Episode 1 Springwatch

Episode 1

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It's 8pm. It's bank holiday Monday. We're live and we're about to bring


you real wildlife in real time. Welcome to Springwatch. I'm not


Hello, good evening or should that be (in Welsh) I need to thank Jill


for their Welsh lessons and apologies if my accent was a bit


dodgy. I'm not going to apologise in any way for where we are. Look


at this, this is our new base. This is where we're going to be for the


next three weeks, bringing you live pictures and it is absolutely


gorgeous. We're on the coast of west Wales on the banks of the Dyfi


River where it meets cardigan Bay. This is Springwatch's new home of


the RSPB reserve at Ynys-hir. There are ancient oak woodland, meadows,


wetlands, and salt marsh. It's all just begging to be explored. It is


undenyably beautiful. It has a spectacular range of habitat. All


these habitats mean this place has a fantastic biodiversity. What is


that? It's a design for life. It's the number of different living


things, living in any given place and time. There is so much here for


us to see. Our job, of course, is to show it all to you. How will we


do it? We have a pretty good team. Of course, we've got the whole


place bugged. Plenty of cameras in nest boxes, revealing all the


action inside. Our wildlife cameramen are out and about, seing


what they can find, fabulous wood peckers here. Some of the cameras


have been placed for mods, revealing the insights of birds


like herons. Fingers crossed we might even see rare mammals.


Whatever, we have a great range of stars for you, some very attractive


little birds and of course, larger species too. And some, like this


buzzard, are certainly going to be feeding some others to their young,


potential bad guys. What we can promise you on Springwatch is real


drama, a real soap op ra. For me Springwatch is all about you


wha. Has your spring been like? We'd like to hear from you, your


questions, photos and videos. Get in contact with us on the web. You


can tweet us now. We're ot Twitter now! So modern. Listen to them, the


old folks. Look at that. Glorious. We have a new patio. Barbeque.


Quick. I know, and only a few days ago this was a shed for tractors,


now transformed into Springwatch's new home. New sofa. We have all our


monitors up and running. Don't get too close. We have got something on


those cameras. Lots of wood. Not short of wood. Kate, Kate. Oh, yes.


Very important piece of kit here. This giant screen is our link to


our wildlife man of the week. He is Charlie Hamilton-James.


Thanks guys G to be back on Springwatch. I'm loving your new


location down in Wales. But I'm not jealous. Because look at this: This


is the Knapdale Forest. This is classic Scottish landscape, right


in the heart of argyle. All the classic Scottish animals are here.


Including the midges. I've come to see one very special one. I've come


here specifically to see it. It is the beaver. It's the subject of the


first reintroduction of a mammal to Britain ever. Over the next week,


we're going bring you more detailed footage of these creatures than


anyone has ever got before. Join me later and I shall reveal all.


Thank you Charlie. Now some people have said to me, spring has come so


early this year that by the time you start Springwatch you may not


have any birds to show anyone. Do we look like fools? Don't answer


that. But we wouldn't let you down. Not only have we got some birds to


show you, we are going to start our first show with a first for


Springwatch. Let's go live to nest one and there it is. That's the


exterior. Who would be nesting in exterior. Who would be nesting in


this box? It looks like an average box. But the birds in it, I've got


to tell you, are absolute stunners. Let's look inside. There are


youngsters in there, six little youngsters, we'll tease you for a


moment. They look like robins. do, but a clue, when you saw that


youngster at the back there, spreading its tail feathers, you're


getting a little bit of colour. Any guesses? Six chicks in that nest,


they are red starts. They are stunning birds. SubSaharan migrants.


They arrive in the summer. The best place for them is Wales. Most of


the UK population north of the line from the Severn to the Humber.


We're in the heartland here. Let's look at the male. This thing scores


well I don't know, 6.5 at least. It's a very beautiful bird. You can


see the female a little bit duller, though I'm told she has a lovely


personality. Both birds are being very atentive parents. They're


feeding at about 54 times an hour at the moment. Both adults involved


in that. Yeah, they R the male there taking out a faecal sack.


We've seen it with the species on Springwatch before. The blue tits


and things like that, they have to keep the nest nice and clean on the


inside. All doing very well. Typically for Springwatch, we have


our story developers who monitor those little cameras, which you can


do too, viate web. Our story developers caught something unusual


on camera. Have a look at this. So bear in mind that, there we are,


the camera looks like it's not working terribly well. It had just


been set up. That's why it's juddery. It's producing a pellet.


As it comes out, look carefully, because the end of it appears to


have what we thought was a bird's beak in it. If you saw, can we see


it again? Look at it carefully there, you can see the curved piece.


We were thinking, could it be a treecreeper, what on earth could it


be? Surely no adult bird is going to be feeding something like a red


start some sort of... We were in there for ages looking. We noted


what should have been the top mandible was shorter than the


bottom one. That ruled out a beak. I thought, this has to be


vegetation, that the youngster has swallowed by accident and is


regurgitating. It proved my theory was correct actually. Look at this.


This is what we saw today. The male is coming in. Look carefully, you


can see a green caterpillar, look what's left behind. It's shaking it


out. Watch carefully second time round. There's the green


caterpillar in the mouth and as it leaves, look there's a twig left in


the mouth of the youngster. seems what the male has done is


plucked a caterpillar out of the vegetation to feed the chicks, but


unwittingly brought a bit of vegetation, whatever that


caterpillar was sitting on with, it and fed it to the chick at the same


time. In that case the chick managed to get rid of it. In the


case of the other chick, producing a pel the was a natural thing to do.


They are eating a lot of insects with tougher outer bodies. They


have to produce pellets. We have been watching those all day. I have


come up with a graph here... Chris, we've been on air five minutes. We


can't do grafts. Really, no! Let's do another really beautiful bird.


Look, no! Look at this. It is pied flycatcher. What would you rather


have, graph or pied flycatcher? It's a stunner. We haven't seen one


of these since 2006. If you were watching back then, you'll remember


we uncovered this fantastic story of a male, that black and white


bird, but it was a cheater. It seemed to have any number of nests.


We actually named it Casanova in honour of it's frankly


dishonourable behaviour. They are polyterritorial. It's not unusual


for males to actually be servicing more than one female, although


there are down sides for that male as you'll find out. Of course, it's


not just these birds, our wildlife camera crew have been away from the


nest cams looking for what they can find. Earlier they found this bird.


Let's cut live to the nest tree. There it is! Perfect. This is live


pictures of a young great spotted woodpecker. The adults have been


trying to tease their brood out all day long. We were really worried


because this is, again, a first for us. We've never had a greater


spotted woodpecker nest on our mini cams before. Earlier today, well,


this started to happen. We were watching the nest, eagle eyed, or


woodpecker-eyed. The adult comes in. Now tip for you, this is the female.


She has no red on the back of her neck. You can see that the, all the


chicks... One went out there. That was 10.30am. All of them have the


red cap. Yes and the male has the red on the back of its head. It's


teasing that chick. Then we see, it's moving back down the tree. So


a lot of noise. To encourage this chick to come out. It's feeding it


there. There it goes. That came out at 11.12am. We thought oh, no, a


first for Springwatch and they're not even going to hang around for


the first show. But only two have fledged. We don't know how many are


in there. We know that there's at least one more because we just saw


it live. Is it still there, shall we have a look. There it is. Still


peeping. What my concern is, Chris, that we've got two out of the nest,


we've got maybe only one left in the nest. They have up to six young.


That would be quite common. There could be another three in there for


all we know. Doesn't that mean that the parents responsibilities will


be split. Are they going to be looking after the fledglings or the


chicks in the nest? Both. Given it's just day one, the fledglings


won't have moved too far from that nest. They will attend them. Their


job is to coax them out. Sometimes they're really reluctant to leave.


Sometimes they spend hours, teasing them, go up to the hole, offer the


food and then the youngster hangs out and it goes back in again. It


can be really entertaining. Something to look out for on the


web kams. Can you do that by going to bbc.co.uk/Springwatch. We've had


a complaint. Not already. We've only been on air for four minutes.


It was on the blog. Jennie is complaining, she says our birds,


why are they so dull. All British birds are basically brown. Jennie!


Stick with us girl. You'll see there's nothing dull about British


birds. Have you actually got a colour telly. No disrespect. What


about this spring then. We've had a number of stats actually which I


put together here if I can find them. I can tell you about this A


it's been 3.7% warmer than normal. It's been the warmest April since


1910. In central England it's been the warmest April for 350 years.


The highest temperature, stay awake, the highest temperature 27.8.


That's pretty amazing that. Was in Surrey. In terms of sunshine, 150%


more sunshine than the last sunnyest April. No, we know where


we are with spring. Rainfall, most places only 10% of the rainfall.


There we are. It has been an extraordinary spring. What has been


lovely is that our cameramen have been here since before spring


started. We can show you how spring developed here at this beautiful


RSPB reserve. This is what it looked like if February, exactly


the same place, this month. Look at this, the woodland here.


It's transformed by the onset of spring. It really is a magical time


of year. It's a lfl time of year. - - lovely time of year.


We'd like to hear about your spring. If you've been taking photographs


please send them in. And we pinched an idea from our


unsprung programme, we're going to give a quiz. This magnificent


feather, almost completed surrounded by midges, what is this


feather? Get on the message board or get on tweet and tell us what it


is, please. I will get some clues. This is a large flight feather,


from a large bird. What you have to imagine is a little group of these


together, acting as fingers out on the edge of the wing. Now, every


week, we're going to be joined by a guest naturalist of great repute.


They're going to be not here in Wales with us, but other locations


across the country. This week we are going up here to Scotland to


argyleshire. I love the detail of this. Look at this, we're going


precisely to there. There we're going to be joined by the


incomparable Charlie Hamilton-James. Charlie, we've got a lot of midges


down here, mate, I'm sure you've probably got more than us.


Got a lot more. Thanks guys. I'm exceptionally privileged to be part


of the Springwatch adventure team. Because we've been given


unrestricted ak stos one of the most controversial and


consevenation projects happening in Britain today. The Scottish beaver


trial. It's a project that's been set up to see whether we should be


releasing beavers back into the wild in Britain. They've been


extinct here for 400 years. But two years ago, a few groups of them


were released onto remote lochs here. As you can see, they've


already been getting to work. There aren't many animals in the


world that can do this to a tree. So, our job on Springwatch this


year, is to reacquaint you with an animal that used to be familiar to


us all. But first, here's a taster of what these Springwatch adventure


This is the hottest, dryest spring on record in Britain, but not here.


We've lost power in the house. We have no edit suite and I'm supposed


to be filming beavers. Thankfully the storms didn't last long and


filming beavers is exactly what we've been doing, as well as


hearing the local debate that surrounds them. It brings a lot of


people to the area. I know it's a trial and there are mixed feelings,


but people are coming to see the beavers. It's another dimension,


something that people can see and enjoy. This farm has never had


beavers and as far as I'm concerned, it never will. To bring you the


story of British beavers we've brought the Springwatch adventure


team and all the kit to the heart of argyle to cover the story from


It's not just filming beavers, we want to investigate the response of


animals and people to these new creatures living in this project


area. Where do we start? Us modern Britons don't know the beaver.


We've got to get to know the beast. So, I went out with the Scottish


beaver trial to see if I could see a beaver for the first time and


It's not until the light begins to fade that beavers become active.


They're largely nocturnal, so just before night fall is the best time


to spot one. It's not long before I I can't quite believe I'm looking


at a new species of animal to Britain. It's right there. It's


just incredible. I've spent my whole life in Britain filming


animals and suddenly there's this enormous new one. Yeah, they're


large mammals. A fully grown adult could be up to a metre long, a good


20-30 kilos. What are they doing here? We've imported animals from


Norway as part of this trial reintroduction. It's not a full-


scale reintroduction. We're trialling it in the Scottish


environment. We have license to release up to four families of


beavers. It's a five-year scientific trial. We're going to


see how they get on in the Scottish environment and looking at how they


interact with the woodlands and other creatures and the socio-


economics effects on this ira. They're not fenced, these are


totally wild animals? Yeah, they're wild. We have a responsibility, we


monitor their health and how they're get ago long. So you know


each animal individually, who they are. You know everything about them.


We know everything about them. They're well monitored animals.


They have ear tags on. They're microchipped. So basically, they're


beavers on parole. Well, yes! Hopefully with a good outcome.


Well that was quite a moment for me. But for some avid followers of


British wildlife television, you're thinking, I've seen it before. And


we have. This story's been covered before. We've seen beavers floating


around. I know Chris has seen them here before. Hold on, what happened


next has never been seen before. In fact, most of what we've filmed


here this week has never been filmed before. So, come back later


and we'll give you some more. You see, Charlie, you think that


everyone wants to see beavers, but this is another Springwatch first,


chickens. Excellent. I've come down to the edge of one of the wetland


areas at this RSPB reserve. I'm with Lynsey Mccree, you're one of


our cameramen. Do some camera work. What have you been filming out here.


Is there anything in particular going on? It's been teeming with


life this week. Has it? Down at the moment, there's a lot of house


Martins and sand Martins. They're making the most, we are being


besieged by midges. We could do with them over here eating. They're


obviously feeding over the lake. We have horses in the background there.


Oh, duck scoot ing across the surface. A young mallard actually.


Just bit horse. You've been with Springwatch for a number of years,


how are you finding our new home? It's stunning, heaving with life.


Fully the -- actually the first morning we are here I watched three


otters, a mum and two cubs, but I didn't have any kit with me.


schoolboy error. We haven't just got our manned cameras like Lynsey


with his camera here. Would you mind just going over, this is one


of our other remote cameras. We've called it rather imaginetively,


marsh cam. Can we see anything on that at the moment? It's a


that at the moment? It's a beautiful view. We have swans there.


That's another camera that we will be keeping an eye on. We've got a


camera set up on another part of the reserve having a lock at this


rather lovely bird. Let's go to it live. There it is. You can see, can


you see it? Can we go in a bit closer to just to see beautiful


bright orange, almost sword-like bill. Turn round. There you are.


That's nice. Little bit more maybe. It is of course an oystercatcher.


You can see the handsome black and white plumage. Just to give you an


idea of where that is actually nesting, let's cut to another view


of the nest. You can see the camera up there and it's pulling out to


reveal that the oystercatcher has actually nested on top of a wall.


It's eight feet above the ground. Now we tend to think of them as


ground-nesting birds. What they will do is find any sort of nest


site where the eggs are really beautifully camouflaged. They've


even been known to nest on the top of gravely roofs in towns. Now,


let's introduce you to the adult birds a bit better. Here's some


footage that we took earlier. You can see here's one of the adult


birds coming in. We get a really nice view of her two eggs. That's a


typical clutch for an oystercatcher. You can see how beautifully


camouflaged they are amongst the stones of the wall. Now that could


be she or he. Have a look at the other adult coming in. This bird is


giving a little bit of cause for concern. He or she is limping


rather. Now that might be the male at the back. He has a slightly


stubbier bill which is the only way you can tell the male from the


female. Both birds with incubate the eggs. The eggs should be fine.


But, that limping bird could get predated because it's not in great


shape F that happens we will lose the eggs. So already programme one,


we're on the edge of our seats keeping an eye on those oyster


catchers. But we have had all sorts of other lovely life. This area in


front of me has been teeming with life. Have a look at some of the


things that we've seen earlier today. Some Canada geese there with


their youngsters. Just youngsters everywhere, cygnets, swans and


their cygnets. Lovely shot of mall ardz with these huge families. They


have such huge broods. Now something's panicked these ducks.


We looked above usually something in the sky and what is it? A


buzzard. Now, Chris, were those ducklings right to panic? I think


they certainly were, Kate. I think they certainly were. Do you reckon?


Yeah, of course. Buzzards, are they magnificent hunters like eagles and


sparrowhawks. Wherever I see them they're eating worms. They will eat


worms. They're often seen in fields. Groups of up to 40 will go aworming.


Sometimes you'll see them dancing up and down on the soil. This is to


bring the worms to the surface. They will eat them. They are an


active predator. They have very broad tastes. They're Britain's


commonest rap tore now and Wales is a strong hold. We have a nest to


cut to now. Here it is, up in an oak tree. There's the adult bird


there as well. Mum or dad do you think? Difficult to say. He or she


has got one chick in the nest at the moment, about two-and-a-half


weeks old. So although it looks downy there, when it stands up you


can see there's quite a bit of feathering on the back. Is that


normal? How many chicks would you expect them to have? That's


interesting, they will lay clutches up to four eggs. They're one of


these birds designed to lay extra eggs, hatch extra young so that if


food runs short they've got a survival strategy where they will


weed them down. This nest did have two eggs but only one has hatched.


We have been following them really closely over the last few days to


see what they've been up to. Look at this, this is going to


illustrate the range of prey that these animals can take. Here we


have a mole. I thought they were distasteful to nearly everything.


Not normally eaten. Not trouble for rap tores and owls. That's a vole


Chris. That's a shrew I think. going down in one. You've got to


admire that. I've never tried it. It's quite a faet.


-- feat. Lots of mammals but should the ducklings be frightened. They


have a broad diet. They will go for frogs, worms and birds are on the


aJen da. We saw this earlier. This is a small bird and you can see if


you look at the head which... that's a bit gruesome. That's a


young moor hen. It can't get it down, like me trying to swalle a


golf ball. You haven't tried that have you? Not recently. Here's the


answer to the inquiry. That is a mallard duckling. I'm afraid it is.


Would it have actively hunted that? There's plenty of them. They're all


together in one place. They're not going to move far to. A buzzard


that duckling is a bird burger. Why so sad, it's part of life Martin.


Of course. Let's move on shall we. I must learn to be not so pragmatic.


You're hard, man. This feather, could it have been something that


we have just been seeing. Becky, have people been... Yes they V


have people been... Yes they V thank you very much. Jill Eccles on


Twitter, Lynsey Cook thought it was a buzzard. It's not. Keep them


coming in. It's something else. By the way, we're trending on Twitter.


What does that mean? It's important. Springwatch is not just about the


wildlife, it's about the people who enjoy the wildlife. All the viewers


at home, but also some great naturalists. We have been


privileged Chris and I to meet fantastic naturalists, British


naturalists. We've been out in the field over the last few weeks and


we met up with them. I met Sylvia Sheldon, a lady who's


been studying adders for 30 years. Richard everybodying natterjack


toad man, helping the hot hatches of the toad world to thrive on his


farm. Matt Hamilton is a student film maker who reveals the beauty


near his home in Hampshire. Charlie Elder manages to get his hands on a


fantastic finch. That's incredible. Ron Ho skins,


potentially the saviour of our honey bees. Astonishing. And Mickey


Smith, surfer, the human fish. Totally mind blowing experience


catching wave was dolphins. Can you tell she loves riding waves. She


can't fig it out, because we're obviously nowhere near as good as


she is. What a treat. We'll catch up with


those characters over the next couple of weeks to. Kick us off


those mark Everard, a lifelong angler. He has written a little


book about little fishes. He's going back to his first fishy


I think the first memories of nature are just deeply stay with us


forever. I first remember being around rivers from the age of about


one and I've never been far from them. Certainly some of my best


memories are of fish when I was really, really little. I suppose


it's natural that what you reach your teens or early 20s or whatever


and you get interested in cars and all the other things, you kind of


tend to think well, I'm just into big fish now. There's that macho


thing. You get a bit older and you think, actually the little guys are


just wonderful. It's these little guys that keep


the world ticking. They keep food webs linked up and they tell us


that rivers are healthy. Minnows are the barometer of the river.


Where minnows thrive water quality is good. Kingfishers eat them,


other fish eat them. They eat shrimps, insects and they keep the


engine of the ecosystem going F you run out of minnows, you probably


run out of minnows, you probably run out of river health as well.


They're one of the most curious fish you'll ever meet. If I was


that small and everything wanted to eat me, I don't think I'd be as


curious. They are irrepressible. Normally they're silvery with a


black line down them. These are females here. The males turn into


some of the most vivid staids. -- shade. This is what happens in the


spring, they're in spawning livery. This beautiful black chin strap,


gold on the sides, emerald and other colours in between. Whereas


the females, retain the winter colour and every now and again


those shows get together and spawn on the stones. Then they'll


separate again. They'll carry on all summer, through to July. Anyone


can walk along the river and spot minnows. If there are minnows there


They're generally displaying themselves in the edge If you've


got a net, got a mino trap, you can catch them as well.


One of the amazing things about the bull head, these guys, is that they


can live the whole of their lives under the same stone. To me there's


something slightly frogy about them with their big wide mouth and their


little eyes at the top of their head. Bullheads are difficult to


see normally. They don't venture out much fromer their stones, even


by night. The best way is to go into a streamy bit of river and


turn over stones and that's when put it back exactly where you found


it and put the stone that you turned over exactly where it was,


because that's its home. It will be totally disorient ed without it.


The stickle back was the first fish I ever caught with cotton and worms


tied to it. There's something about the face of


a stickle back that always reminds me of the knight in a chess set.


There's a pointy, slightly horsey face and the big eyes. They swim


around with a stiff body and fast moving fins in a stop, start way.


That's because they're armoured. Across their body are great big


scales which are effectively armour. It makes them tough, robust fish.


But they're also new men because it's the males that brood the eggs.


They form nests out of weed, typically out of vegetation and


twigs and whatever, glued together with secretions from the kidneys.


Into them they lure a female with a characteristic zig zag dance. Once


the females have laid the eggs, they'll drive them off and then,


he's got his nest, and the eggs, he fans fresh water through the nest


to brood the young until they're able to fend for themselves.


They're wonderful parents, wonderful fathers, should I say.


They've all got such different characters. The stickle backs live


in the still water on the edge. They're territorial, the males are.


Even the minos, here's some females and males, they have different


personalities. They're so important in the ecosystems. They're so


important also because we lose something of ourselves if we lose


our fascination with the tidlers What a lovely film. It's such a


crime just to dismiss wildlife because it's little or it's


overfamiliar. Those minnows are every bit as exotic and exciting as


something you might find in a coral reef. Someone that I don't need to


persuade of British river life is Charlie Hamilton-James who loves


the river, don't you? I do-a river. And I love a minnow. It's nice to


see a man championing the mighty minnow. At this time of year, when


they're in those colours, the vivid reds and that streak of turquoise


down them, they really are stunning. I'm going to stop wittering on. I'm


in nap Dale working with a Scottish beaver trial to reacquaint you with


an animal which was once skinningished. This is a beaver


pelt. It's surprisingly big. The reason this is so valuable to


people, and the reason they were hunted is because it's very warm.


You see these thick guard hairs. Underneath this soft, warm fur, now


that is very valuable to people. Because 400 years ago people wanted


to be warm. Now the funny thing about beavers is that people


thought they were very clever because they built dams and chopped


down trees and managed their landscape. So they had thought that


if they made hats out of them and wore this intelligent animal on


their head, it would make them very intelligent. There's a certain


irony in that. Beaver hunting is back in Britain now. The other


night we went out with the Scottish beaver trial to see if we could


into the night hunting beaver and I can't go with them because there's


no room in the boat. It's so frustrating. There's nothing I can


do about it. I'm stuck here. I will wait and hope that they actually


get one. The technique they're using to find


the beavers is a simple one. Using powerful torchs they scan the loch


hoping to pick up one of the reflective tags attached to the


beaver's ears. When One Shows up, because on that boat they've got a


It's massive! Do you want to scan it? Hold the button down.


We know that's Frank. Each beaver that's been released here has been


chipped, just like your pet dogs and cats. So that when the team


catch and scan them, they know which animals they're getting


information about. Why are we doing all this? We aim to trap each


individual at least once a year. We'll check its health and body


condition. We also take some samples for veterinary testing, if


we need to and replace any missing tags. He has an ear tag. Yeah, I


see his tag there. Would you like to take the tail length.


privileged to measure Frank's tail. You'd think he was a plait pus. --


platypus. 295 mm. What is this telling us so far? In car an teen


we lost a wee bit of body condition. Since the release they're all


putting on weight. He's in good condition. Good condition.


Watch all this going on and you realise this isn't a case of just


chucking some beavers out and hoping they do well. These guys are


really covering every single aspect of this. How he's coping with this


environment, is he in good health? They need to know everything if


this trial's going to work. The research is over within a matter of


minutes. Then Frank is free to go about his beavery business.


there. But it has to be serious research if we're going to find out


how and if beavers should be how and if beavers should be


reintroduced to Britain. Another problem for the scientists


here is observing beavers. They're very secretive. They're nocturnal


and difficult to see. So the Springwatch crew rolled into town


and we brought with us all sorts of gadgets and gizmos, so that


hopefully we'll be able to reveal the hidden lives of these secret


animals and get them doing all the things that you think beavers do,


chopping down trees and make doms and lodges Albuery that stuff. We


have astonishing footage. Come back later and have a look at some of it.


Thank you Charlie. We'll be doing that. Beavers are one thing, but


there is another British mammal which is far more widespread. OK,


it's a bit shy and it's nocturnal. It's also, at the moment, at the


centre of a long-running controversy. It has to be one of


the perennial stars of Springwatch. It is of course, the one and obl,


let's cut to badger cam. Looking a bit dark. It is becoming more and


more dusky outside. But we haven't just invested in one badger cam oh,


no. We have a second one. And here it is. You can see the wider view


of the set there. But is that the only one? No, I think we have a


third badger cam. We do. Optimism. We are not putting all our eggs in


We are not putting all our eggs in one badger cam basket. Can we


direct the camera? Can we pan to the right and zoom in on the soil


that's obviously at the mouth of that hole. What you'll see is that


there's a lot of leaf litter there, a lot of detritus. If there th was


a very active set with cubs, it would be scraped away. Are you


saying that basically it's a complete waste of time, there are


no badgers in that set? I wouldn't bet on a badger. I'm in the a


gambling man. Nothing's happening, have a look at this... Oh, doubters


amongst you. Look, look. There's a chaff finch. No wait, there's more.


Squirrels. OK. Nice. And after dark, gone to infrared, mouse. Wait for


it. Look at that. That's difficult to


see, it must be a tawny owl. would say it is a tawny oil. Hold


on, a glimpse. What do you think? It's quite difficult that one. I'm


going to say tawny owl. OK I'll give you a point for tawny owl.


may not be a badger, it's not say we won't see badgers. Can you keep


an eye on those cameras. They will go, when it gets darker, they will


go to black and white. They will go to infrared. Have a look on


bbc.co.uk/Springwatch. Can you keep an eye on those badger cams. You


can see if the owl reappears and can see if the owl reappears and


keep an eye on our other nests as well. For those of you who love


owls and think, hmm, Springwatch hasn't had any owls live on air for


some time, watch tomorrow. That's all I'll say. If you want my


advice and have you anything that you can, cross it. If you want to


see those badgers you might need to. Of course, there's more than


badgers here. There are a wealth of other mammals. These are the sorts


of things that our camera mn are looking for. Fox cubs, in the a


looking for. Fox cubs, in the a finer sight. Fantastic. Stoats,


look at this. Always entertaining. Top value. Ferocious Karin vorz of


course. There's lots of rabbits here. And water voles. Wouldn't


that be lovely. You mentioned with Lynsey that otters are about.


did mention that. Mark Yates said there are otters about. That brings


us to... The challenge. challenge. We all get on very well.


But there is a competitive streak. We thought we'd get one of these


remote cameras that you can buy, and each one would set it up and


try to get a photograph of one of the mammals that lives on the site.


in fact. To win the war, I have to find an otter and to do that I've


come to an area of the reserve known as the wet modo, which sounds


like quite a good place, if you're an otter.


Maybe a weasel would be better? Long, slim body, yes. Summer coat,


edge of ears white. I don't like to try too hard. After all, why would


I? It's in the bag. Oh, nice! Mark Yates, otter


cameraman extraordinaire said that if I came down here to the end of


this bit of water, I would see something that looks like an otter


footprint. Four very distinct toes. OK, this is a long shot Stoats and


weezels, will we get a photo of them. Imagine the prize if I do.


See there, that could be the same tree! It's perfect.


I've got this in the bag. Chris and Martin, you don't stand a


chance. My philosophy is when it comes to


wildlife photography, it doesn't matter how hard you try, it's


results that count. I suppose I'd OK. You are so smart! We set up


those cameras just a couple of days ago. We've got our first results in.


Do you want to see mine first. You will remember that I set up my


camera just at the edge of that camera just at the edge of that


water. I caught a pair of mallards, walking through. It's a start.


They're watery. This one, beautiful picture I think you'll find, top


bird. Lovely. And just wait for it... The otter? I'm waiting for


the otter? Nearly... Look. A squirrel's tail. What's wrong with


that. That's brilliant. Look how sharp that is. It's well framed.


You'd love that sort of photograph. That is some kind of nothingness.


didn't get my animal initially. I got something quite scary.


LAUGHTER I was testing it. Is that it?


how did you get on? It's a start. We're going to let them go on. I've


got something else to show you. Let's lock at yours. Are you ready?


Let's see. Look at that! Beautiful. Absolutely


beautiful. I despair. What about that then? Couple of squirrels.


put it under a bird feeder. That's so cheating. What about this


squirrel I'm teaching to pole dance. It's got a great future. I did get


a bit of luck. It happened right at the end. I did just manage to...


That's a lie. You cut that out... That happens all the time. This


will run and run. Both of you are horrible cheats. Shall we do this?


I think we should. Becky, the feather, please may we have a look


and see. Thank you very much. A lot of people responding? Yes.


Brilliant. Most people got it brong. They thought it was an osprey or a


heron, Debbie thought it was an osprey, kite springer on the blog


thought it was a heron. Correct answers, Trystan, and Ron Lag were


right, a receipt kite feather. done to you. That brings us to the


next brand new first for Springwatch. Have a look at this


lovely lady. This is, of course, a red kite, an


iconic bird for Wales. She's nesting just a little way away from


the reserve. And thanks to the Welsh kite trust, who've been just


so helpful, we can get this amazing access and beautiful pictures.


She's got just one chick. The red is just beginning to come through


on the down. It's about two-and-a- half weeks old. Absolutely glorious.


I think you can just... A classic kite's nest. It really is. A big


tangle of material in the oak tree there. Lovely view that we've got


down onto it. How do you tell the difference between male and female


red kites? The male is generally a bit paler, age is difficult,


because males... We have both of them on this next bit of film. See


if you can see. The chick is scruffy. No, it's not.


There we are. This is the female. would suggest. So it's likely that


the male is collecting the food, passing it to the female close to


the nest and then she's bringing it in and breaking it up for the


youngster. It's still a time when the youngster might be picking at


the food but it can't successfully eat it for itself. She's being very


atentive tearing up what a rabbit there. Oh, here's the male.


Bringing in a stick by the looks of things. Is that the male being


absolutely rubbish, why is he bringing in a stick to the nest?


It's not a terribly well made nest. They tend to disintegrate through


the breeding process. I suppose running repairs. Bit of DIY.


like dad doing something on the roof, just hope he doesn't fall off


like mine used to. Fantastic to see. And of course, they are the result


of a fantastic reintroduction project. The kites hung on here but


they've supplemented their numbers through reintroductions. When it


comes to reintroductions our top ibic -- topic of the day is beavers.


Charlie, the midges down here, I don't want to go on about, that


I've been savaged. I've lost pints. I think it's a lot worse here,


Chris! Welcome back to Knadale. We're here trying to film the first


reintroduction of beavers to Britain. We've seen them floating


around in the daytime, caught one in the net. Behind me, this is


Frank and his family's handiwork. The beaver researchers here they


study and tag every single one of these trees that's felled as part


of their resarch here. But they've never actually seen a tree felled.


So, we set ourselves a mission, can we film a beaver felling a tree?


You'd think it would be easy, but it's not. Because take a look


around me. There are thousands of trees here. So which do you choose?


Which do you point your lens at? I shirt, I found a tree no beaver


would be able to resist. Just like we have our favourite foods,


beavers have their favourites. What I've got here is a great big aspen


sprig, which they just love. We're going to stick it in here. I'm


going to sit over there all night and see if we can get the shot of


Hopefully, when they get out of bed, they'll be able to smell this aspen,


which we can't smell at all. It doesn't smell of anything to me. It


smells of leaves. They apparently can distinguish this from all the


other trees in the area. Because there isn't any Aspen in this


immediate area, hopefully they'll come straight for it. It could be a


long wait, but I think it's worth a So, did I get the beaver? Well, I


waited. I got cold. I got bored. I got tired and I got nothing. But


being Springwatch, we weren't daunted. We sent specialist


wildlife cameraman into the hide and he sat there until 1am and just


this guy is called Christian. You can see he's amongst our kit having


a good old sniff around. Our scent, the camera crew's scent is probably


still there. He's being a bit cautious. Then look, he locks onto


our tree trunk that we stuck in. There it is, stuck into the mud


there. The first thing he does look, have


a good sniff. He's trying to work out what he can about that trunk.


He's reading all the information off it like a barcode. He's


stretching as high as he can, probably getting a sniff of the


leaves. Everything is too high. He won't stretch high enough. He will


have to chop this tree down to get to the yummy leaves up there.


No, don't go! No, no. He's started sniffing another branch. Come back.


Come on, come back. Yes, come on.


That's lovely. It's your favourite. Look at that. He's having another


sniff, a little taste. No, that's not a taste, that's a bite. He's


He's getting stuck in now. We've sped this up so you can see


it. He's going for it. He's going to strip that bark around the tree


and then go for the wood inside. He's really going for it, look.


He's chopping in. He's using an angle of 135 degrees from the


bottom and 45 degrees from the top. That's the optimum angles for


cutting down a tree trunk. If you fancy trying to cut down a tree


with your teeth at home. He's showing you how. He's stopped and


listening. If that tree trunk falls on him, it could crush him and kill


him. He has to get out of the way. He reckons it's safe. He's back in


again. He's nearly through it. I wonder how far he will get. So,


will Christian fell the tree? Or will Christian get squashed? We've


run out of time today. So you'll have to come back tomorrow to find


out. Thank you Charlie. Of course, more


on -- of Charlie, no he's enough as he is, but more from Charlie


through the week. We've just had the most enormous thunder storm.


And the train. We love to have your photographs and videos too, like


this one sent in by Katie Frampton. She had a surprise guest at a hot


cross bun picnic. A black adder. that unusual? They're relatively


rare. Can you always tell adders they always have a zig zag running


down their back. Even if they're black. They're not very good at


riding bikes. They don't usually steal them. We want lots of photos


and lots of film from you. Of course our webcams are going to be


up and running all night or most of the night. You can keep an eye on


that. And you can make contact with us by going to bbc.co.uk


Springwatch. Now that was the first show. We have plenty for you for


the second. We certainly have. Adders are on the menu tomorrow as


I meet a lady who's been studying femme for 30 years. I promised owls


and we will bring you owls. We have barn owls right here on the RSPB


reserve. We'll bring you those live. We're going up into the tree tops


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