be quite difficult birds to keep because they must need an


awful lot of stimulation and very special care. Yes, we have put a


lot of time into him. He goes out for a fly or a walk every day. They


have a very songs Roth at -- strong social bond with you. If you are


ever thinking about it you must realise it is a massive commitment.


He said that, even if you try and change anything in his aviary, he


makes a bit of a farce. He notices the smallest thing -- a bit of a


Thank you very much indeed for bringing an end. Absolutely


delightful. A fantastic bar. Thank you.


Let's carry on with a few more questions quickly. Susan Penman


send us this strange footage. Have a look and try and see what is


going on. It is a bit wobbly, Chris, but what is happening? It looks


like a carrion crow. It looks like it is smoking itself. We have seen


this in other species. The thought is that it is using the small to


get rid of an infection, in terms of lice or something in its


feathers. I have seen that before. It will smoke itself to get rid of


exactly that - if it is infested with fleas and so forth. The crow


family are very good at doing this sort of thing. Shall we go to our


beautiful montage? I do not know how many photos we have had on the


website. Around 50,000. Take a look Nice highlights on that last one.


We have had a letter from Bethany. She said, I made a comment in the


Radio Times that there were not enough children out in the


countryside. She says, I get out there every day. I am so lucky in


my garden, I am surrounded by wild life. It is the best thing. Here


she is with a young Matt pie, which she later released. -- magpie. Get


out and enjoy the countryside. have you got one as well? Yes. This


came in. It came in From Our Sound man's daughter, Rose. She said, I


have grass snakes in my garden, are the good? -- are the good? I would


say they are pretty sensational. Very quickly, Margaret has sent us


this photograph. It is this St Peter's Green Village fun day. They


Springwatch Unsprung continues with more audience-led informal discussion and debate.

Martin Hughes-Games chairs as Kate Humble, Chris Packham and Liz Bonnin answer audience questions and give in-depth analysis on what the season's wildlife is up to.

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