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What are we going to do tonight, then? Well, we could start with a
red start. We could catch up with a flycatcher. We could go with a dip
-- for a dip in the river. Hello, welcome to Springwatch. It's
the last of our programmes in the first week, coming to you live from
the RSPB reserve in Wales. We've had a fantastically warm day today.
Some of you might know, I'm in the a man for predictions, I'm thinking
along the lines of an Indian summer. I'm keeping quiet. Whatever, we
have real wildlife in real time. A great show tonight. We really V we
said we might start with red starts, so why don't we. If you were
watching yesterday two of our six chicks fledged the nest. What has
happened to the other four? By this beautiful water fall, magnificent,
who would live in a nest like this? If you've been looking at our
cameras online today, you might have noticed that our barn owls
have had a tough one. It's been so hot. They've been panting away and
one of the youngsters has been struggling.
Without further ado, let's head up to Scotland and to Charlie. Welcome
back to Knapdale, home of the Scottish beaver trial. Tonight,
it's the night, we're sticking our necks out tonight. We're going to
try to bring you live pictures of live beavers on this loch. It's a
bit of a Mission Impossible. But we have gorgeous footage, that we've
been shooting over the last couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
Our lovely little red start family, what has happened to them? Let's
get the full story. Let's go live get the full story. Let's go live
to the nest first of all. Outside all is quiet. Inside it's totally
quiet. Nobody is there. They've all gone. Now last night, while we were
doing Unsprung, the programme after the main show, we took our eyes off
the ball and something happened. Luckily the story developers were
watching and this is the full story. We saw two had pledged and at 9pm
last night, just before the third one made his escape. There he is,
going and it's away. I was surprised about that. I thought he
might have ht night, a comfy night in there. He didn't, he went. In
the morning, the third one went at 6.02 then 8.10 and then at 9.20am,
needed a bit of edge couragement. Mum gave a bit of food. He had a
final poo there. Our last little chick and there he was waiting, is
he going to go? And he was away. Now the parents, there's dad coming
back to make sure everything is all right. Now the parents' work
doesn't finish there. They'll continue to feed the chicks outside.
There they R clever cameraman to catch this. Here's one in the grass,
which may not be quiet the safeest place to be.
There's quite a lot of tension for the parents. They want to stop
feeding those chicks as soon as they can and strt a second brood.
Just think, those little chicks, relatively soon will fly away from
here, 5,000 kilometres, back to Africa. Absolutely incredible. But,
those story developers that got those pictures, who are they? Where
are they? I'm about to find out. Join me later.
Kate? What? I don't like a baby receipt startd on the ground. I
tell you something though, much of what we know about the behaviour
and ecology of red starts was found out by John Buxton. He discover
today while he was in a POW camp in Bavaria. He wrote this amongst his
notes, "One of the chief joys of watching these birds in prison, was
that they inhanted another world than I. They lived wholey and
enviablely to themselves, unconcerned in our fatuous politics,
without the limitations imposed by our knowledge. They lived only in
the moment, without foresight and with memory only of things of
immediate practical concern to them." What an incredible sentiment,
whain cred insight. That's made the hairs on the back of my neck stand
up. That guy is in prison and enjoying freedom that he saw in
those beautiful birds. He wrote a book afterwards, the New Naturalist.
We owe what we know about these birds to him. Thanks to our red
starts, a first for Springwatch. They have kept us going beautifully
through yot the first week. Now let's meet a bird that will be with
us maybe until the end of the series. There's their box, in the
woods by the studio. Let's go inside. There she is. She is a pied
flycatcher. We introduced you to her yesterday. If you missed it,
she's sitting on four chicks. She did lay six eggs, but only four of
them hatched. The chicks are doing well. Lovely stretch there. She's
such a pretty bird. She's been working extremely hard today,
feeding up these chicks as we caught on camera earlier. Amazing
energy, this bird was in and out, in and out all day. And a great
range of prey. You might think she's only catching flies or flying
insects, no beetles, grubz of many kinds much here she's given a chick
the caterpillar. It's stuck to his beak. She's trying to get that
caterpillar out and trying to refeed it. Her instincts are
telling her to get it into the gape, to get it swallowed, not left on
the side. That's point of the gape, that great yellow gawping hole is
like a target for them. Exactly that. Each species has a different
gape, some of them with strong patterning inside their mouths to
say, hit this mark. What we have noticed today is that the female
seems to be doing all the work. The male has been suspiciously absent.
Well, he has. Over the last few days we've hardly seen him at all.
He came back a few times at all. He has a mouthful of food, you think
he's going to give it to the chicks and he leaves. Then he comes back
and arrives back to the female. She's displaying to him. Is that
flirting or defensive I think defensive You think he's her mate?
He must be, to go to the nest and go into it. Later, he arrives at
the nest. She's not. There he goes in. Once again, he doesn't take the
opportunity to feed them. She ariefdz back. He then panics,
starts fluttering around in the nest. Like he's being caught in the
act. He's not feeding them. He's not feeding them. He jumped up in
the corner and she comes in. Her instinct is she's got food and has
to get it into their mouths. She is perplexed by the fact that he's
putting her in an embarrassing position. He's in the wardrobe. She
takes a peck at him. He then flies out and leaves her to dot rest of
the stuff. It is very, very strange behaviour or is it? If you keep an
eye on these pied flycatchers over the weekend, and you can do that by
looking at our webcams, you may see a pattern emerging. Don't you
think? When your female pied catcher love
will never do what you want it to. This is an example now, I'm going
to say this now, so they can't cut out the science next week, there's
going to be geekery, polytear er to -- polyterer to. Now I have a
teaser to pose to you while the show is going on. Have a look at
this extraordinary photograph sent by JEL1969, I don't know if that's
a girl or boy. They live n in chat nam Kent. Our question is, what is
this photograph of? Get in touch via Twitter, our Facebook face or
viate website. We will be giving you some of your answers right and
wrong later in the programme. give a clue? No, it's too early.
Soy couldn't say that they're floating on water? Sorry. Every
week we're very lucky to be joined by a guest naturalist. This week
it's been Charlie Hamilton-James, who's been up here in Scotland. If
we zoom in, we can see exactly where he is. He's at Knapdale. He's
been here at the top of the loch. Then we cracked him down here. This
time he's off the map. What is it, pub, tearoom or Charlie or are you
on Beaver Patrol? Welcome back, guys. We're still in
Knapdale, home of the Scottish beaver trial. We're trying to bring
you tonight a first live shots, ever, of wild beavers in Britain.
Now, we're not having much luck so far. I think they're probably still
in bed. But, over there, in the marshes lushes specialist wildlife
cameraman oon. He has a great, big long lens and he's pointing at the
beaver lodge. That's why the beavers live. Most of the day they
sleep. They sleep in their lodges and come out at night. This is
where they breed. This year we're hoping they will have kids. That is
what the Scottish beaver trial is all about. As we haven't got any
live beavers to show you, at the moment, I thought we'd show you a
piece from the other day. I went out with the Scottish beaver trial
to see just how hot a beaver can environments. They don't really
have modern clothing like to us keep warm. Their fur has to do the
job for them. It's incredibly well insulated. Tonight, I've come out
with a thermal camera to see if we can look at one. Because what this
does is it looks at the heat coming off things. Now, we have got more
of the beaver team there. We will throw the thermal camera on them
and say, can you take your hats off please? Look at that. Now that head
is glowing bright yellow, a lot of heat coming off that. The rest is
blue, where the coat is, which is well insulated. This is exactly
what we're trying to do with the beaver. We're going to see where
the hot spots r, where the heat's coming off, but also where the
darker spots r, which bits of the beaver are most well insulated.
All we've got to do is find a beaver.
The guys have just flashed their torch in the darkness, which means
they've got a beaver. We're racing over there, literally amph, to see
if we can get there. -- literally onemph, to see if we can get there.
That's the back of his tail there? Yes, that's the back. He's coming
right past us. The head is a lot hotter than I would have thought.
What do you think? It's really bright. It really stands out. It's
really exciting seeing that white and red shape moving along.
What we really want is this beaver to get out on the bank. At the
moment we're just seeing the back and top of his head. She seems
quite relaxed F we keep our distance she might come out onto
the land. She's coming out. You can see most
of the heat is coming off the back. It's bright white. That's where
it's less dense hair wise. They're more dense on the fronts of their
bodies. Having dense fur on its belly makes a lot of sense. This is
the area its body that spends a lot of time in cold water and needs to
hold in heat. The tail's red. It's not putting out as much heat as its
back. That's weird, though, because it hasn't got any hair on it.
a big layer of fat really. It's quite well insulated. Sometimes you
see beavers largely sit on their tails just to keep their feet that
wee bit warmer. It's not too cold tonight. She's probably quite
comfortable. She's out feeding, so we'll leave her alone. Leave her to
Give her the night off from the weird camera crews with weird
cameras. I have to admit, I was surprised.
With all that thick fur, the beavers would be more well
insulated than that and put out less heat. I suppose if you think
about it, beavers generally live in very cold places, like Canada and
Norway, which are much colder than here in Scotland, where actually
it's very warm at the moment. Maybe the beavers are trying to dump heat,
maybe they're getting too hot. I don't know. I'm still waiting to
see a live beaver. I'm not seeing anything. I'm seeing lake, forest,
camera crew, but the beavers still sleeping.
Come back to me. I'm sure we'll find you one.
Thank you Charlie. I have to say, you've set yourself a tough task,
live beaver. Look at this, we've come from our studio over there,
about almost three quarters of a kilometre to the estuary. It's a
wonderful evening down here. What a picturesque landscape we've got.
First time I've been up here. It's absolutely stunning. At the top of
the programme we teased you with a new nest. Well time to reveal all.
Firstly, here it is. It's difficult to identify. But its habitat might
give it away, rushing, fast moving Welsh stream. It's a species which
like that's sort of habitat a lot. Now, of course, you find a nest
like that, well that's challenge number one, sorted, but then, if
you're a wildlife cameraman, you want to get a camera on it. For
Lynsey McCree that was something of now bring you pictures from that
nest, but first, this is the bird who made it. This is, of course, a
dipper, dipping beautifully for us. That is why it has its name. It is.
It's one of a group of birds, like the wagtails, even the sandpipers
do this bobbing. This is what it's all about. This is lovely. We're
not sure how many chicks are in the nest or how old they are. We've
seen three chicks, you can see clearly there. But we're not sure
how long it is going to be before they fledge. They look quite well
developed. I think they do. They typically have a couple of ear
tufts of down. You saw a wisp on one of their heads. Once they lose
those it's not long before they think of jumping out of the nest.
That's going to be a perilous journey. They are perched above
that river. Can they swim? Will they drown? Where do they go?
will bob about, but not in the rushing currents. These animals
have to jump out of there and deal with the force of nature. The first
flight is going to be critical. They need to clear the water and
land on some stones and bolders, where they can be attended by the
parents. Yes, first flight, given that there's little room for wing
exercising in the domed nest that they've made there, it will be
critical. At the end of the day, this species has evofld to be able
to dole with that. I'm pretty confident about that.
Sadly that camera isn't connected to the internet. You won't be able
to keep an eye on them. You can be absolutely assured that our
wildlife cameramen will. We will bring you news of those lovely
little birds on Monday. We've had a lot of fledging this week. I'm sure
you have fledglings in your gardens or local parks. These are some of
the ones we found here. Long tailed tits up here. Gorgeous.
Adorable. We have a treecreeper as well. No, wagtail. That's just on
the wall where the oyster catchers nested. Here's a treecreeper.
Nipping up the tree. Of course, there's a tremendous noise here at
the moment. Can I hear it, at this moment, I can hear a family of tits
up in the tree peep ago way. At this time of year there's a vast
number of birds out here. The adults have bred, some of them
producing five, six, seven, eight, nine young, think of the amount of
food that must be out there to feed them all. That's what the noise is
about, the begging call that's people are hearing. Conversely,
those fledglings are becoming food for other things. Now, you see this
bank of oak trees just across here, well around about where I'm
pointing is where our buzzard nest is. Earlier today we caught this on
camera, atentive adult, as ever, bringing in, this is probably the
male, bringing in food for the female to pass. That is a tit of
some kind. It's a young, it could be a young bird. It could be,
actually I say it was a tit. That could have been a willow warbler.
It was yellow underneath. They are foraging at the moment on birds.
These youngsters, not terribly worldly wise, are frankly easy prey.
This one eating another bird. was today. That is a Pipette,
either a meadow or tree pippit. All sorts of birds are going in here.
These fledglings, and we've seen it, they tuck themselves away, in the
trees or down in the grass. But they have a lot of cover. The
adults make sure that happens. Buzzards quite big, clumsy birds,
you know they're not like goshawks, not famed for folder their wings up
and being able to navigate through woods. So how on earth are they
finding and catching those little birds? They fly through the woods,
relatively quietly. They take perch on a branch. Then they watch and
listen. Once they find a family, they don't move too far. They will
farm them. They will take one of the youngsters and then go back for
another one. They know where they are. They are listening. You
mention goshawk though, we have to think here they might be eating the
young tits and the other birds here. That buzzard chick, let's go to it
live, that buzzard chick is potential prey for a goshawk.
Goshawks will visit other rap tores' nests and take the young out.
In the food chain buzzards, unbelievably, not at the top.
another bird for to you keep your eye on over the weekend. Certainly
is. Now, very occasionally, I get offers in car parks. I turn most of
them down. But I couldn't turn this down. Matt Hamilton is a student
film maker. He came up to me and said "Chris, I've made a film about
an area you love." I looked at it and I have to say it's absolutely
beautiful. I couldn't keep it to ago I was lucky enough to move into
a cottage by Ichin navigation. This runs for ten miles between
Winchester and Southampton here in Hampshire.
There's an incredible diversity and wealth of wildlife here.
I woos doing a course in wildlife documentary production, and for
that summer, my diser taigs was to make a film.
I thought about all the exotic locations I could fly off to and
what I could shoot. Eventually I realised you don't need to go to
those places. On my doorstep is this wonderful habitat with
spectacular creatures of its own and I set about telling the story
a Kingfisher will come and land on it. I put a perch out and a
Kingfisher didn't land on it. I sat there for hours staring at a stick.
Nothing happens for ages, then all of a sudden, you'll look out and
They have extraordinary colours, orange breast feathers and
iridescent blue. They look fantastic in the sun, glowing
To tell the story of spring I thought I should focus on some of
the invertebrates. Nothing is better for that than the May fly.
They live as any more ofs under water. They burrow db nymphs, under
water. At the end of the two-year period they rise up to the surface
and hatch out to live for just one One or two that come up and they're
able toe merge straight away, they sort of burst out of their skins
and take off instantly. The whole place is just alive with thousands
and thousands of May fly. You see them fluttering up and they
fall back down like miniature skydivers. It's a beautiful time of
year. It lasts for just the shortest amount of time, like so
many things in nature, that's what make it's so spectacular. It really
marks the start of summer and the end of spring.
One thing I really wanted to do was film the demoiselles emerging. It
happens at night. I thought if I managed to get a result then it
would be something we would rarely see. I spent about two weeks
waiting all night waiter for one to emerge. I never thought I would get
to see this moment, when something in its life is so vulnerable and
going through these changes. It was breath taking. I felt like I had
been let in on a secret world that not many people would be able to
witness. Having filmed the emergence, I felt
I had come into their world. I need -- needed to film the adult form as
well. I decided to put the waders on and get in the river. It's an
amazing perspective from the water level, among the reeds with them or
see them perching. The whole place looks completely different from
river level. It was a great One thing I really found through
making the film was that I sort of, really stepped into the world of a
lot of the wildlife here and learned a huge amount about it and
feel much closer to the place as a result. What I really discovered is
that there's absolutely no substitute from just spending time,
quietly, sitting and watching and waiting for things to happen. Only
by doing that, will you really get to know the river and see what
I think you're going to be going down the Jobcentre. It was
beautiful wasn't it? What a fantastic film. Well done Matt.
just great behaviour. The framing, composition of everything was spot
on. Matt, you've done a good job mate. We have a bit more gear than
you at the moment. We have to try to match up. We have a camera here,
not far from the studio, we're calling it marsh-cam. It's a
lovelyer is reen -- lovely serene evening. We get those pictures
because of the magic of technology and an awful lot of cable. So if we
can mix from this picture through to well that's the scene where it
is, we're zooming in, so you can see exactly where the camera is.
That's what it looks like. Then it's connected, as are all our
cameras, via miles and miles of cable that race through the woods
and join up, well from here it's about a kilometre, to our
production village, there it is. I hope that Martin is standing in
amongst those trucks somewhere. Martin, are you there? Kate, I am
here. Here I am at mission control. It took seven months to plan this.
It took two weeks to build and there are 90 kilometres of cables
around here. I'll show you around. That building there, that's where
we have our production meetings in the morning to plan the day's
program. There's informer a cross here, let me show you this. This is
interesting. I don't know if you can see through there, that dish
there is transmitting the pictures as I speak to you now. The signal
goes into the satellite and it goes 72,000 kilometres to get to your
telly. Now these big vans here is where the film editors are. They're
putting together all the films of the animals we see on Springwatch.
We came down here to find the story developers. They gave us, oh, let's
see if we can find them in here. Careful up the stairs. Up you come.
We have to go through here. Now this is the, hello everyone! Come
on in. These are the producers, directors, there's James or
director. Don't be shy chaps. They're not used to being on telly.
Come through here, if you would. Going very well. Well done everyone.
This is what we've really come to see, story developers. Hello all of
you. Hi Martin. This is Sara. This is Jess and Scott. Now you actually
got our lovely red start story, were you here to see that? We were
indeed. We saw them fledging last night during the show. Fantastic.
Thank you very much. We are completely off the ball we werement
I forgot to do that, I'll remember now. What's been going on now?
What's catching your attention? the moment, we're keeping an eye on
the two heron nestlings. They look like they've settled down for the
evening a bit. They've been teasing us all day with wing flapping and
preening. We keep thinking they're going and then they don't. What's
this up here? Here's a sandpiper, now that's a brand new nest for us?
Chris and Kate, can you see that? That is a brand new sandpiper nest.
Look at that! I'm really pleased about this. I like the sandpipers.
Hang on, I think we have just heard from Charlie Hamilton-James, we
have live pictures of beavers. It's coming from Knapdale. Can we
coming from Knapdale. Can we connect to Charlie? Can we hear
him? Hello guys! Look at this, this guy is so close. You can -- he can
hear me talking, look. He's probably about 20 metres away. I
say he, it could be a she. It's difficult to tell the difference.
If it's a he, this is Christian, who we met the other night. He was
trying to fell a tree and trying not to get squashed by it. He's
speeding up now because he can hear me. He's out on evening patrol.
They come out about this time and head off on a patrol around the
loch here. They don't really start work until it gets dark. At the
moment, he's having his evening feed. That is pretty special, isn't
it? I have to let him go, while I reposition myself. I can't quite
believe how close he is. He's just there.
Let's hunt for him with that lens again. It's all a bit back to front
to me. There he is. I'll doom in on him again.
Now he's come, we're about 200 yards away from the lodge now. He's
come up quite a long way. I keep calling this a he. It could be his
wife. Now this just proves that anyone can come out here, to
Knapdale, and see this. This isn't private. This trial isn't a private
thing. Anyone can do it. And you don't have to come out with loads
of specialist kit, you don't need infrared lights. I've no idea what
the time is probably 8.20pm and there's a beaver swimming around.
The sun's not quite sext anyone can do this. If you want to, don't
bring your dog. There's one thing beavers don't like, it's dogs.
But if you came out, sat here quietly, on one of these lobgz, --
lochs, there's every chance you could see something as special as
this. Look at that! That's a tail snap. He's come back up, that means
he's a bit nervous, probably because we're all here, giving us a
tail slap, bit of an alarm. He's not too fazed. He's come straight
back up and just carrying on. Hopefully, going to get into the
reeds and find some food. So now, he's heading back down the
loch. If I can zoom out on this thing, you can have a look. He's
going back down the loch towards his lodge. Beavers don't just,
sorry I'm jerking the camera around now. They don't just use their
lodges for sleeping in. They also use them for eating in. They have a
secret, underwater tunnel, that heads up from underwater into the
middle of the lodge. In there they've got, let's just zoom in,
inside the tunnel just at water level as you go in the tunnel, a
little area where they like to eat. They'll take food in there and eat
in complete safety knowing that no predators can get them.
I think he's just heading down. This could be the last we see of
him tonight. It's just starting to get dark. I think he knows where we
are. Well there you go guys, it's got a
bit far away now. I'm so chuffed we got you then. It's been a big thing
all week, can we get it for you and we did. I hope you enjoyed it.
Oh, I say, honestly. That was brilliant - Charlie Hamilton-James,
you are a genius! That was fan of theic. He stole our thunder. We
were going to introduce our beautiful sandpiper, now you have
to wait till Monday. I'm sorry about that. But you wanted to talk
About some historical stuff that you found out. One of the thing
that's people say about - hi Martin. Sorry. One of the things that
people say about the wee introduction of beavers in Scotland
is that they didn't used to occur there. I was checking out my
history and recently they've discovered no less than five ark
logical sites with beaver bones in Scotland and there are place names
with beaver in it, suggesting that the animals used to live there.
Beavers were in Scotland. Can I just do another literary reference.
Gerald of Wales - You just have the one book, do you? Help yourself to
a second. Gerald says in Scotland or so they tell me, there is again,
only one stream where beavers live and even there they're rare, but
they were in Scotland, Gerald says it. It must be true. It must be
true. Now, many of you have been contacting us via the message board
to talk about our barn owls. Before we get to the nitty gritty of that
story. For those of you who aren't familiar with barn owls, have a
look at the perhaps non-geeky version what have makes up these
amazing birds.?. A barn owl weighs about as much as a grape fruit and
lives for around four years. Though the oldest reached precisely 14
years seven months and two days. Very impressive. They're easily
identified by their pale colour and heart shaped face. I love you.
right, that's enough! If you hear this... (screech) Don't be alarmed,
it may sound like something out of a horror movie, but that's your
barn owl. They have also hiss, yap and snore.
The barn owl has the motion acute hearing of any known animal. It's
all to do with the placement of their ears. They're placed a
similar et Rickally. One is slightly higher than the other.
About there. The owl cannical being late the
exact position of the sound source, which allows them to catch 2,000
mice, voles and other small mammals every year (. That was one minute
eight seconds actually. If you've been watching our webcams today,
you'll notice that our barn owls have been terribly hot. Everyone
was really concerned about this. Not only you at home, look at this,
we got back to the studio and found the ep tire crew gathered around
the monitors, literally sweating it out with the barn owls, such was
the worry. They had reason to be, because this was the scene that you
were all watching. The barn owl chicks, as you can see, panting in
the heat. This little one actually collapsing and seeming Chris, it's
at the back now, unable to get up. They just look like, now two of
them down on the ground looking moments away from expiring. When
you think about, it they're covered in a thick, warm coat of down to
keep them warm. The young one is the least with -- is the one with
the least energy. They're expanding a lot of energy panting like that,
energy they need to building up their bodies. It's quite an
expensive process, this what we call goolating, panting to lose
heat. The nest is at the top of a barn, under a roof, about the
hottest place it could possibly be. Wood peckers, anything that nests
in hay confined space like this, barn owls, they are set up for it.
They have to go through these changes in temperature. It's better
that they're warm than cold. The adult will be trying to brood
what's now a large collection of young probably not being able to
keep them warm. Here's a challenge to the camera crew, next week maybe
we could get a thermometer into the roof of the barn so we can see how
hot it is. Then how cold as well and what they do when it's cold. We
could try. It has cooled down a little now, lovely evening now.
Cooler than this afternoon. Let's go now live to the barn owl nest.
What do you think? I can't see that flutter going on now. Is that the
little one in the middle? I don't think it's going to expire. It's
pretty strong at the moment. There's so much food there. It's
not hungry. It's just a bit behind of others in terms of development.
It doesn't look that perky, though, to be fair? Well, no. But they're
sleepy animals. He's sleeping, that's all Kate. Let's not be
negative. Eating and sleeping, that's all they have to do. Is it
not very perky or just sleeping? Keep an eye on the owlles over the
weekend by going to the website. Bbc.co.uk/Springwatch. The web kams
are there. Keep updated with them. And our quiz. Can we, Becky,
where's Becky with questions, please? Answers rather. Thanks
Becks. Lucy aged eight says hedgehog. I'm getting that. Sally
monster says damsel fly eggs on the blog. Ella says leeches or worms.
Good effort. Keep them coming in. None of them quite right. Earlier
in the week, we had a competition where we were setting out these
camera traps in the woods. We were trying to see which mammals are out
there in the course of the night. I won the competition actually with
pictures - Rubbish! Steady on. also asked to you send your
pictures in, if you were using camera traps. The viewers got much
better pictures than we did. put us to shame. Marvellous fox.
Beautiful badgers. This is fox and badger. I wouldn't have bet on that
in a million years. So we are going to have another go next week. But
keep your photos coming in. Now many of you will have seen on the
news today and in the newspapers that our hedgehogs appear to be in
decline. I had an e-mail from an old friend, Jennie, saying that
she's not seeing hedgehogs in her garden any more. What's going on
Martin? It's all to do with our gardens. I've been going out and
trying to find out about a potential solution to a very
serious problem. This is a story about these...
Hedgehogs. This is hue Deany. But it's also a story about something
much, much bigger than just hedgehogs alone. It's something
that, and she's sharp! All of us potentially, nearly all of us could
get involved with this. Hedgehogs are one of those garden
visitors that we assume are somewhere in the backyards. But
when was the last time you actually saw one? If you had seen a hedgehog
recently, you're lucky. We've lost about half of all our hedgehogs in
the last 25 years. Now our gardens are potentially a great habitat for
hedgehogs, but we all tend to overtidy them and that is actually
one factor in the hedgehogs' decline. But help is at hand. The
people's trust for endangered species and the hedgehog
conservation trust have started a really exciting scheme, called
Hedgehog Street. I caught up with volunteer Fiona. The idea is that
you talk to your neighbours in your street and encourage them to look
for hedgehogs, to talk to each other about hedgehogs and look at
how to improve their own gardens and in particular... This is the
big idea, right? To connect gardens. Then hedgehogs can go between
gardens so they have more areas to forage over. They range for up to a
mile or more than a mile a night in search of food. So they need to get
between more than one garden in order to find owl the food they
need. Collectively we have over a million
acres of gardens in the UK. Unfortunately, because most of our
gardens are fenced in with wire and wood, they've become just isolated
pockets of habitat. But it doesn't take much to make a big difference.
All you need to do is look at your garden from a hedgehog's
perspective and that's exactly what Fiona is trying to encourage her
neighbours to do. From a wildlife perspective, one of the first
things that you would notice is that there's a hedge row, so they
can get access to the garden. the one to the next door neighbour,
it looks great at first sight, ah, but it's not. No, there's a hidden
barrier behind here. You can see there's a mixture of rabbit netting
and plastic netting behind there. Soy doubt very much that there
would be a way through. What will we do? Maybe a hole.
Ideally, we're looking to make 15 inch gaps for our prickly friends.
Talking to neighbours, connecting your gardens and generally thinking
like the animals that live in them could not only help your hedgehog,
but all of our garden wildlife. We've been lucky so far, we've just
had to cut through wire, what about if somebody's got a solid fence,
could you dig a hole under it? Indeed you could. Shall we try one
of those then? I think that might holes here and there, what
difference can that make? Well it can make a difference in a small
garden. If you can imagine everybody in their gardens doing
that across the country, that is going to make a huge difference.
There's 23 million gardens across the country. I have this vision of
them all starting to interconnect. It could be the start of something
really big. Not just a wildlife corridor, but a
massive wildlife network. I like it! It's such a thrilling idea.
Simple. A million acres, we could connect them up. It's a lovely,
easy thing for anybody to be able to do and make a huge difference.
If you want to get involved in hedgehog street, here it is, we've
got a link on the website and maybe get to know your neighbours, cut a
hole in the hedge and make a massive difference. It's a strange
way to get to know your neighbours. Can we go straight back to Scotland
because I'm just hearing, look at this! This is absolutely live guys.
This is from Charlie Hamilton- James's cameras in Scotland.
Beautiful shot of a beaver doing what it does best. It's a bit of
bark. Back with Charlie in a moment. Now let's answer the question that
we set you earlier in the programme. We asked, what on earth was this
photograph of? Who got it right? Remo knew was a species of mosquito
eggs. Zoe on Facebook and Lynsey Edwards congratulations to you all.
Mosquito eggs. I like mosquitoes, I know that's a bit weird, but a
fantastic life history. Those eggs hatchupside down. The lar vi hatch
through the bottom and drop into the water. I don't think I love
mosquitoes quite as much. Neither do I, I've had malaria too many
times. This weekend why not think of doing something terribly simple
to help the wildlife that lives around you. Here is a really neat
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them if you like this sort of thing. You can make your own, as long as
you put them on a sunny wall, you'll get the bees. If you haven't
got bamboo, but you have Japanese knotweed, that works well as well.
Go to our website, bbc.co.uk/Springwatch for lots and
lots of ideas of how to help the wildlife in your garden.
without further ado, we have to go would. But we did! I think it's
still them. I can't see it. It's gone all the way off to the lodge.
Ian, our specialist cameraman, can. Look at that. We think this is
actually Truda, not Christian. This is who he lives with. Just now she
stood up. We got to see her nipples. Now if we can see protruded nipples,
it means she's probably pregnant. That is exactly what the Scottish
beaver trial wants because they want beavers up here. They want
them breeding. That's what the trial is all about. Now, the other
day, I went out with a special mission of my own, involving an
quirky mission and a personal one. A few years ago, I discovered that
otters could smell under water, using my underwater cam ra. I got a
hunch that beavers might be able to do the same.
What I'm going to do is dump it right in the middle of their canal.
When they're swimming up the canal, they should, hopefully, smell right
into it. Beavers love apples. So I'm going
to tempt them in with one by sticking it on a spike, like that,
sticking it in the water right in front of the lens.
I can control the underwater camera from my laptop.
So all I need to do is retreat into my hide and wait. The crew has left
me and I'm bedding in for the night. I've got my monitor here. The
monitor is wired to a camera that's in the canal. Hopefully, I'll get
it as it arrives, swims down and grabs the apple. That's the plan
any way. At least it's not raining.
(heavy rain) It's 2am, it's raining a lot heavier now. I've started to
get really tired. I still haven't heard a beaver come up the canal,
so I'm just going to keep going really. However, an hour later, my
it. It's doing it. I got it. He found it straight away. It's right
here. It's 2.50am and suddenly the beaver
just appeared, out of nowhere and got it. It came up, floated right
over the camera, head down, just grabbed the apple. I can't quite
believe it though. My heart's going crazy. So chuffed! I was very, very
excited when I shot that, but when I looked back at it, I don't think
it actually was smelling that am. I think it was probably smelling it
on the surface and and using its feet to find it. Maybe some better
scientist should discover whether they can smell under water or not.
I've had an amazing time up here in the last couple of weeks, getting
to know beavers again. And really following the story of them coming
back into Britain, after 400 years of being away. It's a very debate.
There's three more years to go on this project. So, who knows what
will unfold? A few big thank yous to the people who let us do this
and made this happen, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scottish natural
heritage, Royal Zoological Socitey for Scotland, the Forestry
Commission and let's not forget the Scottish beaver trial team. Thank
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viewers at home, I think he deserves three cheers. He's really
delivered anded to live beaver. Absolutely, thank you so, so much
Charlie. Safe journey home and very, very well done indeed. Shall we
have a quick look at our live cameras before we go for the
weekend. Let's look at our herons. weekend. Let's look at our herons.
Look at that! Do you think they'll disappear over the weekend? I think
they'll come back to the next for a few days to get food. Let's look at
the sandpiper. We nearly showed you this lovely little bird earlier in
the thing. She had her thunder stolen by a beaver. We will
introduce you to this beautiful bird on Monday. She's sitting on
her eggs. We don't know how many she's got. Keep an eye on her and
all our characters do, that by going to our website
bbc.co.uk/Springwatch. There's another great thing about that
website, if you have a look for a little icon, things to do, click on
that. Can you put your postcode in and it will give you great ideas,
in where that the live it will give great ideas of things to do over
the weekend. What's going on on Monday? We're heading to the island
of Skoma. We will meet up with Wales's greatest naturalist. He's
going to be looking at some of the iconic wildlife, including of
course, puffins. We're keeping a careful eye on the owls of course.