Episode 8 Springwatch

Episode 8

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Last night Springwatch became Crimewatch. The question is, could


we catch the culprit? Stay tuned to admire our remarkable detective


I fancy myself as a Sherlock. could see that. Sherlock? Welcome


to Springwatch coming to you live from the beautiful Ynyshir nature


reserve owned by the RSPB. It is full of fantastic habitats, so we


have got all of the usual ingredients - real wildlife in


real-time. Coming up tonight: Well, we have our barn owl mystery, what


were our young owls getting so hot under the collar all about? I took


Chris for a ride in the beautiful Isle of Man and we had a marvellous


time! Lashings of ginger beer. We will be bringing you news of this


icon of Wales, it is of course our red kite family. We will be telling


you how the chick is getting on a little bit later in the programme.


Now, let's go to this week's guest naturalist, Iolo Williams, who is


on Skomer. Welcome to sunny Skomer. It's been a beautiful day. It's a


glorious evening and the island as ever is alive with birds. We


promised you all week we would bring you a puffling. Tonight we


deliver! He is very confident. I would love


to see it. Last night we asked for your help to solve a mystery.


Something was upsetting our owls. It seemed to be a sound, some sort


of noise was upsetting them. What was that sound? Let's have a look


at those owls. Here they are getting very upset. Clearly, there


is something in there that's bothering them a lot. They are


looking straight out towards camera, but towards the entrance of the


nest. What was it? Now, we asked for your ideas and they came in


thick and fast. 40% of you thought it was a magpie making that sound.


27% a woodpecker. 8% thought it was a badger. The people have spoken,


Chris. Listen to this. We heard this noise before the owls all got


terribly upset. We tested you, you came up with your ideas. We also


spoke to the experts. We spoke to a lady from the Barn Owls Trust. She


thought it was the young owls. We spoke to Paul, he thought it might


have been a male barn owl. We still had another expert. We did. Chris


Watson thought that he had a theory so I went to see him today just to


ask him for a bit of clarification. That sound is coming from the barn


owl nestlings, principally because of the perspective in sound because


the source of the sound and the quality of the sound is almost


identical to the quality of the sound and the hissing. How can you


tell that? Well, take your microphone off. So if you speak -


ask me that question again. How can you tell that? If I move the


microphone - if I put it over here. Ask me that question. How can you


tell that? The level of the sound of that chucking sound, it had to


come from exactly the same place? would say so. It's the great thing


about Springwatch. We have cameras and microphones in these privileged


positions so we are hearing stuff that some of the experts never get


the opportunity of hearing. There's also another clue for me as a


wildlife sound recordist. Birds of prey of a certain age, nestlings,


have a commonality to some of the sounds. This is the recording of a


young goshawk we made a couple of years ago. What Chris suspected was


he recorded in that goshawk nest that chucking sound, different from


the barn owls, but similar rhythm from those young nestlings in the


goshawk nest. So what he thought was that he was hearing a similar


thing with the barn owls. And given that thought, I went and did some


background reading and found out that young barn owls, very young


birds, do produce this low chucking type of call. Then it goes away. It


appears the lady from the Barn Owl Trust was absolutely right. Hats


off to you! That's only solved part of our mystery. That's answered the


question about the sound, what was making it? It was the owls


themselves. There was something else definitely there generating


some animosity. It wasn't the sole occasion. Take a look at this. We


saw this last night. Here is one of the adult owls giving this


characteristic antagonistic hissing sound looking at something that it


quite clearly perceives as a threat. We wanted to find out what that


threat was. We called in our crack team of mini camera guys, here is


Nigel and Charlie with camera traps which they set up around the barn


and in the hope that we would then catch on camera whatever it was


that was causing the owls to get upset and make that extraordinary


noise. You will never guess what? We think they have managed to do it.


They got some photographs - these are stills. Have a look at this.


You will see up in the top corner there, the top right-hand corner,


that is the window into the owls' nest. Down there on the left,


what's that? Let's have another look. The next picture. It's gone


behind the wood there. I am sure you are guessing what it is. There


is an owl going in. And it's a cat. You can see its eyes glowing. It is


right up looking into the nest now. Mmm. Cats are very serious


predators of small birds, but what about owls? Well, I am looking at


that female barn owl and I am thinking if you tolerate this your


children might be next or might they? This is a cat and they are


quite a large bird. We know they pre-date small things. To have a go


at an adult barn owl might be beyond the cat. Before we think


about that, let's go to the nest live and make sure our owls are


still in there. They are looking good. I have to say, these owls - I


know they had a bit of stress last weekend with the heat - but this


week they have been getting a bumper supply of foods. They have


been getting masses of food. We have had an interesting question


about that. "Do owl chicks regurgitate pellets like their


parents?" Well, we can tell you that, not just verbally, but


visually. Have a look at what happened today with our largest of


the chicks. I think it speaks for itself, or regurgitates for itself!


Is that the first one? This is the first time it has been seen


producing a pellet. What a pellet! LAUGHTER Chris, do they start


almost immediately? They are being fed voles and mice and all the


things that they are going to eat as adults. Is this something they


naturally do straightaway? What happens is, they get Ted for the


first six or seven days lots of indigestable material. Then they


don't produce a pellet then. They then go through a secondary stage


which we have seen with baby Bob. This is what happens next. It is


rather unpleasant. They don't produce a compacted pellet. It is


more like vomiting up the loose remains of all of this material and


Bob was trying to do this for a considerable period of time. Look


what he ends up having to do is take it all back again. I make a


pasta dish almost exactly like that! LAUGHTER Sorry. So what we


are going to see in a few days' time Bob will produce a prized


pellet. If we could recover it, we might put it in a silver frame and


entitle it, "My first pellet." It is time to move on to something a


bit more genial. Let's move over to see what Iolo has been up to. We


are down here on the west coast of central Wales. Iolo is down here


off of the tip of Pembrokeshire on Skomer island. The last time we


spotted him, he was here. I am hoping he is not out here at the


moment or lost in the clouds. Iolo, are your feet firmly on dry land?


Welcome back to Skomer island. If you were watching yesterday, you


will have learnt that the seabirds here are doing pretty well. You


will also know from what Chris the warden told us that the most


numerous bird here is the Manx shearwater. 250,000 breeding birds.


How do they know this? Well, the wardens have a secret weapon. It's


this tape. The Manx shearwaters are underground and on this tape is a


Manx shearwater call. If there is a bird in this burrow, it should


respond to this. Bear in mind this is live, this is an experiment,


usually they go wrong! We will give it a good go. I will play this


first. CALL OF A MANX SHEARWATER Listen, can we get the microphone?


CALL IS REPEATED It worked. Thank you. Isn't that brilliant?!


Fantastic. By knowing there is a bird in there, they can do this


over an area here in every burrow and they can then extrapolate those


results over the whole island and work out the whole island


population. I am so excited that that worked. Also, we have a camera


in a burrow just up there and we were hoping to film a change-over


which is where one of the birds comes back from the open ocean and


takes over the incubation. This is what happened at 3.00am, still


going, two nights again. There is one adult on the nest and here is


the other one. The second bird has been feeding far out of sea,


perhaps for a week, maybe ten days and now it is taking over the


duties of sitting on the egg so the That bird is out there in the Irish


Sea right now feeding. But the Manx shearwaters are only on Skomer for


six months of the year. Where are they for the other six months? I


know a man who has got the answer to that.


On Monday, I joined a team from Oxford University and saw them


downloading the data from a tiny tracking device they had fitted on


the bird's leg a year ago. They had to have a day off to analyse the


results but yesterday team leader Tim was able to reveal what our


bird had been up to. Tim, come on then, what have we got? So, we


managed to analyse the data now. So I have colour-coded different


periods of the migration. In orange, we have the outward migration which


starts mid-September, it goes down the west coast of Africa, across to


Brazil and then down to start of her winter period off the middle of


Argentina. In the deep winter, in this dark blue, she spends those


three months November, December and January very far south indeed, on


the edge of an arkty ka. Then about the beginning of February, she


starts to move north again -- Antarctica. Mid-March, she whistles


the east coast of South America, she comes into the Caribbean taking


a sweeping arc and back across the North Atlantic. That is her return


migration. That finishes mid-April. Fascinating. I didn't know that


they went far south. I didn't realise they came this far north


either. We didn't really realise they went this far south. Are you


able to calculate how far this bird has thrown in the last 360-odd days


-- has flown in the last 360-odd days? 10,000 kilometres, maybe


12,000. That means about a 25,000 kilometre return trip at least.


These are long-lived birds? This bird could be 25 years old. It


could be twice that. So several million kilometres. This is


fascinating, Tim. I have learnt something completely new. It also


reinforces the fact that there's so much that we really don't know


about these fabulous birds as well? We are only just beginning to


understand the elusive lifestyles of these seabirds. Isn't it it


incredible to think when they leave here in September they might


touchdown on land again for five years. I must tell you the story of


an incredible story of a Manx shearwater. Up till two years ago


it had come back every year for 55 years. Scientists believe it had


flown more than four million miles, that is to the moon and back eight


times. An incredible bird but we have got lots of incredible birds


for you when you come back to us later on.


Four million miles! That is the most incredible statistic, one


little bird. Unbelievable! I know. From one extraordinary bird to a


little bird that we have nesting in the woods just behind us here. It


is our wood warbler. Let's go and have a look at her now. There is


the nest. This is the most incredible nest. It is like a


little tunnel. It is on the ground and it is nestled in. In amongst


the moss and the ivy. It is so brilliantly camouflaged and


disguised that even with our camera right up there, you can barely see


the chicks, can you? No. They are keeping their head down doing what


they need to do. They will only flick their heads up when the


adults come back in. This is unusual. We have been on the nest


for a few seconds and not seen an adult. They have been coming in up


to 48 times an hour. More than once every two minutes. Again, these


woods are terribly productive when it comes to providing foodment they


have six youngsters in there so that will take a lot of food --


providing food. They have six youngsters in there so that will


take a lot of food. We have been watching the grasshopper warbler,


too. How are these two species able to live in the same place at the


same time? Here is the answer. Both are sub-Saharan migrants. The


grasshopper warblers have spent their winters in northern Senegal.


The wood warblers, they have been to Sierra Leone perhaps all the way


through to southern Sudan. They get back ten days later on 23rd April.


Both of these species are very song centric. The wood warbler has a


civilian trill. The nests are build from the same fabrics - a base of


leaves and a cup of neatly-woven grass. These are then lined with


hair. Clutch and brood size, they are about the same. Both of our


nests have six healthy youngsters in at the moment. The habitats are


different. The grasshopper warbler likes marshland with bushes. The


wood warbler likes these tall Oakwood lands which are so typical


of this part of Wales. This affects their foraging behaviour. The


grasshopper warbler creeps along like a mouse. Whereas the wood


warbler is up in the canopy, fly- catching. This in turn affects the


prey they catch. We have seen plenty of spiders being brought


into our grasshopper warbler's nest. Whereas, the wood warbler, well


lots of cater pillars but also flying insect -- caterpillars, but


also flying insects too are appearing in the diet. That is what


we call niche separation. That allows both those species, both our


birds, to co-exist within metres of each other and raise successful


families. Let's go live to our grasshopper warbler now. You can


see these chicks. This has been probably the most remarkable


transformation we have ever witnessed on Springwatch. Just four


days ago, we introduced you to this family. You could barely see the


chicks. Now, they are enormous, Chris. I know. There is a good


reason for that. The food has been going in. This is the food we have


seen going in. This one is a bit odd. She got back to the nest with


some other food and found on the side of it a slug. Not typical food


for this species. She couldn't resist it. Puts it into the mouth


of this bird. It didn't slither out. Did it? It did! This is the equally


interesting thing - these birds are growing so much that one of them


appears to follow the adult out. is not falling out. The nest is on


the ground. This is very typical of their behaviour. It is. They grow


so quickly. They are on the ground, they are very vulnerable there. The


concept is, if they get disturbed by a predator, they will scatter


into the undergrowth so that they can't be found. They may go back to


the nest. One thing is for sure, the scattering will mean that not


all of them will get eaten if they are discovered by a predator.


can see they look like they are pretty close to fledging. So


definitely one of our webcams to keep your eyes on over the weekend.


Now, there has been a very worrying trend emerging that many of our


native birds are going into decline. Really, is there anything that we


can do to reverse that? Well, I went to a farm that seemed to be


having some measure of success. There is one group of birds in


Britain that has suffered a particularly dramatic and prolonged


decline. It's lost half its numbers since 1970. That's more than any


other group. It's our farmland birds. Some species have suffered


more than others. The UK population of tree sparrows is down by 94%.


Corn bupbtings by nearly the same. Other farmland specialists like the


lapwing and yellowhammer have also plummeted. -- bunting. It is a


terrifying and very real prospect that some of the UK's most


important species are on the brink of being lost forever. Experts at


the RSPB know exactly what's caused this decline in our farmland birds.


There aren't enough safe nesting sites and there isn't enough food


available at critical times of the year. Farmers have become so


efficient at producing food that there's hardly any room left for


wildlife. So it is farmers and modern farming methods that are


responsible. Or is it? Farmers are under increasing pressure to supply


a plentiful amount of cheap food and that pressure comes from us.


Because we are unwilling to shell out cash for our food, ultimately


it is our wildlife that pays the price. I have come to Upton Farm,


2,000 acres on the border of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. It is


a non-organic arable and livestock farm which has found a way to


combine farming and wildlife. It is down to one man. Wildlife needs


three things - a home, food and a mate. Presumably, though, farms


provide plenty of places for things to nest and plenty of food, don't


they? No. Science tells us 90% of the wildlife on farmland has gone


because the has been fats have gone. 90%? What are you advising --


habitats have gone. 90%? What are you advising farmers to do? This


wild flower meadow provides insects and insects feed birds in the


summer. Presumably, if you are a farmer, desperately trying to make


any sort of profit, taking this amount of land out of production


isn't going to work? The Government give him money to grow wildlife and


wildlife is a crop. My skill is sitting down with the farmer and


working out where he's earning �300 from wheat but I can show him �400


from wildlife. Now he's in business. Brilliant. Look at that


yellowhammer. Two! A pair of them. They are special birds. We planted


this hedge eight years ago and it is a home for birds. The methods


provide food and shelter for birds but he also plants crops to help


them in the winter. We know one of the biggest killers is winter


starvation. This is a mixture of plants that will retain their seed,


the blue one is linseed, that one will produce seed later in the year,


mustard is the yellow one. The one that is most interesting is fodder


radish. The birds have to peck into it. Take one. Eat the seed? Yes.


That's three birds you have starved to death. You are so mean! It does


taste like radish. Basically, what we are looking at here is a little


permanent source of winter food? we could get more farmers planting


this, birds wouldn't starve. He has been working with Rob Alan since


2003. The results are astonishing. We have seen more and more birds.


We have lapwings nesting for the first time this year. We have 18 of


the 19 farmland birds. We have boxes everywhere for the tree


sparrows. We found tree sparrows where bits of mortar were missing


from buildings. In those stones? They take to the box very readily.


They seem to move straight in. Clearly, you have done a lot of


things here and it has worked. Is it worth it? It is worth it, I


think, from our point of view. The farm's profitable, we are paid for


taking this out of crops and farming it for wildlife. There are


costs and hassles, but it is very rewarding. What you have done here


at Upton has made a real difference to the state of farmland birds?


And to the wildlife environment as a whole? Yes. Is your dream to turn


your back on Upton and tackle the this lot? Yes. There's Wales and


the rest of the world! What the farmer needs is the help to deliver.


We know it works, we have seen it working. That's for tomorrow. It's


What's so heartening about that, is it proves it can be done. If the


farmer does it, it works. But he is right, farmers need help, they need


support, they need advice about how to do it. But I have got a bit of


breaking news for you. I shouldn't be telling you this. Figures that


are due to be released tomorrow by Natural England are expected to


show that our farmers are taking up this challenge. More land than ever


before, 150,000 hectares of our farmland is now being managed for


wildlife. That is really good to stop the decline of farmland birds.


Really good news. Big thanks to the farmers. If you are a farmer that


is not involved, get involved. We are down by the marsh, we have had


a look at the grasshopper warbler. On to the water, there has been


lots of activity. Plenty of swallows taking all of the fly or


midge larvae which are hatching... Not enough of the midge larvae I


have to say! They are hatching out and these birds are picking them


off. They have been down there all afternoon. Lovely damselflies here.


These look like common damselflies. Lots of dragonflies, too. Once the


nesting season is over, birds disappear, these are the things to


delight us. These are super animals. They have been around for hundreds


of millions of years in this body form. They can fly at 30mph, hover,


go backwards. I have to say, you really don't have to come to a


nature reserve like this to see them. That's right. One of the easy


things you can do is build a pond, I did it myself a couple of years


ago. It did involve quite a lot of digging. You don't need to do that.


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 79 seconds


Brilliant. That's so simple and it really works. You have a pond?


have only just dug my pond. I did it a few months ago. No what you


have got! I know. I am feeling smug about my pond. It was built two


years ago. We featured it on the programme. We have put newt traps


in it. All three species of British newt in two years! Isn't that


fantastic? If you build it, they will come! It is true. Ponds are


great places for insects. Lots of insect life. There is over a


million species of insect around the world. In the UK we have well


over 20,000 different types of insect. What is happening to our


bugs? Well, you can help find out. The Natural History Museum, here it


is, OPAL, the Open Air Laboratory, have joined together to produce


this. We can all get involved with the big count and I did that this


afternoon. There's lots of different things they want you to


do. I'm going to search for bugs on plants. I have a checklist and I


have 15 minutes. We are off! Wolf spider with egg case. A big tick.


Bumblebee. Having its lunch on some clover. He's fallen off. I think I


will back off. That's a bee! Slug- tastic! Ladybirds. It's a seven-


spot ladybird. A ladybird is a beetle. Grasshopper. Young one, but


it counts. Beautiful fly, hover fly, can you see him? Gorgeous. He's


gone. Catster pillar. One for Chris to identify. -- caterpillar. One


for Chris the to -- one for Chris to identify. How many do I write on


this sheet? Ants. And time is up! That's it. If you want to get


involved in the bug count, there is a link on bbc.co.uk/springwatch.


would like to see you looking for insects. When I see you out and


about it is such a crime to be wearing that Green Watch! Stop


about the watch! It really is. Let's catch up with a few of the


birds that aren't here on the reserve. You might have seen


earlier in the week that we visited the osprey project just up the


estuary here. Great news there. They have hatched not two, but


three chicks. Despite initial teething problems with the


inexperienced female not feeding them properly, they are all getting


plenty of food, as you can see, and they are still very healthy. One


other thing that we witnessed with these birds is this. When they move


around the nest, they close up their feet into a fist so that


their large and very dangerous talons don't run the risk of


puncturing the eggs or scratching the chicks. Well, last week, I


introduced you to the Little Owls, our Little Owl nest. It is time to


catch up with the latest news there. You may remember we were lucky


enough to hook up with Emily who is is a researcher, she is sponsored


by the Hawk and Owl Trust and she's managed to get cameras right inside


the nestboxes of the little owls. Here is mum coming in. You can see


the first chick has hatched out. That was on May 18th. Then just the


next day on the 19th, the second chick hatched out. That continues.


Here she is bringing in some food. That was a moth. You can see if it


is a moth, just how small she is. Even better here, that is a sparrow.


It is almost as big as the owl. Here are all the little chicks.


They are a bit different in size. That is perfectly normal. They are


getting lots and lots of food here. There goes a moth. They are so


hungry, they are coming right out of the nestbox to be the first to


get that grub as it comes in. Here we go. Here comes mum or dad again.


The news is all good. We will keep in contact with Emily and we will


follow this family throughout the whole of the rest of Springwatch.


They are absolutely delightful. beautiful. Great news that that is


going so well. Another nest, and another family are our red kites.


There is the red kite chick. Before we came on air, ten days later,


look at him or her now. Looking very magnificent indeed. The reason


for that is again she's been very well looked after and very well-fed.


A vole coming in now. We think that this chick's about four weeks old.


We are not entirely sure and the good thing is, that she has a very


experienced mum, the mum is about 16 or 17 years old and she's raised


two chicks in the two previous years to this. But this is


something that I absolutely love, it is pouring with rain yesterday


and look what she does, she comes into the nest and raises her wing...


Thanks, mum! To create an umbrella over the chick. So what the Welsh


Kite Trust, that is looking after this nest, are hoping to do next


week is to ring that chick - very important to ID these birds and be


able to keep an eye on them. I am hoping I might be able to go along


and help them do that and if I do, you will get to see it. Now, let's


go back to Skomer and to Iolo. Welcome back to a remarkably calm


North Haven. One species that we have neglected so far, the herring


gull. Steve is on a herring gull over there at the moment. It is


just standing around by the puffins' burrow. They know a puffin


will come in with fish and that gull is going to pounce on it. It


pales into insignificance compared with the biggest gull on the island,


the great black-backed gull. Earlier, we saw one have a go at a


puffin. It happens all the time. Steve has been following this bird


for the past few days. The great black-backed is the King


of the Island. It is a huge bird. That is a buzzard. They have a nest


on the other side of the island. There it is being mobbed by a great


black-backed and you can see just how much bigger the gull is. They


even bully the buzzards! The ridge tops are the best nesting sites on


the whole island and they are taking by great black-backed gulls.


These are the best viewpoints on the island to keep an eye out for


potential prey. The threat from these gulls is the reason why the


Manx shearwaters don't come out in the daytime. This Manx shearwater


may well have been out feeding and strayed too close to the island and


these big gulls are very efficient predators. They also keep the


rabbit population in check. It pays to have a deep burrow on this


island! It would be so easy to portray these birds as villains,


but they are just trying to survive as is everyone else. We have been


staking out a nest in the heart of the island and just look what we


saw yesterday. It's a beautiful chick. This other chick is tucking


itself in amongst the rocks. Youz can see how well camouflaged it is


-- you can see how well camouflaged it is. That is because the buzzards


would eat the chick. You are not safe from predators just because


you are at the top of the food chain. You don't mess with a great


black-backed gull. We have also been following cliff nesting birds


- the guillemots and razorbills. Steve is on some razorbills. They


are one of my favourite birds. If you remember, we watched them on


the nesting cliffs, they were developing well. Steve went back


this morning to see how things were going. Those are quite young chicks.


They are still quite fluffy. Look at this razorbill chick. You can


see that it's lost most of its down and it's got almost complete adult


plumage. I thought we might see one of these moor advanced chicking


fledge and leave the cliff this week. We haven't seen that -- these


more advanced chicks fledge and leave the cliff this week. We


haven't seen that. Here are some shots filmed in Scotland a few


years ago. # Might as well jump


# Go ahead and jump # Jump


Thapbgss to-of- -- thanks to Gordon Buchanan for pictures of the


razorbills jumping. The gulls come in and they gobble the whole lot up.


They often have to fight with other gulls as well. Have a look at this.


This is something we filmed earlier on. It shows what the puffin has to


go through to get into his burrow. Have a look at this again. I missed


that, too. Puffin comes in from the left. There he comes. The gull


comes straightaway. That is what a puffin has to do to avoid being


eaten by a gull. To avoid having the fish taken away from it by the


gull, sorry. That burrow had a marker tag on it. That is one of


the research burrows out over there. That is where yesterday I went with


Chris the warden to look at a puffling. If you want to see that,


come back later on. Thanks Iolo. Iolo! Iolo! It's not


unusual to be sad with anyone. I am now because you have really let us


down. We were here last night with the Undertones and you have phoned


in so awful Van Halen! Let's fly over those trees because that is


where our herons are nesting and we can cut to them live now and a very


atmospheric shot. They have been out and about quite a lot today.


One of them left the nest for four hours so our story developers did


think maybe this is it, they have fledged. So definitely worth you


keeping an eye on those birds on our cameras over the weekend. Shall


we have a quick check on our oystercatchers? Indeed. There they


are. The adults have been brilliant at sitting on that nest. There are


two eggs underneath that adult bird. The nest is on a wall about eight


feet up with a beautiful view of the reserve. We don't think that


those eggs are due to hatch quite yet. Again, you might be able to


prove us wrong by keeping an eye on them over the weekend. Top spot on


top of the wall. Let's go beyond the trees because that is where our


buzzards were. This is our youngster, the one youngster. He's


been doing a great job of growing. Lots of - I say adult feathers, but


its first proper set of feathers. One of the reasons it's been doing


such a great job of growing is almost every time we go live to


this bird, apart from this time, it is eating, it is being extremely


well-fed by its parents. Grass snake earlier. He was in tears.


What can you do? Now, we do have a little surprise for you.


certainly do. We have got a second live buzzard which we can go to now.


This nest is slightly different in that it's got two much younger


chicks in. Pretty sleepy at the moment. We have seen a lot of


activity at this nest. We have. In fact, not altogether friendly


activity. This is sibling rivalry at its best. You see, this is a


gorgeous shot - this shows you both adults involved here, bringing food


in for these two chicks. As you can see, they are being very well


attended by those adult birds. One chick a bit bigger than the other.


It is not unusual for them to be mad at anyone. This looks like just


out-and-out bullying by the big one. It is. This is another species


which practice what is we call the Cane and Abel strategy. The adults


hatch enough eggs to ensure the bigger one survives. Take a look at


this. We saw something quite unique today. Here the adult buzzard is


bringing in a fledgling. We have tried to see what it is. It is


about blackbird size. It is a thrush more than likely. It arrives


back with another fledgling of exactly the same size, suggesting


that it's come from the same nest. In fact, in the course of just 13


minutes, it came in with no fewer than four or five of these things.


Do we glean from this that the buzzard has found a nest and has


raided it when it feels like, like a sweetie jar? That is it. It's


found that nest like you say. Identified it as a source of food.


It goes in. Pinches one and keeps going back. Goshawks would do the


same to buzzards so they may not have the last laugh. Yesterday, we


showed you the rather tragic end of a pied flycatcher's nest. I am


pleased we put plenty of nestboxes out, rigged with cameras. Today we


were able to plug another one up and we can bring you live pictures


now of the next pied flycatcher that we have got online. We haven't


been able to follow the antics of these birds too much. You can do


that over the course of the weekend. Next week, we will be catching up


and seeing what is happening in that box. Talking of weekends,


Martin, he's said he's had a fantastic weekend, "You should have


been with me." He convinced me it was the right thing to do and I


went off to meet him for a boys' weekend away.


What could be better, the sun shining and Martin has promised me


a trip to the best cafe on the island. Where is that stretched


limo? Oh for goodness sake! Chris, welcome to the magical Isle of Man.


Hold on! # I want to break free


# I want to break free. # What could be better than touring


this beautiful island on this beautiful bike with a beautiful...


Well, Chris? I'm determined to show Chris a good time this weekend, so


the first stop is the Calf of Man where I could almost guarantee some


great wildlife. The Calf of Man. There you go, a grey seal. Two, two


seals! It's gone underwater now. my goodness me! I'm going to go


underwater myself! It is nice to see. Can you see why I come here?


can. That is a splendid landscape. There is a sense of rough romance.


I can see you reflected in the landscape. This is how you see


yourself? It is. Hair in the wind... You see yourself as the Calf of


Man? The view is splendid. There is one thing it needs... For us to


stand here all day soaking it up? was thinking a cafe! OK, Chris.


There is a cafe, yes. Let's go. is not an outdoor person. I have a


treat that is far better than a coffee and a muffin. It is an


animal I always try to see when I'm here. This is the chasms and these


ravines provide an ideal nesting ground for choughs. Here they are,


this... Look at that! Oh! That was worth coming. Look at them all.


have never seen many choughs out altogether. They are so playful.


The agility in the air is unmatched. I love it when they bounce up and


close their wings and drop down. my goodness. Oh! Yes! Goodness me.


Chris, why are they nearly always in pairs? They are monogamous. They


will remain together in pairs from season to season. Look at them go!


Oh! Martin, I would give everything, every single thing for just one


minute as a chough, wouldn't you? As good as that? I would, too.


Imagine being able to walk to that edge and fall off and do what they


are doing. Can you imagine the thrill? I would give everything


except the bike! I would have to keep that. That is going to weigh


you down. You will plummet into the sea! That is glorious. What is


nesting down there? There is another massive colony there.


are guillemots there and lots of kittiwakes, too. You can hear them


from here. They kittiwake, so the choughs chuff and the kittiwakes


kittiwake? Guillemots, little stumpy wings, regurgitating fish,


blah, blah, there goes my egg, I don't think so. There is another


chough! Look at that. That on the other hand, the Prada of the bird


world. I like the Chasms. Is there a cafe here? Shall we go and look?


Come on! That was really great chough action. Now, I'm quite


looking forward to my bed, a nice four-star hotel, continental


breakfast, oh... I can't wait. There it is, Chris. A bit snug,


home sweet home. I'll get the kettle on! Martin? Yes. It is


fabulous. Perfect. I knew you would love it. Ha-ha. Listen, I consider


you to be a great mate. You see, I can camp it up but I don't do


camping. Oh? I have seen Brokeback Mountain. Chris! Good night. I've


got you some Earl Grey tea bags. Well, you will be pleased to hear


those two will be off on more boys' weekends next week. Welcome back to


my favourite island, Skomer. Now, the bit you have all been waiting


for, the puffling. Yesterday, Chris took me out to some research


burrows over there to have a look at one in the hand.


I am really excited about this because we have promised you all


week we would try and get you a puffling and we think we know there


is a burrow with a youngster in it. You have to walk so carefully. Look


at this, it is like a Swiss cheese. Follow Chris the warden. Where are


you aiming for? This burrow 45. We have seen the adults coming in with


fish. Hopefully, there should be a chick in here. If we carefully


weave our way through. That is a long burrow. Can you see that. Here


is the entrance. There. Chris is looking for the chick all the way


over there. Look at that. Oh. Look at that. Got a bit of a dusty head.


Let's have a look at him. We have to be pretty quick as well. You are


going to weigh and measure? Yeah, what we are doing here is we are


measuring the growth rates of the puffins. We can work out sort of


how successful they are doing throughout the season. It is


important work? Yeah. One thing, can I point that out? Can you go in


on the beak? See that little light colour on the end? That is the egg


tooth. That is a small hard deposit that they will use to help to


escape from the egg. Let's get on and do the measurements. Yeah, yeah.


There's a lot of down on these chicks. That is 27 millimetres.


How old is this one? About ten- days-old. It will be in the burrow


for how long? Well, they will usually be fed for three to four


weeks and the young will start to explore and then they will be out


at sea. The weight of this one at the minute... They are almost


starved in the end and may need to go out? Basically, yeah. So the


weight of this one is 85 grammes at the minute. They will be about 300


grammes when they come to fledge. The adults are heavier at 400


grammes. He is doing well. You saw the little beak there. It is not


coloured at all which is quite a surprise for most people. That will


stay that colour for the first couple years of its life. It will


get bigger. They won't develop the colourful bills until they are two


years old. Hopefully, this one will fledge to an adult and survive to


next year and we better put it back. Yeah. Ta-da. Excellent. That has to


be the cutest thing I have ever seen and it gives me an excuse to


use my favourite word of the week - puffling! Was that worth waiting


for or was that worth waiting for? I know what is going to happen -


children all over the country will tell their parents, "I don't want a


bike, or a computer game this Christmas, I want a puffling." You


can't. Chris wanted me to emphasise when he said three to four weeks,


that is the incubation period. The chicks will be in the burrows for


six weeks. That was the highlight of the week for me. It's been a


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 79 seconds


week of highlights. Here they are Unfortunately, this is the end of


our stay on this wonderful island and being here for the week has


reinforced what I have always thought, that Skomer really is a


very special place. Now there are so many people to thank, Kenny and


John the boatmen for getting us over here, Phil and the team from


the Marine Nature Reserve of the Countryside Council of Wales for


taking us diving, the research bods and Chris the warden and the


wonderful staff from the south and West Wales Wildlife Trust. They


couldn't do enough for us. Now, we are going to say goodbye. But


earlier on, you over there at Ynyshir named your barn owl chicks.


I said we weren't going to do that. I have changed my mind. I'm going


to name the puffins. There is Dewi and Tomos, Lynette, Gethin, Dafydd,


Gethin, Rhodri, Cary, no... There is no doubt at all that he's


spent too much time on that island! After last week's great success


with Charlie's live beavers, Iolo had to come up to a live standard


and he did it. Thank you very much indeed. We enjoyed all of your


reports. We have. We have time for a very quick film that was sent in


by Ian, have a look at this. We couldn't resist this. It is a mouse


that is wishing it was a centimetre taller. Jump, jump! Would you


remind everybody what they need to do this weekend? Get out and count


bugs. Go to the website - bbc.co.uk/springwatch. Go to the


website for all sorts of things, there is a link for things to do to


keep you busy and occupied this weekend if you don't want to wear


leathers and ride in a side-car. We will be back at 8.00pm on Monday


night. What have we got? Next weekend our guest presenter is Liz


Bonnin. We are sending her off to Essex and to a rubbish dump. There


is nothing rubbish about that dump. It is full of wildlife including


this delightful family of foxes. Keep an eye on our grasshopper


warblers. They may fledge this weekend. Keep an eye on all our


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