Episode 3 Springwatch Unsprung


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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.

:00:40.:00:44.

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

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

:00:49.:00:53.

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

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

:00:57.:01:03.

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

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

:01:08.:01:13.

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

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APPLAUSE She's waiting for all your comments,

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

:01:22.:01:25.

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

:01:25.:01:29.

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

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

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( Moaning sound) OK. Next one -

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

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(Deep thumping noise) They're absolutely fascinating.

:02:00.:02:04.

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

:02:04.:02:10.

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

:02:10.:02:16.

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

:02:16.:02:21.

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

:02:21.:02:26.

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

:02:26.:02:32.

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

:02:32.:02:37.

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

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

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

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

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

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

:03:02.:03:08.

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

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

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

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

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

:03:36.:03:42.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bearing in mind most nestlings are fed on invertebrates, thinking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:06:03.:06:09.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:06:52.:07:02.
:07:02.:07:03.

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

:07:03.:07:08.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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bugs try to make themselves look unpalatable. What about weighing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:08:52.:09:02.
:09:02.:09:03.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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legendary - the edgend that is - PROBLEM WITH SOUND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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asked me to make it difficult. Thanks, Chris.

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

:10:49.:10:59.
:10:59.:11:00.

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

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

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

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

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hauntingly beautiful siren songs of female grey seals hauled out on

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

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

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

:11:36.:11:46.
:11:46.:11:47.

may we hear the second sound, please?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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incredible vocabulary and communication that they have, and

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perhaps even this idea of culture, which is being currently

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:14:59.:15:00.

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

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:15:10.:15:10.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:15:55.:16:01.

Thank you very much, Chris! A legend!

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

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:16:17.:16:19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:18:25.:18:35.
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This boat went down to the water to A quick question for less. How is

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

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

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

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

:19:07.:19:12.

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

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

:19:20.:19:25.

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

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

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

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

:19:42.:19:52.
:19:52.:19:54.

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

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

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

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

:20:09.:20:15.

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

:20:15.:20:25.
:20:25.:20:32.

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

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

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:20:50.:20:50.

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

:20:50.:21:00.
:21:00.:21:03.

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

:21:03.:21:13.
:21:13.:21:17.

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

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

:21:23.:21:33.
:21:33.:21:36.

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

:21:36.:21:42.

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

:21:43.:21:52.
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seen a lot of court bids of the last few days -- corbids. They are

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incredibly intelligent. How does that manifest itself? They are

:22:09.:22:14.

always studying and looking for opportunities. He is scanning round

:22:14.:22:17.

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

:22:17.:22:21.

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

:22:21.:22:30.

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

:22:30.:22:37.

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

:22:38.:22:42.

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

:22:42.:22:48.

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

:22:48.:22:57.

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

:22:57.:23:02.

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

:23:02.:23:10.

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

:23:10.:23:16.

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

:23:16.:23:23.

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

:23:23.:23:33.
:23:33.:23:36.

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

:23:36.:23:46.
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help him. Yes! Brilliant! Did you have to train him to do that or is

:23:53.:23:58.

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

:23:58.:24:02.

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

:24:02.:24:05.

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

:24:05.:24:10.

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

:24:10.:24:15.

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

:24:15.:24:19.

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

:24:19.:24:23.

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

:24:23.:24:29.

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

:24:29.:24:35.

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

:24:35.:24:39.

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

:24:39.:24:42.

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

:24:42.:24:46.

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

:24:46.:24:54.

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

:24:54.:25:04.
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Thank you very much indeed for bringing an end. Absolutely

:25:12.:25:22.
:25:22.:25:25.

delightful. A fantastic bar. Thank you.

:25:25.:25:32.

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

:25:32.:25:39.

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

:25:39.:25:45.

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

:25:45.:25:52.

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

:25:52.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:26:00.

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

:26:00.:26:04.

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

:26:04.:26:14.
:26:14.:26:16.

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

:26:16.:26:23.

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

:26:23.:26:33.
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beautiful montage? I do not know how many photos we have had on the

:26:36.:26:46.
:26:46.:27:19.

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

:27:19.:27:24.

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

:27:24.:27:30.

Radio Times that there were not enough children out in the

:27:30.:27:34.

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

:27:34.:27:38.

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

:27:38.:27:48.

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

:27:48.:27:56.

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

:27:56.:28:04.

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

:28:04.:28:14.
:28:14.:28:15.

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

:28:15.:28:23.

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

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

:28:29.:28:35.

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.