Episode 11 Springwatch


Episode 11

Chris Packham, Kate Humble and Martin Hughes-Games are live with the latest on the Springwatch animal dramas and reporting on other stories from around the country.


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Transcript


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On the show tonight, we've got some beautiful plants that pretend

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they're animals. We've got a buzzard being an umbrella. And a

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barn owl that's turned into a serial killer. Sounds surreal, but

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Hell will, and welcome to Springwatch. Now, in 1962, the

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legend who is Bob Dylan released A Hard Rain's going To Fall, and Bob,

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today you got it right because it has been absolutely pouring here in

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Wales. We have prevailed, though, to bring you the very best in

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British wildlife. Remember, it's real wildlife in realtime. What

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have we got coming up? I took a jaunt. I went down to the beach to

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see some glamorous babes. Very gorgeous they are, too, but not as

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gorgeous as these. Why have butterflies when you can have

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moths? Chris and I leave the rugged shores of the Isle of Man to sample

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the delights of Newcastle. Newcastle, a top place for some

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culture later on, and of course, our guest presenter this week is

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down in Essex. It's going very well, thank you very much, Chris. All

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this week we're finding out how landfill has all the makings of a

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21st century wildlife haven. Tonight we're on some of the

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restored wild land. And we're going to find out if the curse of the

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Springwatch badger has followed me to Essex. You don't want to miss

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that. See you in a bit. Thank you very much, Liz. What do you mean

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"the curse of the Springwatch badgers"? Right. Is traditional, we

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have a quiz for you tonight. It's a tough one. It's a sound quiz. Have

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a listen to these three sounds. This is the first one. (Whooo!)

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That's the croon - no, it's not. Here's the second sound. ( Wheee-

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eee) What do you think? A pop concert? And here's a tricky one.

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(Bump, bump, bump) What are those sounds, what's making them? What

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links them all together? We're going to hear them later. You can

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get your texts in now. Go to the web, go to Twitter and go to our

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Facebook site. I'll get it right in the end. He's very young, really.

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He just does his old foggie bit. Questions for Unsprung? Yes, if you

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have any questions we might be able to answer, please send those in as

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well. Should I clear off? Yes. have a little bit of trouble with

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the leopard. It's all going terribly well. It would be going

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great if he wasn't joking. If you were watching yesterday you might

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have seen I made a slightly brave prediction because we have been

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watching these birds called oystercatcher s. They have been

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hanging around a little bit, then last night, I saw this bit of

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behaviour. They seem to get this - this could be the male or female -

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getting a little bit kind of twitchy on that nest, just wouldn't

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settle, kept looking at the eggs, settling down again, then going, no,

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I'm just not right. I just wondered, could they possibly be hatching?

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Now, we have been watching these birds throughout the entire series

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of Springwatch, and I thought, how perfect would it be if they hatched

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on... But you're not a gambling woman, are you? I'm not a gambling

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woman, but I just thought it would be a lovely treat for you, our dear

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viewers, if they hatched on the penultimate show. So let's go to

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them live. And there are the eggs, very much intact. Unequivocal proof

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that on this occasion it proved wise not to be gambling woman.

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did. If I am not mistaken, I know it's not a badger but those are

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oystercatcher eggs. They are. But there is still one day left. It

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could still do that. Don't do that. Don't shake your head. I am

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counting. We have come down to this lovely lane to show you that barn.

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You may think there is nothing special about that barn, but

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believe me it is. The residents are very special - it is our barn owls.

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As you have seen if you have been watching the whole series, the barn

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owl parents have been doing an amazing job keeping their four

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chicks very well supplied with food indeed, but on Monday night, they

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 52 seconds

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Absolutely astonishing - 20 voles and three slew -- shrwe they

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brought in on a single night. great work for the cat on the

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banjo! LAUGHTER This is heartening because last year our barn owls had

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particularly poor breeding seasons on account of the fact there aren't

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that many voles out there. They are largely dependent on field voles,

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80% of their diet, and the population rises and falls in a

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cyclical fashion. Every ten years it switches between three and four

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years. If they're breeding at the peak, it super-produce these

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animals. If these young get out of the nest early enough, there is

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some chance these parents might even have another clutch with this

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super-abundance of prey. Really? Yeah. They also have been storing

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them. Take a look at this. This is what we were watching last night

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when we were watching our barn owls. One of these chicks has a small

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mammal, I should is a, and one of the others pinches it, but there is

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very little concern about this because within the box there, we

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have noticed there is a cache of small mammals. Again, this is

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typical of these sorts of raptors. We saw it with our kestrels. We did,

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a kestrel had a store of food on the edge of one of the branches on

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the tree where they were nesting. They store them in the barn. They

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may well have another spot where they're sticking them into, a

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crevice like the kestrel. We saw that cache raided by a jackdaw. So

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they're cunning about where they put them. Of course, at the moment

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we're seeing those chicks go through a fantastic growth phase.

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Shall we go to them? Let's go live. These are live pictures, and as you

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can see, they really are growing very fast, Chris, but not as fast

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as our buzzard chicks. They're still very downy. They haven't

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started to feather up. If we could zoom in a little bit more, we might

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be able to see there are some adult feathers just beginning to emerge.

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When we see their wings stretching, you can see their flight feathers

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there. Another thing you can notice is their facial disk - the stiff

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feathers that form the outer part of the ear - that that catchs the

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sound, which is essential to them because as adults, when they listen,

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that's how they find their prey. It's a long process. They'll be in

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the nest up to ten weeks, will be jumping out of it, then coming back

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for more. The buzzards are out there open in a tree where they're

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relatively vulnerable. These things are quite sca safely ensconced in

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the barn. If you're out in the open, it's a problem. If you were

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watching yesterday, we were watching aest in of wrens and as we

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were beginning to watch, there was an attack from a predator. Our

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cameraman went to see if they were doing OK. They had all survived

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their first night in the wild. We were worried the rain might take

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its toll. As you can see, they're in the woods, a great spot, Pete,

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well done for finding them. The adult is very much in evidence. But

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look at this - a little chick actually catching food for itself,

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so I think we can feel cautiously optimistic those wren chicks are

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doing OK. It was a small reward, but it was that instinct to peck at

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things that are moving that'll make it work for them. They'll still be

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dependent on the parents from somewhere between nine and 18 days.

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If you have been watching the series or our programmes this week,

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you'll know we have a guest natural joins us so we can enjoy another

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part of the country. This time it's Liz Bonnen. Where has she been? If

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we zoom into the south-east, we can find her in Essex on the Pitsea

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landfill site. Where exactly are you on that landfill site this

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evening? Very glad you asked me that, Chris, because I happen to

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have my trusty site map with me. Every picnic should have one as

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well as a lot of rain - nice. Remember on Monday we were here at

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the top - the active part of the site. Then we moved down here to

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where the gas generation plant is. Today, though, we've gone all the

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way up here to a very interesting part of the site. This is restored

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land. This is where nature has reclaimed some of the landfill.

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Before we get into that, we need to rewind just a little bit because

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our wildlife cameramen have only gone back to the active part of the

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site to get us some footage you absolutely must see. Now, take a

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look at this. This is a very common sight at the top of the landfill -

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a beautiful vixen getting some food, but just behind her and a little

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bit to the left - any minute now - is another fox. It's a vixen as

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well. Now, she spots the camera, and then it looks like she wants a

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bit of that action, so check this out. Her ears are pinned back. This

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is a sure sign a scrap may be about to happen. When you get into a

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fight, you want your ears out of the way. You don't want them torn

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off, looks around again before she goes in for a bit of a tiff. This

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isn't a full-on fight. They're not using teeth. They're just using

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paws, but they're really going for it now, and watch what happens. The

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second vixen turns the first around and gains the upper ground here.

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She's in slightly better body condition. She's clearly the

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dominant female. It's not over quite yet because look at what

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happens right here. There is a bit of a flagging tail action by the

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first vixen. This, again, is a sign these guys know each other. It's

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quite possible this is a mother and daughter pair. But there is a last

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little scrap here just to assert that vixen number two is indeed the

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And it's just that high density of foxes here at Pitsea that's

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allowing us to get an insight into all of their social interactions

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and behaviours, beautiful stuff there. Walking through here, it's

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kind of hard to believe this was once active landfill, but there are

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hundreds of acres like this around Pitsea, and it's really rich in

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biodiversity, so much so that the site was awarded the Wildlife Trust

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Biodiversity Benchmark, but how do we go about finding the wildlife in

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so much land? One man has been studying this land for many years.

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We met him yesterday with the foxes. His name is Phil Shah. He's a

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wildlife oecology. We met him. His wildlife feeding stations are

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allowing us an amazing insight into Well, this set-up here is mainly

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for woodpeckers, so I'm trying to photograph the green woodpeckers

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here, but the others as well. green woodpeckers are wood feeders,

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but you're not interested in getting them on the ground, are

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you? No, I want to get them against a nice sky background on an active

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perch. How do you go about training the bird to feed up here instead of

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where he's used to? It's a long, boring tale, but it involved making

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piles of sand to mimic ant hills, then finding vertical logs with

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holes in like this. How long did it take them to learn to feed up here?

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Altogether, I have been trying to get green woodpeckers to perch here

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for five years. Five years! Phil puts some meal worms into a neatly

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drilled hole in the trunk. With a tasty breakfast on offer, we

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retreat to the hide and wait. The green woodpeckers don't immediately

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make an appearance, but there is plenty of activity to keep us

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occupied. The bird is flying past - I'm like... That was a jay.

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Beautiful, two jays. What are birds like these and the woodpeckers

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doing on a landfill site? It's because of the trees we have here

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now. These trees had been planted 20, 25 years ago and now are

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getting quite big, so obviously the habitat is being created, and the

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wildlife has moved in to exploit it. Wonderful. Well, you wouldn't think

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it was landfill. No. You really Here it is. It has just come in.

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Where, where? Look at that! That is beautiful. It has clearly found a

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mealworm. It normally looks for insects on the ground, right?

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They specialise in eating ants. Woodpeckers are mainly a tree

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feeding species. I am presuming the green woodpecker feeds on the

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ground as an adaptation to find food sources that other birds are

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not using? Yes, that is right. Years of hard training has worked a

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treat. He is feeding happily. A beautiful sight. Really special

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shots of those ground-feeding birds. And in. In -- an important point to

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make is that you must never get them to depend on the food that you

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attack them with. Phil does not do that here. Chris, I bet you would

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like to get your camera down here, wouldn't you? I am rather a fan of

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the green woodpecker, I have to say. I always think of them as a rather

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hard bird with a sense of attitude that you might want to capture. And

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it is your favourite Pooh, if I remember correctly. Top poo! If you

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have been watching our barn owls with us over the last couple of

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weeks, you will know they had a couple of unwelcome visitors in

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there. On the webcam, you may have seen other things visiting them,

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too. It has not just been big mammals sticking their nose in.

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Throughout the evening, lots of moths have come in. Look at this

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little owl. Moths coming in, this is perfect food for bats and other

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nocturnal animals. We had a number coming in and catching things. It

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is spectacular stuff. It really is a great aerial display. It appears

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to catch it in its wing. Some species do that. they are flying

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very fast and I must admit the images are not perfect. We send the

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images of the find out what species it might be.

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This is international year of the bat. That might have gone over your

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head, but it certainly has not now. It is a global initiative with all

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sorts of partners. The UN are one of the leading partners. What is it

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about? Is it it -- it is about raising awareness. You cannot catch

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them or handle them, but you can take part in a survey that has been

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put together by the Bat Conservation Trust. It is a survey

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that encourages you to going to your garden or a place where you

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might have seen bats and record them and the direction of their

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flight at sunset and sunrise. I would advocate that you go for the

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sunset, because the sun rise at this time of year means a very

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early alarm call. If we know where they are, then we can go about

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looking after them and protecting them. If you would like to find out

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more about the survey, go to our website for all the details. I have

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to apologise, I was sprightly distracted looking at the

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oystercatchers. -- slightly distracted. The reason we have bad

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series because of the moths. I thought it was too good an

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opportunity to miss looking at some of these amazing creatures, so I

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joined forces with Russell Jones, who is the reserve manager here. He

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kindly set up a trap for us last night. You can see him doing that.

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The plan was that I would get up very early in the morning and join

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him to see what had been attracted to that light.

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Do you think it was a good night last night? I hope so. There is a

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big one down there. That is one of my favourites. They tend to be a

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bit flighty because it is getting warmer. Isn't that just beautiful?

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That is an elegant hawk-moth, isn't it? Yes. -- elephant hawk-moth.

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This one trembling, does that mean it is about to take off? Yes. It

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has decided not to do it any more. It has decided to stick around for

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a bit. It is a method of warming up. What is it that makes this a good

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place for Marks? It is because of the habitat we have. We have a bit

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of heathland, but of more land -- a bit of moorland. Some of species

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need to feed on a particular tree, for example, whereas others will

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feed on lots of different things. Some moths you get in quite

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specific habitat and others in quite varied habitats. A moth is

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the same, really, as a bird - each one has its own part of the

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ecosystem that it inhabits. without the moths, you would not

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have the caterpillars and so forth. Everyone thinks they are brown and

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boring, but they are not. If you had to choose, moths or birds?

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couldn't. Birds go quiet in August, moths are there. When you think you

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can put your binoculars down, get your moth trap out. That is a good

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tip. A lovely way to spend an hour in

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the morning. What is fantastic is that you just see such a huge range

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of species so easily. About 800 species, in all shapes and colours,

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of course. You do not need an expensive moth trap like that, you

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can do it in your own garden. If you have an outside security alarm,

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leave it on all night and perhaps pin a white sheet round the outside

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to reflect the light and that will attract some of the species. The

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other thing you can try his moth sugaring. You get a saucepan out

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and make a mixture with all sorts of ingredients, alcohol being one

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of them. You either painted on a tree or on a wall -- paint it on a

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tree, and occasionally they will come in. Sometimes you get nothing,

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sometimes you are covered. I was invited for a weekend away.

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It was rough and ready, some parts of it were sordid. I thought I

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would get my revenge by taking my This weekend, I am going to

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introduce Martin to a new form of wildlife watching, one of which

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does not involve horrible discomfort, camping. One where you

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can wear your city clothes and not get mud all over them, or one where

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you can have a rich mix of culture and wildlife at the same time. Yes,

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this is Chris's idea of a great weekend away. I must say, Chris is

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looking very dapper today. I am not sure it is the right to clothes for

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wildlife watching. Why are we going to an art gallery? Right now, I am

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more keen to see the living, breathing animals that he has

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promised me. That is a bleak scene. I think Martin is enjoying his but

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I think he will of what is waiting upstairs for him. Brace yourself

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for some of the finest art that nature can offer. This is beautiful,

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look at that. Kitty when Kevin, just dozens of them -- Kitty wake

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heaven. They are very tolerant as long as you stay within your own

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space. Up it is a brilliant place to watch their behaviour, not just

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if you're a student of art but a student of zoology, too. How on

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earth did they come and ten miles up straight and think this was a

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good place to be? I think, possibly, when this was a much busier port,

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they would have followed the ships. Anything dumping fish or anything

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of other side, they would have been curious and followed them. It found

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these man-made edifice is as perfect replicas of a cliff. They

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are bringing in, what, seaweed? They must be collecting it on the

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shore. They are flying up the river with it. They will bat together to

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produce a nest with a deep cut to hold normally between one and three

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eggs which are being laid at the moment. I also notice that when

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they bring the material and they are using their feet to traded down.

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While it is still wet I guess it is the key. They squabble a lot, don't

:26:43.:26:53.
:26:53.:27:02.

they? -- it is sticky. They do a lot of preening. The pair bond can

:27:02.:27:10.

appear to be very affectionate. They are fighting. Bodies, they are

:27:10.:27:15.

not. That is interesting because it is even more difficult because they

:27:15.:27:25.
:27:25.:27:25.

are on a ledge. It is brilliant, nature sharing an art space like

:27:25.:27:35.
:27:35.:27:41.

this. Everything in there is refined towards perfection, and

:27:41.:27:50.

nature is as close to perfection as we can get. The other thing that is

:27:50.:27:55.

great about seeing them here is that there is a fantastic cafe.

:27:55.:28:05.
:28:05.:28:11.

is into the cafe thing now - All of which proves that you can

:28:11.:28:21.
:28:21.:28:29.

have your cake the wake -- kittewake and eat it!

:28:29.:28:36.

We have been following the fortune of one buzzard nest that has a

:28:36.:28:46.

chicken at. It was a busy day down here at Ynys-hir. That is the check

:28:46.:28:52.

on the left - hard to tell it from the adult now. Mum was giving it a

:28:52.:28:58.

little bit of Shelter. She was looking like she was saying, come

:28:58.:29:08.
:29:08.:29:09.

on, you are bigger than that. The chick is saying, you love is

:29:09.:29:14.

not enough on its own, I need shelter. When birds are young they

:29:14.:29:19.

do not have that waterproofing in their feathers. Presumably, this is

:29:19.:29:22.

quite an important thing for the mother to keep doing in weather

:29:22.:29:27.

like this. If the down gets waterlogged and cold, it is putting

:29:27.:29:30.

resources into staying warm and not producing more feathers. It makes

:29:30.:29:40.
:29:40.:30:01.

sense. Let us call lie live to see how it is doing. -- let us go there.

:30:01.:30:05.

Here is something interesting. You do not see this often. This will go

:30:05.:30:09.

down in the archives of pain for this buzzard. Birds cannot afford

:30:09.:30:13.

this buzzard. Birds cannot afford to crash, their fragile. You can

:30:13.:30:19.

see the squirrel hanging down from its feet and it just does not get

:30:19.:30:25.

enough lift. The school is quite big and heavy. It crashes into the

:30:25.:30:35.
:30:35.:30:36.

side. We can tell you everything is We have another buzzard nest with

:30:36.:30:40.

two chicks in, and their mother brought them in something a little

:30:40.:30:44.

bit more difficult to handle. Here she comes with a frog - watch this

:30:44.:30:54.
:30:54.:30:55.

closely - whee! Frog mates leap for freedom - whee! It's doing a Bruce

:30:55.:31:01.

Willis. It's trying to die hard - unfortunately, it does! The buzzard

:31:01.:31:05.

brings it back to the nest - honestly. Very much enjoying those

:31:05.:31:09.

frogs. If we go back to the other buzzards... It's not the only

:31:09.:31:13.

amphibian taking a punishing. This is unusual. This is our young bird

:31:13.:31:19.

here. If you look closely in its Talins, it's actually eating a toad.

:31:19.:31:23.

You'll recognise the under side of the toad with its spotted surface.

:31:23.:31:29.

Toads aren't normally eaten by these animals. I was going to say,

:31:29.:31:33.

they're known for being toxic. That's right. They have a gland in

:31:33.:31:38.

their skin that can produce in our species quite serious toxins.

:31:38.:31:46.

You'll find foxes won't eat them. Badgers won't eat them. Some

:31:47.:31:51.

species will eat them. Martin loves a toad. What have you got? I do.

:31:51.:31:54.

It's not unusual to see a toad now and again, but when I see what's

:31:54.:32:00.

going on here, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa! I have never seen anything like this.

:32:00.:32:03.

There are toads absolutely everywhere, and early on, you may

:32:03.:32:07.

remember, I went down to the water's edge and find a look what's

:32:07.:32:12.

going on there. It's like a plague. There were tens of thousands of

:32:12.:32:16.

tiny little toadlets all down by the water's edge, quite

:32:16.:32:19.

extraordinary. In fact, we have just picked up a few just in front

:32:19.:32:24.

of the studio. Have a look at that. There they with. They're absolutely

:32:24.:32:28.

everywhere. In fact, Chris, Kate and I are having to step care any.

:32:28.:32:31.

We're treading on them everywhere. We're trying to get them out of the

:32:31.:32:34.

way. I have never seen anything like this at all. What's going on?

:32:34.:32:38.

They seem to be moving in the same direction. They're moving away from

:32:38.:32:41.

the pond. I think what's happening is you have a huge number of

:32:41.:32:44.

animals messaging. They don't want to compete for resources, so the

:32:44.:32:48.

first thing they're doing is moving apart. That's what they're doing by

:32:48.:32:51.

moving away from the pond so they can find their own food. The other

:32:51.:32:55.

thing is, food won't come to them so as long as they're moving up

:32:55.:32:58.

through the wood and through the grass, there is every chance

:32:58.:33:01.

they'll bump into something small and edible. That's perhaps how

:33:01.:33:05.

they're finding their food. Perhaps there is two parts to this strategy.

:33:05.:33:09.

I have to say, I have just made that up off the top of my head!

:33:09.:33:12.

LAUGHTER So if anyone out there can think of another reason... I have

:33:12.:33:16.

just done an experiment with this piece of wood. I put one of the

:33:17.:33:21.

toadlets on this, it went that way, turned the piece of wood around,

:33:21.:33:26.

the toad turned around. I did that five times. They've got a compass

:33:26.:33:33.

in their head. (That's not science, mate.) Don't knock him! I think

:33:33.:33:36.

it's time we should head back to Essex and to Liz. What other

:33:37.:33:41.

wonderful wildlife gems have you got down there, Liz? I have a few

:33:41.:33:46.

more up my sleeve, Kate. That's because Phil Shaw is giving us

:33:46.:33:50.

access to wildlife it's taken him years to study and get the best out

:33:50.:33:55.

of. First, it was the green woodpeckers. Now he's only gone and

:33:55.:34:05.
:34:05.:34:05.

given our wildlife cameraman another exceptional opportunity.

:34:05.:34:08.

Whereabouts are we with relation to the main bit of the site? We're

:34:09.:34:13.

down on the southern boundary now. This is a very old part of the site.

:34:13.:34:18.

It's unusual in that it's dominated by hemlock. Hemlock is particularly

:34:18.:34:23.

good for white throats. You may hear them singing in the background,

:34:23.:34:31.

but this site is good for stone chats. A very creative one it is

:34:32.:34:38.

too. Why have you built it this way? I am feeding the stone chats,

:34:38.:34:42.

attracting them to the camera position. I am putting in wax worms,

:34:42.:34:46.

and they'll perch on whatever is highest around here, so most of the

:34:46.:34:51.

time they'll come and perch on this rose bush here. So if we place the

:34:51.:34:57.

wax worms in there, do you reckon our cameraman will get some good

:34:57.:35:02.

shots of the birds? You'll get some outstanding shots. Let's do it.

:35:03.:35:08.

While Phil and I bait the feeder, our specialist wildlife cameraman,

:35:08.:35:14.

Ian, gets into position. Within minutes, the first stone chats

:35:14.:35:18.

arrive. This is male with a dark head, handsome russet chest and

:35:18.:35:22.

striking white collars, and here you can see a female joining him,

:35:22.:35:27.

distinguished by her eye stripe. The male seems to give way to her

:35:27.:35:34.

here, but as she gets her fill, he darts back in for more wax worm.

:35:34.:35:40.

Amazingly, Phil's found that the white throats, usually very wary

:35:40.:35:44.

birds, are making the most of the free food on offer. I'm not sure

:35:44.:35:49.

anyone has got white throats visiting a feeder like this - quite

:35:49.:35:56.

a unique site. -- sight. So birds are thriving on the restored land,

:35:56.:36:00.

but what about other animals? Well, there happens to be another big

:36:00.:36:04.

clue over here to a notorious character on Springwatch because

:36:04.:36:07.

this happens to be a badger set. Now, this landfill dates back to

:36:07.:36:13.

the '40s and '50s, so it's mostly made up of pottery, ceramics and

:36:13.:36:18.

glass, also coal fire glass, which is great for badgers because it

:36:18.:36:22.

means this substrate is easily drainable. It's granular and easy

:36:22.:36:26.

to dig it in, so if a badger sat here, it's highly likely there are

:36:26.:36:31.

other sets in this older part of the landfill. Now, we know that on

:36:31.:36:35.

Springwatch, we don't have an easy time filming badgers, OK? I know

:36:35.:36:40.

that in Wales, we're having problems, again, getting them on

:36:40.:36:44.

film this year, but we have Phil Shaw. He is our secret weapon, and

:36:44.:36:50.

only a couple of days ago, he said to me, "Liz, I can get you badgers

:36:50.:36:54.

on Springwatch."S "It's Springwatch," I said. "There is no

:36:54.:37:01.

way." "I am going to get you badgers," he said. "Are you sure?"

:37:01.:37:07.

I said. "I'm sure," he said. You get the idea. So Phil, where is the

:37:07.:37:12.

badger set? The badger set is here. We're almost on top of it, but the

:37:12.:37:16.

main set is just in the trees here. In there? In there. Wow. And have

:37:16.:37:20.

you seen the badgers come out into this clearing? Oh, yes. They come

:37:20.:37:24.

out every night. Excellent. So I need to ask, then - what is this

:37:24.:37:28.

wire for? Well, what I'm trying to do here is to photograph the

:37:28.:37:34.

badgers. OK. And I've got a number of props to help me do that. A zip

:37:34.:37:41.

wire?! What are these for? Well, badgers normally travel with their

:37:41.:37:44.

face close to the ground, and that doesn't make for a very attractive

:37:44.:37:49.

photograph, really, so what I do is actually put some peanut butter

:37:49.:37:54.

sandwiches on the end of these wires. Nice. It raises their heads.

:37:54.:37:58.

They smell it, then they take it. Have you actually measured how high

:37:58.:38:03.

they can actually jump up for the sandwich? No, I haven't. I don't

:38:03.:38:07.

think that's known scientifically. I think we need to find out

:38:07.:38:15.

scientifically this evening. No pen at the ready, see what happens.

:38:15.:38:18.

Good stuff. You have studied these badgers for years now, haven't you?

:38:18.:38:25.

A long time. So you know their habits well. This year, I think

:38:25.:38:31.

I've seen eight badgers out here at once. So it was all looking good -

:38:31.:38:35.

nightly visits for the last 14 years - eight badgers all at once.

:38:35.:38:40.

How could we possibly fail? But of course, Phil and I hadn't taken

:38:40.:38:46.

into account the Springwatch curse when it comes to badger watching.

:38:46.:38:54.

It just doesn't seem like tonight They'll definitely come out, but

:38:54.:38:58.

maybe they're just watching for us to leave. It's always the way with

:38:58.:39:04.

wildlife. The curse of the Springwatch badgers had followed me

:39:04.:39:08.

to Essex. I can't believe it. It was the first time in 14 years that

:39:08.:39:14.

they hadn't shown up for Phil. So did we give up? Have I mentioned

:39:14.:39:19.

that the Springwatch adventure team nevergies up? I have? Well, we went

:39:19.:39:24.

back the following night, and I personally believe that the term

:39:24.:39:29.

"TV gold" was invented for what happened next. See you soon. She's

:39:29.:39:33.

teasing us. She's teasing us, but they never give up, those guys, do

:39:33.:39:39.

they? They never do. What shall we do? I know - Britain's warmiest

:39:39.:39:44.

bird nest. We're in the third year in our attempt to find this year's

:39:44.:39:47.

warmiest bird nest, and you have been sending in some entries, some

:39:47.:39:51.

stills, which we can have a look at. Kate, if you would... When I see a

:39:51.:40:01.

photo like this, it can't but make This was sent in - I think it's

:40:01.:40:06.

Rochywil? As you can see, it's a Robin and has made its nest in a

:40:06.:40:11.

boot. You can't get mad when people are sending in pictures like this

:40:11.:40:16.

one, sent in of a moorhen underneath a fountain. I love that

:40:16.:40:21.

one. It's like the hen wanted an en suite bathroom. Do you think that

:40:21.:40:28.

goes on every night? To get some peace and quiet! This is from Alex,

:40:28.:40:33.

13-year-old Alex. Looks quite normal - until you notice it's

:40:33.:40:37.

actually in a shop. Do you think when they go to sell that, they'll

:40:37.:40:43.

have to put one careful owner on it? LAUGHTER Please keep them

:40:43.:40:52.

coming in. We want more footage of barmy bird nests. Are we going to

:40:52.:40:59.

reveal the entry tomorrow? Yeah. We have one here - from "punked-up

:40:59.:41:03.

poodle packer 3" - strangely familiar! LAUGHTER Let's have a

:41:03.:41:09.

look at this. It's a great tit nest there, and in a way, sensibly, it's

:41:09.:41:13.

made its nest in the middle of a beehive, so I guess it's very well

:41:13.:41:23.
:41:23.:41:28.

protected in there. No predators will have a go. By the way that guy

:41:28.:41:36.

looked... Can't place him. wasn't an active hive, but they

:41:36.:41:45.

will visit bees and pick them off, so maybe by the end of those birds'

:41:45.:41:53.

nesting pictures they'll be sick to death of bees. Don't let that

:41:53.:42:00.

poodle packer win. Our sound quiz, let's hear the first one -

:42:00.:42:09.

(Wee-ee) The second one -

:42:09.:42:15.

( Whirring noise) And the third one -

:42:15.:42:21.

(Deep thumps) Up until week three, I am afraid we

:42:21.:42:26.

hadn't done any plants, and I thought this was a serious

:42:26.:42:30.

oversight, so yesterday I headed down to the local nature reserve

:42:30.:42:40.
:42:40.:42:43.

Oh, I love a day out at the seaside. But I've come here for an elicit

:42:43.:42:53.
:42:53.:42:54.

rendezvous with some glamorous Orchids are some of my favourite

:42:54.:43:04.
:43:04.:43:05.

flowers, and this is the best place Big moment - look at this -

:43:05.:43:11.

southern marsh orchid, the leopard marsh variety defined by these

:43:11.:43:16.

lovely little leopard spots on the leaves here, but it's a robust,

:43:16.:43:23.

thick, full, brightly coloured flowering spike. It's designed to

:43:23.:43:27.

attract bumblebees. They come and cross-pollinate this species, but

:43:27.:43:32.

it's a con. They're drawn here by the colour and the form of these

:43:32.:43:40.

flowers, but when they get here and try, there is no nectar there at

:43:41.:43:46.

all. It's a ripoff from the insect's point of view, but they

:43:46.:43:52.

can't resist it. Deceitful. But you know, there is an even more devious

:43:52.:43:56.

flower here. I must prostrate myself before great beauty. Look at

:43:56.:44:03.

this - so glamorous - the bee orchid, but not only glamorous,

:44:03.:44:07.

equally fascinating. This plant has evolved to attract a specific

:44:07.:44:12.

species of bee to pollinate it. How does it do it? Well, firstly, this

:44:12.:44:19.

part of it here, the part we call the la bellum, has formed to look

:44:19.:44:24.

exactly like the body of a female bee. Then it's got this shiny bit

:44:24.:44:29.

here we call the speck lum. That, we think, is meant to represent the

:44:29.:44:33.

shiny wings of the insect, but how does it get the males to arrive

:44:33.:44:38.

there? Unbelievably, it releases a cocktail of chemicals from the edge

:44:38.:44:43.

of the lip here which exactly mimic those released by virgin female

:44:43.:44:47.

bees, so when the males emerge first, which they do, they throng

:44:47.:44:52.

to these flowers, and it gets them so excited, they practise what we

:44:53.:44:59.

call pseudocopulation. They try to cop late with the plant. Only this

:44:59.:45:02.

species is not only mimicking an insect, it's not using the insects

:45:02.:45:08.

because this is a south-pollinated. It's the only one of the species in

:45:08.:45:13.

Europe which is south pollinated - remarkable science. Also, there is

:45:13.:45:17.

an intrinsic romance for me here because the plant is producing a

:45:17.:45:22.

chemical exactly the same as an animal. It's a triumph of evolution,

:45:22.:45:32.
:45:32.:45:40.

an absolute triumph - just makes What are you doing?! Pseudo

:45:40.:45:47.

copulation. Idiot! In a hall much to Bob Dylan, as I move over here,

:45:47.:45:51.

I will be dropping these lovely pictures of these orchids. We have

:45:51.:45:56.

very little time to senior -- to see any more of them. Unfortunately,

:45:56.:46:00.

from my point of view, we have to go to Les in Essex. Any more badger

:46:00.:46:10.
:46:10.:46:28.

news? -- Liz. Let us put this myth of the cast to

:46:28.:46:35.

rest. It was the second day and we thought we should give up. But just

:46:35.:46:45.
:46:45.:46:47.

as the sun was setting, look at this. Yes, yes, yes! He is going

:46:47.:46:56.

straight for it. I have to say, you set up is very cool because you see

:46:56.:47:00.

another aspect of them that you do not usually see, a nice big stretch.

:47:00.:47:07.

It is beautiful to watch. He is taking it to his pals. He may well

:47:07.:47:14.

do. Here is a different one. obviously like crunchy peanut

:47:14.:47:24.
:47:24.:47:27.

butter. He is trying to follow it and swipe it down. It is the most

:47:27.:47:34.

adorable thing. That is a little bit of luck, isn't it? We had done

:47:34.:47:40.

it, but it was not quite over. There was one last treat in store -

:47:40.:47:48.

a badger cub. How old is that? will have been born in February, so

:47:48.:47:53.

it will be about four months old. Is that around the age that they

:47:53.:47:58.

start venturing out with their parents? They will come out of the

:47:58.:48:06.

set entrance at a younger age, but venturing any distance, I never see

:48:06.:48:13.

them until the beginning of June. Is that the first time you have

:48:13.:48:19.

seen the cubs out here? Be it is the first time they have been out

:48:19.:48:29.
:48:29.:48:31.

this year, I am pretty sure of it. The peanut butter sandwich

:48:31.:48:37.

experiment was a bit of a disaster. I have to say, though, three

:48:37.:48:47.
:48:47.:48:50.

badgers including a cub, that is a result.

:48:50.:48:56.

Unbelievable stuff, wasn't it? So you know, fill only feeds peanut

:48:56.:49:04.

butter sandwiches very occasionally to the badgers. Mostly they forage

:49:04.:49:09.

for earthworms. The question still remains - how high can a badger

:49:09.:49:13.

rate? Our cameraman went back the following night and got us one last

:49:13.:49:20.

shot. Here he comes. He has spotted a peanut butter sandwich and he

:49:20.:49:24.

reaches for it. This might look a little bit unusual but it is not

:49:24.:49:31.

unusual for badgers, they do reach for berries on bushes, snails on

:49:31.:49:35.

tree trunks. They are very agile it is just that we do not see it very

:49:35.:49:43.

often. Let us rewind for a second, because this gives us the perfect

:49:43.:49:49.

opportunity to measure how high a badger can reach. There he goes,

:49:49.:49:54.

number one is not too shabby. Number two is not quite as high.

:49:54.:50:02.

The average male badger measures around 75 centimetres in line. Add

:50:02.:50:12.
:50:12.:50:15.

the hind legs and the claws. Badgers are not stupid. After a

:50:15.:50:24.

couple of attempts, this fella decides he is going to go for

:50:24.:50:32.

another sand which. Badgers can smell 600 times better than us

:50:32.:50:39.

humans. He takes a bite out of that one then moves along. Is he going

:50:39.:50:46.

to bite it? Will he take a swipe? He is getting lazy and moving to

:50:46.:50:50.

the lowest one on the wire. It is swinging around him, he keeps his

:50:50.:50:55.

eye on it. He takes a swipe, he takes a chunk. Come on, you can do

:50:55.:51:04.

it! He follows it, he follows it, and he swipes at it. There you go!

:51:04.:51:13.

Mission accomplished. And off he goes.

:51:13.:51:16.

Phil's inventive way of getting badgers to do unusual stuff, stuff

:51:16.:51:20.

we do not see very often, is brilliant. We get to see another

:51:20.:51:26.

aspect of these fantastic animals. One last thing from the adventure

:51:26.:51:33.

team, Richard Taylor Jones went to explore another unusual place to

:51:33.:51:39.

find wildlife. Not a landfill site but a golf course. Take a look at

:51:39.:51:49.

this. Golf courses cover more of the UK

:51:49.:51:53.

than all of the RSPB's Nature Reserve put together, so we did not

:51:53.:51:59.

be great if they were all natural enough for nature? With their

:51:59.:52:09.
:52:09.:52:10.

pesticide, pea-green fairways and manicured greens, they are not

:52:10.:52:17.

normally thought of as places for wildlife. To find dated it is true,

:52:17.:52:25.

I have come to my local courses on the Kent coast. -- to find out if

:52:25.:52:35.
:52:35.:52:36.

it is true. Good morning. Many animals around this morning? I

:52:36.:52:43.

thought I might find some skylarks. Over there. You might be lucky.

:52:43.:52:51.

Thank you. Literally a minute ago, there was nothing. Then suddenly

:52:51.:53:00.

there is just a live with skylarks singing. -- the air. It is lovely,

:53:00.:53:06.

really, because skylarks have really struggled over the last few

:53:06.:53:16.
:53:16.:53:21.

really struggled over the last few decades. Their numbers have crashed.

:53:21.:53:24.

A little bird against a white background, it doesn't matter when

:53:24.:53:32.

you have a song like that. This is a territorial dispute. He is saying,

:53:32.:53:38.

this is my patch, go back to your patch. Golf courses often get

:53:38.:53:43.

blamed for ripping up good habitat, yet clearly this is good skylark

:53:43.:53:48.

habitat. I think the reason is that you have the rough areas where the

:53:48.:53:54.

birds like to nest next to the very short fairways and greens, which

:53:54.:53:59.

are ideal skylark landing pad, really. It is sort of accidental

:53:59.:54:02.

nature. The golf course and the people who run it did not plan to

:54:02.:54:11.

have skylarks here, but they have. The result is that we have skylarks

:54:11.:54:20.

everywhere. Sorry, I got distracted by another bird. There you go, a

:54:20.:54:26.

female hen harrier. Well I never! I was not expecting to see a career

:54:26.:54:36.
:54:36.:54:41.

on the golf course. -- Harrier. I sound surprise that all this

:54:41.:54:44.

while life but I should not be. These golf courses are amongst the

:54:44.:54:49.

best that in British for nature, classified as Special Areas of

:54:49.:54:57.

Conservation. The man who looks after the wildlife here is with me.

:54:57.:55:01.

A lot of clubs are now taking on the responsibility of managing

:55:01.:55:11.
:55:11.:55:20.

That brings about a much wider experience to those who play. 60%

:55:20.:55:25.

of courses could be potentially important wildlife habitats.

:55:25.:55:28.

courses here are flourishing. Another striking example of that is

:55:28.:55:36.

just a few yards away. I had been walking along the 7th green and I

:55:36.:55:42.

have been met by this delightful host of deep purple green winged

:55:42.:55:47.

orchid. Look at them, they are beatable, and thriving on the very

:55:47.:55:50.

sandy soil that the golf course is built on. Stunning, absolutely

:55:50.:55:56.

stunning. Just imagine if all golf courses could be like this.

:55:56.:56:02.

Throughout the UK, we are looking at something like 3,200 golf

:56:02.:56:08.

courses, occupy ing of or 150,000 hectares of land. We need more

:56:08.:56:12.

courses to recognise the importance of managing for wildlife as well as

:56:12.:56:16.

managing for golf. That is my role in life, to try and raise that

:56:16.:56:23.

awareness. Bob shows that this can be done. I really do hope that more

:56:23.:56:26.

golf courses become aware of the wildlife that surrounds them. After

:56:26.:56:36.
:56:36.:56:37.

all, golf has long relied on grazing rabbits to keep the grass

:56:37.:56:47.

short on the fairways. Golf used to need rabbits. In today's world,

:56:47.:56:52.

rabbits need golf. We have had a question from Neil

:56:52.:56:57.

Hopkins, who lives just down the road. He sent us a photograph. Here

:56:57.:57:02.

it is. It does not look spectacular but let us see it at night. It is,

:57:02.:57:11.

of course, a glow worm. It is a type of beetle, isn't it Chris?

:57:11.:57:16.

glows to attract females. He has not seen any others for more

:57:16.:57:20.

than two years. To have any chance of attracting

:57:20.:57:24.

glow-worms to your garden, you need an open patch where they can

:57:24.:57:29.

display, some shrubbery, because they feed on snails. Do not worry

:57:29.:57:32.

if you do not see them every year because they take a few years to

:57:32.:57:36.

mature. Tonight, there is a great event. It

:57:36.:57:41.

is a lunar eclipse. You may not get to see it because it is very cloudy,

:57:41.:57:49.

but it is going to happen just before 9:30pm. I would like to bet

:57:49.:57:53.

that if you do not see this one you will not catch the next one in the

:57:53.:58:01.

UK which is in 2141. The culture vultures are out and

:58:01.:58:05.

about in Newcastle on our next programme. And we will be bringing

:58:05.:58:11.

you more Tords, of the natterjack toad variety. We will actually also

:58:11.:58:18.

Chris Packham, Kate Humble and Martin Hughes-Games are live with the latest on the Springwatch animal dramas and reporting on other stories from around the country.

In Essex, Liz Bonnin reveals more of the wildlife of a landfill site - including badgers and foxes. Chris and Martin are in Newcastle to reveal the wild side of the city.


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