Episode 9 Springwatch

Episode 9

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You know, a lot can happen in three days, and it did. We had reptiles


turning unwhere they shouldn't. Emergency fledglings. Smash and


grab raids by complete strangers. All that and lots and lots of rain.


But no matter what, it's Hello and welcome to Springwatch.


Coming to you from a beautiful clear... Hello and welcome to


Springwatch coming to you live on this beautiful summer's evening,


from the one and only RSPB's Ynys- hir reserve in Wales. The geography


of this place is quite impressive. We don't only havest ris but lots


of fresh water. Woodland, too, and if you look in there you can see


our studio. So tonight we've got real wildlife in real-time. And


we're going to be telling you not only about nuances and the ecology


and the behaviour of this wildlife but they are here to have fun, too.


We'll have time, will we? Excellent! And we were also here to


tell you about what happened over the weekend. One thing that


happened was that the weather took a dramatic turn for the worse. The


black clouds rolled in. The rain came down. And we were on tenter


hooks wondering how that was going to affect our Springwatch families.


Like our grasshopper warblers. Would they stay or would they go?


Last week there was an intruder annoying the barn owls, it was cat.


But something else has snuck in amount of stress. Now, as usual, we


shall have a quiz. It is a slightly smelly quiz. Come over here and


look underneath this pot. Something has left a little deposit in the


studio. A fine deposit, I should say. What did that and how do you


know what are the clues? If you know the answer, get on the web,


tweet us or go to our new Facebook site. By the end of the programme.


Absolutely. We'll reveal all at the end of the programme.


Every week we have a guest presenter with us. And this week


over in Essex is the lovely and extremely fragrant Liz Bonnin.


Thank you very much, Kate. It is so lovely to be back on the team, but


very a bit of a confession for you. I'm really sorry about this, but


all this week the Springwatch adventure team and I are going to


bring you a load of rubbish. And I'm not even skidding. It's a


massive load of rubbish. Welcome to pit Sealand fill site in Essex.


Come back to me very soon, when I'm going to show you how an incredible


amount of flora and fauna mansion to thrive here.


Thank you. I have to say I'm really looking forward to that. I like the


contrast between the mess we make and the way that wildlife can


thrive in it, and the picturesque beauty here.


If you were watching last week we were enjoying a feast of warblers.


You could have followed up the stories on the webcams over the


weekend. One of the stars was the grass hopper warblers. They had a


nest in the marsh. The question was, would these animals fledge or not?


This is how they started at the This is how they started at the


beginning of last week. Tiny little things, just about able to peep


over the cup of the nest. But just a few days later they got to this


size. That's an incredible growth rate, Kate. Unbelievable the


transformation. I think we were pretty right to say these were


birds to watch, when we left you on Thursday. However, what we couldn't


predict is what did happen over the weekend. So we were watching the


nest and, as ever, the adults were in feeding the cheeks. You can see


how active they are getting, looking really strong and lively.


But, look at this. Just watch carefully.


One chick goes. Why is that? Look at the back of the nest, in the


grass, and the adult is coming in and really seems agitated by


almost certainly that snake slithering through the grass behind


the nest that pushed out that chick, maybe forced it to fledge earlier


than it should have done, and caused the panic with the adults.


As you can seekers within the next ten minutes other chicks started to


fledge. Chris, what I wonder is, are they also doing a panic


response to that snake, or are they thinking, one of them's gone, so


why don't we go too? They can fledge at 11 days, sometimes 12,


sometimes 13. It seems the snake stimulated it and once one had gone


perhaps the others thought it was safer. Perhaps the adult was trying


to drive the snake away. For me it was a close shave. But two of them


did stay in the nest and they stayed inover night. You can see


the adult coming back and, presumably, Chris, the other four


will still be close by tucked in in the grass. They might come together


once the adults come back with food. In the fledging stakes this


probably has to rank as the most unspectacular fledging we've seen.


That's quite typical of the bird itself, isn't it? They tend to move


through the grass like little mice. They will move under the grass,


like a rodent. The adults coming back to the nest are secretive. I'm


sure that's what the youngsters are doing at the moment. They might


have Frenched but they are not safe from the predators. I've seen a lot


of grass snakes here at Ynys-hir. It is pretty much a grass snake


Heaven. These are serious predators. They like to eat amphibians, small


mammals occasionally, even fish underwater. When I was about 17 I


found a willow warbler's nest on the side of the track and the


adults were making a terrible noise. They were going down to the opening


of the nest but not going Curiosity got the better of me. I looked into


the nest and curled up inside it was a grass snake. When I prodded


it, it slithered across the path and running down its body were a


number of little bumps. They were the young wibble o wash lers, so I


have no doubt these things have -- they were the young willow warblers,


so I have no doubt these things have had a close shave. Some of you


have mentioned the strange goings- on in your gardens. They noticed a


blackbird was taking newly-hatched chicks from a nest. Pat said she


saw a blackbird eating a shreview. We are all familiar with blackbirds


on the lawn pulling up worms, so what's happening here? We spoke to


our friends at the BTO and they told us that back birds are having


a tough time due to the dry weather. The worms have gone deep into the


ground. They are struggling. Their bood size that collapsed in some


places, so it is not surprising they will go after other food. They


will eat newts, small frogs, lizards, even baby grass snakes.


And occasionally nestlings too. That brings us on to our wood


warbler nest, the other wood woorb ler family in the woods. A


wonderful family. Both adults are feeding up to 80 times an hour the


six chicks. But this blackbird was caught on camera. When I first saw


this, it has got some sort of worm or insect in its beak. I thought,


hate got distracted by that huge gape which tells the it it has to


feed this chick? It could be it was out foraging and it heard the call


and thought, are those my chicks. But it could have picked up on that


and gone to investigate. Given the way it was peering into that nest


with intense curiosity I think it was getting a measure of the chicks.


Are these big enough for me to carry away in one go and will they


fit down the throat of my chicks? I think thankfully for our wood


warblers, they were just a bit too big for that blackbird. To see if


they are still there, let's go live to our wood warblers. They have


been a difficult nest to seekers because it is so beautifully


disguides. Fat, healthy chicks nestling in the moss, definitely


one to keep yours on. They will go in the next day or two. If you've


been watching for the also couple of weeks, you will have noticed


we've been joined by a guest naturalist. Initially Charlie


Hamilton James was looking in Scotland, but now we are going to


Essex, to join Liz Bonnin. Liz, how is life on the landfill?


Chris, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am loving this place.


It has to be said that a 50 tonne compactor isn't the run-of-the-mill


wildlife safari vehicle, but hey! This is not your normal Springwatch


location. We've covered urban wildlife before but we thought we


would bring awe human-created landscape that most of us would


rather forget about, maybe because we think of it as a blot on the


landscape, where we throw our rubbish and don't think of again.


The UK dumps 57 million tonnes of rubbish every year, more than any


other country in the European Union. There are a thousand landfill sites


in the UK and pit sea is one of the biggest. This skpactor is sitting


on top of 75 metres of landfill. Until we run out of space for these


places they are a going to remain a fact of life. It is part of how our


society operates. This week we are looking at what a landfill is, how


it works, and how wildlife can thrive. How did we come to be here?


Sean Taylor is a site manager here and I met him earlier.


Sean, so this is where all the action is, the top of the landfill?


Yes. What you can see there is the landfill site we are operating


today. It's a huge site. We are tipping in an area of about 400


acres. We have in the region of 5 00 lorries coming to use the


facilities each day. How many tonnes of waste a day? That relates


to around 2,000 to 3 ,000 tonnes a day. On top of that we have


restoration soil lorries as well. This is what I expected to see, but


that's only a small part of what you guys do here, is that right?


That's my day job but yes, there is lots of other things that go to


make up a well-run landfill. that's your day job, what's the


rest of it? That's the important bit I have to take care of every


day but I actually love land film. Over the time I've been here I like


to look at this as my kind of mini wildlife park. I like to operate


this in a way that's beneficial to biodiversity and to the plants and


animals here. This is a vast area. No-one comes here. I'm the Earl of


this. I take care of this. This is my patch. When there is no landfill


going on there is an opportunity for different kinds of wildlife and


plants. It's a nice place to be. The wider site is 800 acres, much


of it landfill that's long since been restored, creating a complex


mix of waterways, woodlands, meadows and scrubland. These places


can never be built on because of the landfill that lies beneath, but


can they really be a haven for wildlife that chooses to live


above? If you drive around the soil, the time you are with us, you are


going to see a vast variety of wild life. So you see this, place is not


just a rubbish dump. This is massive. There is much more to it


than just this top active part. Have you wondered what happens to


the rubbish you throw away after five weeks? After five years? After


50 years even? This week the team and I are going to find out. We are


starting at the top and moving out and down to the areas that nature


has reclaimed. Here is a taster of on a landfill site, but this is


this week. Next up though, we're checking out the bird life at the


very top of this landfill site. See you very soon. Thank you very much,


Liz. You were right, Chris, it is teeming with wildlife. Lots of food.


We waste one-third of the food we buy in the UK. A lot is going to


the landfill. Most of it is potatoes I leave under... Never


mind! Right, we have had a brand new nest for you, absolutely brand


new. Some of you may have seen this over the weekend. It's a wren nest.


There's been high drama there. Let's look at this wren's nest.


Adults are coming in and feeding. That is what people have been


watching. We could not see exactly how many young are in there. I


think there's at least four in there. There is four in there. You


can definitely see four. Mum is trying to feed them a snail. That


is a little bit too big. My mum tried to do it with sprouts. They


wouldn't go in, to be honest with you. It was doing very, very well.


Then something strange you noticed about it. One thing we were able to


do was look at this at night. This allowed us to take a closer look at


the birds' behaviour whilst they were overnighting in there. We


don't normally get views like this of birds. Here is the adult with


the youngsters, no doubt keeping them warm. If you look closely,


what at what is crawling around on top of the youngsters, it is


mosquitos. What is all that about? I like moss


ket toes. I have -- mosquitos. I have an admiration for them. We


don't have to worry about malaria. There are 33 species in this


country. Some are rare, I have to say. The females of them now need


to suck the blood of other animals to get enough protein to produce


their eggs. For me it is part of being a community. I like sharing


myself. I offer a little bit of blood. That is what the WRENS were


doing too. Do you think they itch? Mosquitos have to find other hosts,


birds, mammals, they are bitten too. It is not just us. OK, the nest


started off, everything was calm, then things took a dramatic turn.


They are, everything seems calm, now the most enormous threat. There


it is. It is a jai. They will try to take -- jay. They will try and


take those fledglings. At this time of year they are keen on finding


eggs and youngsters. A hole appeared in the back. Now explos


sieve fledgling. -- expo sieve fledgling.


The jai did get one of those little chicks. That motivated the others


to burst out explosively. minutes later this bird came back.


Jay have phenomenal memories. Over the space of two minutes it is


obvious it will go back and try and harvest the rest of these chicks.


This happens every day. No matter what you say jays are not a bad


animal. It is part and parcel of the ecology. They only do this when


they have young to feed. The rest of the time they eat invertebrates.


If it had been a day earlier those chicks would not have been able to


go. It is the third close shave for our chicks we've had this evening.


What happened to them? We sent our cameraman, who got this fantastic


sequence out for us. The adult goes back. She finds them because they


produce a call of their own. Despite some searching around here,


they have moved to a spot where they are well hidden down on the


ground. Eventually she locates them. They are, tucked up under cover


down there. They are all back together. And being fed. We have


been out today. I will bring you an update tomorrow. We can still find


those chicks. I will tell you how they are. That is lovely to see.


Now, tomorrow I'm going to investigate about exactly that sort


of thing, jays, crows, particularly magpies. How much of an effect do


they have on our song bird populations? We will find out


tomorrow. We will try and get clear answers to this emotionally-charged


story. Who's poo? A quick update on the poo. Let's look at it now. I


have to say, quite a lot of you are getting it right.


Really? Yes. When I see it I think what a triumph of television we


have created! This is what real biology is all about. Particularly


some of the younger viewers. When it comes to younger viewers it is


time to celebrate a couple of lads from Suffolk, Paul and Ryan Edwards.


We met them in 200. They were 16. We joined up with them again. They


are 19, at their home in Suffolk, where they have taken a close look


at some barn owls. A beautiful film. Take a look.


When you spend so much time in an area you begin to get a bit like


the animals in it. You get territorial in a way, which is


silly, but you do. We're really lucky to have a place


where we can go. The oak will always be from where our passion


stemmed. It's only until you see them poking their heads out of the


box for the first time, the first time you make eye contact with them,


it's when you realise, wow, that's a really good moment. We think of


them as our owls. They are obviously not our owls, but we feel


we've played a part in rearing them in a way. They have a mystical


quality to them. You know, spending time with them, following them, you


soon realise they have different characters and different ways of


living to other creatures. It's all about their life cycle.


Not just seeing the creature, but realising there's another life


within the meadow. It's pretty breathtaking as they come towards


you and it looks almost as if they can feel the wind underneath their


wings. They are hunting. They have one thing on their mind. I don't


know, they are so in tune with what they want to do. They forget about


It's also there -- always there, whereas the river is constantly


changing with the creatures that come and go. When the kingfishers


start heading up-stream, it sort of slaps you in the face and you are


like, wow, there are kingfishers here, they are back. It is special


when he comes and chooses our area. When you are sitting waiting your


mind starts to wonder. You start this think about all the other


free-flowing in a way. Things come and go.


When you're filming the barn owl, when you are watching that life


cycle, and you tend to forget about all the other animals in the oaks.


You can see the little owls watching the barn owls. They


certainly know each other is there. When we're actually filming the


owls, it does seem to go on forever. It seems to take a long time. Then


when you actually think of how long ago these chicks you are watching


fledged, it was only 14 weeks ago they were eggs. I think that's


and diving down. It would be cool to be inside their head for a bit.


That is the way you are sucked into when you are filming them, you are


almost having a shared moment with hunting barn owl. A beautiful film.


Thank you guys. Thank you very much indeed. I've come out to the


estuary from the other end of the reserve. You can see absolutely


stunning views out here. If you could see just past the end of the


trees there, you'd be able to see our oystercatchers. We have a pair


of oystercatchers, sitting on two eggs. They've made a nest on top of


a wall. They've been sitting on those eggs. This is some glarryous


shots we got at the weekend -- glorious shots we got at the


weekend. They choose the spot not just because it is eight feet above


that wall, but I think they choose it because of that view. We caught


on camera two birds looking a bit distressed. That is a typical


oystercatcher call, something you'll recognise from beach


holidays. We think this was the culprit. It is a crow. We saw how


that jay behaved. A crow would certainly have a go at those


oystercatcher eggs if it managed to find them. You can see the adults


are being very attentive. Chris, Chris, perfect, come here, you've


got here, well done. I just wanted you to have a look.... Nice


dramatic entrance! Let's go to the oystercatchers live. I was watching


them earlier. If we can zoom in a bit. Is that possible? Perfect! We


are used to these birds looking very pristine. They are beautifully


turned out. They look like they are going to the opera, or something.


But uncharacteristically a bit scruffy. They seem to be ragged


around the edges. I notice their back feathers are looking a little


bit, as I say scruffy and brown. You can notice the brown feathers


really show up. These are last year's feathers which have aged and


weathered. What makes them stand out is the contour feathers are


coming through. This makes sense. The birds won't want to molt their


flight feathers at this time. They need to be able to fly, defend the


nest or forage for food. Since they sit around they are not using up a


lot of energy. That would be time to put it into their contour body


feathers. This is what has made them have this appearance. They are


using this inactive time to molt. You would never see that with the


smaller song birds because they have so much to do. I am going to


do an impersonation. I need a coat. Are you ready?


LAUGHTER I know what you are being. Shall we ask the crew? A heron. He


is being a heron, aren't you? being a heron. You know, our herons


are just over there. We have been following their progress throughout


the course of our series. Let's take a look at this because they've


been more active over the weekend. They have spepbtd an increasing


amount of time away from the -- spent an increasing amount of time


away from the nest. They have been practicing their stabbing and


foraging skills. They are still not brilliant at it. They are being


bullied a bit by some of the estuary's more belig grant


residents. The tables will turn when it realises how well armed it


is. It is investigating an object. Watch this one - if you watch


closely, it stabs and then it swallows a little silver fish it


has caught. We have been watching them. We did wonder, they've had


all those slightly useless attempts and you think, are they ever going


to find any type of prey they can catch? And are they ever going to


leave the nest? Let's go live to our herons to see what has happened.


posters, everything they can to get the teenagers out of the home.


Joking aside, I wouldn't mind betting that occasionally the


adults are coming back with food. Our sharp-eyed wildlife camera man


Mark Yeates spends a lot of time here at the estuary. We think it is


that he is not only a keen Fisherman but he likes the wildlife.


He spotted a ripple on the water and look at this, it's a grey seal


coming inland away from the sea. We were not 100 miles from the sea


here. It is just beyond where we can see from this point, but he


thinks it was probably coming up because there are a lot of sea


trout heading up this estuary, probably as a result of the rain at


the weekend. A big flush of rain is a real signal to sea trout and


other fish waiting to spawn up the river. They need to know there is


going to be enough water when they spawn. He was going up there


forehis meal. Liz Bonnin is going to introduce us


to some birds. I'm a keen birder myself.


Welcome back to pit Sealand fill site. Over the next few nights I'm


hoping to show you how a well- managed site like this one can have


all the makings of a nature reserve. It is some of the stuff that's been


thrown away here that's attracting probably the most obvious species


on show here at pit sea, the gulls. For them this is a massive fast


food outlet. There is food absolutely everywhere. Look at this,


a potato, and something else there I don't want to pick up! But


there's a lot of food here. We throw out 60 million tonnes or so


of food in the UK every year. That's ridiculous. Of this area,


36% of it is organic matter - that's garden and food waste. The


gulls seem to be doing very well on this diet, but it is not a happy


ever after story author these birds, as the site is set to close in five


years. What is going to happen to the gulls then? Scientists are


Pitsea during the spring and summer, but in the winter numbers can reach


40,000. It is one of the most astonishing collection of birds in


the whole of Britain. It is a contrasting mix of natural beauty


and the darker side of our human world. And this mass of swirling


feathers has an unfolding story to tell. The birds have been cannon


netted by the Thames gull group, who are involved with a major


scientific study to monitor the population here. Today they've got


an interesting catch. How many different types of gulls do we have


on this landfill site in general? Herring, lesser-blacked back and


great-blacked back. There are five. We'll get them bagged up, back to


the processing site. This is if Med gull? That's the Mediterranean Gull.


This colouring will allow bird watchers to see them easier in the


field. Mediterranean gull makes me think they come from the Med, but


do they? They don't actually. The population of Mediterranean gulls


in the UK probably came from Germany and central Europe. And now


we've got a population breeding in the UK as well. If we are getting


more Mediterranean gull this is this country it might be difficult


to differentiate between black- headed gulls and Med gulls?


Absolutely. The black-headed gulls has moor of a chocolate brown hood,


whereas the Mediterranean gull has a deep, blackhead and it goes


further down the Med. It is much more of a ver million red. Thank


you very much for all the information. It is so lovely for me


to see the gulls here, but the reason for this work is to monitor


how the population at the landfill site is changing, and ho help us


understand the wider problems facing these birds. Paul, is there


anywhere like this landfill site for helping you get this kind of


information in about these gulls? Absolutely not. In the winter


numbers that we are catching here, very large numbers, we had one


catch last year, our total in the net was 760 birds in one catch.


There is nowhere else you can catch that number of birds. Herring gulls


-- heron guls. These have declined in the last 30 or 40 years. The


number of girds the towns the hasn't matched the decrease in the


populations. When this landfill site is covered over, could you all


move out to the coastline and replenish the numbers there? It is


not as simple. This will help our understanding of how we can


understand population numbers without them crashing here once


this site is covered up. That information we are collecting now


we are bank sog that when the landfill sites close we understand


what happens to this population of birds. Will they all move to the


coast, or move to France or into London? We can hopefully monitor


that in future. One of the greatest birding spectacles in Britain.


Considering this location, it was so unexpectedly stunning. Paul's


work is so important. We've got to make sure these gulls have a


promising future in this country. Join me later to find out how


wildlife find foods here and also a home.


Thank you very much indeed, Liz. It is absolutely eye opening isn't it?


Teeming with life. We'll join Liz lafrplt


Now, no-one I think in the country escaped the weather. It was quite a


wet weekend. In fact here in Wales a quarter of the average rainfall


for June fell in a 24 hour period over this weekend. It was wellies


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 57 seconds


Isn't that what some people call jazz? Now stop. We've got a big


story to tell. You can't have weather like that without it having


some sort of impact on the wildlife. Last week we fold the -- followed


the tragic tale of the pied catchers. Things change. Initially


it was all good news. The sun was shining and the male was giving


food to the female and she was passing it to the chicks. But one


of the chicks started looking off- colour at the weekend. She carried


on feeding but it wasn't good. The weather had kicked in. She sensibly


removed the animal which had died. It was a small size, so it might


have begun to rot and cause a problem, but here the wind has come,


the sun has gone in, there is less food and it was another disaster in


this nest. But this morning sadly all the chicks had died. You can


see the female was coming back in to check, but to no avail. What on


earth was going on? Let's just have a look at what they were eating.


This was the thing that started leading us to suspect that it


wasn't the health of the adults, it was just the food that they were


able to find. You can see they are bringing in food but there are no


big fat protein-laden juicy caterpillars, just a few flies.


Sometimes you can't even see what's in the beak it was so small. So, it


came down obviously to the need of a bar chart. A rather useful bar


chart for Saturday Shows us that they started slowly with the number


of feeds being just over 20. That's not unusual. That's early in the


morning. It is not warm. As the day heats up you can see they are


bringing in plenty of food, but that peak doesn't last. It drops


off really quickly. By the end of the day, look here between 4 and 5,


it is light until after 9 o'clock, they should be really feeding those


chicks but they weren't. That was Saturday's picture. On Sunday the


rain came in, so the combination of the feeding really dropping off,


the bad quality of the food, and then the rain meaning that finding


any other food became in increasingly difficult probably led


to that nest failing. This continued on Sunday. This bar chart,


I'm giving you 10 for statistical accuracyy. 10 for presentation.


Thank you. We've got a theory, that food is at the centre of all of


this, but we are not experts the pied flycatcher but we know a man


who is. Earlier this afternoon I had a word


with him. Malcolm, in the last couple of


weeks we've seen both our broods of pied flycatchers fail is. This to


be expected at this time of year? It is. I mind on my own population


in Dartmoor. Later-nesting broods are much more likely to fail than


materialier-nesting ones. Why is it? Others have done terribly well.


In my population productivity is affected by the weather. They do


suffer with prolonged rain. But I think one of the main reasons


probably they are just breeding too late, so they've missed the peak in


abundance of food, with the catter pillars. Spring has been coming


earlier and if they don't time their brood with this, they will


suffer increased failure. If the birds are able to calibrate this in


anyway, why are these late ones bottering to raise a brood?


could be a second clutch, where the female has failed earlier in the


nesting cycle, either on eggs or small chicks. Or it could be they


are first-time breeders. And they just get it wrong. Thank you very


much Malcolm for that insight. We've got to say, it is not just


our nests that are failing. 19% of the broods here at Ynys-hir have


failed recently. But it is not all doom and gloom. Look at these


delightful pictures taken by our wildlife cameramen. These are pied


flycatcher fledglings, so not all the families here have failed. Some


of them are thriving and doing very well indeed. It is not a total


wipeout as far as that species is concerned. Not at all, if you go


out here in the morning it is alive explore the Isle of Man. If you


have suffered motorcycle emptiness over the weekend, here's our second


instalment of boy's weekend away. Martin, come on. Good morning. A


croissant and some lukewarm tea. Come on, mate!


A strange trail here. What's going on? Oh, my....! Come


on, Chris. The water's lovely. See what you're missing out on. Have


some decorum, man! It's a family programme.


He's barking - absolutely barking! Now, Chris, you may have noticed


that in the Isle of Man there are beautiful rivers. Can't argue with


that. Look at this! I would like to show you something which has been


rediscovered living in the river. Not that something I found living


in the river this morning, I hope! I seriously think Martin's trying


to freak me out. What's this? Ghostbusters? This team from the


department of environment, food and agriculture are electro fishing.


This sends a small charge into the water. It does not harm the fish,


it stuns them briefly, so they can be safely caught. This gives us an


ideal chance to study them. We look at this evolutionary


throwback. I can see you have something. We are trying to put


them into different categories. The very small ones there we are


looking at they could be one-plus stage. One year? These ones here


then? Two-plus. They are getting more defined tails. There's a


massive change as they go through - it's a proper met more foe sis.


This one here? That is an adult, looking at the definition of the


fins. There are clear gill openings. It has developed eyes. Obviously


that will be in preparation nor the spawning period. Once mature the


adults stop eating. That sucker- like mouth becomes a tool used in


breeding and nest building. They will use their suckers in the


current of the water. They will move their bodies and move the


stones. You get clumps of them. There has been up to 50 recorded in


some surveys. Sometimes they are referred to as a ball of spawning


activity. A ball of spawning activity. We caught one once, under


a stone. I remember all the little kids coming around when kids looked


at lamprays. They are slightly intimidating.


Even thoi they are not going to feed, that does mean they are a


little important. Why are they doing this? J they spawn they will


be in the same areas as other fish, brown trout. It is good for other


fish to spawn in as well. The water has to be good quality for them to


stay in that area. It has been a treat to see these lamprays. I have


never seen them before. It has been fascinating. Thank you.


You know, all this fresh air and fishing has given me an appetite.


There's no doubt the Isle of Man is a feast for the senses. Frankly


there's something distinct lilacing in this trip so far - the lesser


spotted toasted tea cake. At last! That is amazing. Definitely the


closest thing we've got to river monsters in the UK. The sun is


setting over the pit. It is a beautiful site. Who would have


thought it? We talked about the gulls coming here to get their food.


They are not the only to do so. A beautiful popular mammal does that


as well. More of that in a little bit. Animals don't just need food


to survive, they also need shelter. Can our discarded rubbish provide a


home for wildlife. Take a look at this.


Thanks a million. So, we were having lunch here yesterday. Two of


the team spotted something interesting over here. This is Rod,


our special macro-cameraman. This is an old disused road sweeper


brush. If you wait you may see it. We will stick a mic in there as


well. Make-Sinn Fein boom. I love it! Now we -- make shift boom. I


love it. It's not long before our mystery animals emerge. It is the


sound which gives them away. That's what we've been waiting for


- bumblebees. Loads of them, coming in and out of this bit of discarded


rubbish. That is what is interesting. Here, this is part of


the site which is not managed at all. It has been over grown. These


amazing little bumblebees are adding to the biodiversity of this


entire site. Bumblebees do well here because a


lot of wiltd flowers, many of which we -- wild flowers, many of which


we may think of as weeds, are flour Irishing. I am not sure --


flourishing. The clue is in their legs. Sarah


from Bug skaf Life is here to help. Can you identify what is on you?


What we are looking for.... There you go, you've got it.


So, she sat still for a minute there. The hind legs are black, are


they? They are not black, they are red. The red-tailed bumblebee. We


have 24 species. Generally their experience is declining in range


and numbers, which is a shame. are in decline because of what


factors? Loss of habitat. There are not enough wild flowers to support


these wonderful creatures. Great news then for the bumblebees here.


There are plenty of these waste land flowers. Shall we let it go


then? Yes. Back to the nest. Fly, fly, fly.


It goes to show, lovers of wildlife don't have to keep everything neat


and tidy. Sometimes a little bit of scruffyness can -- scruffiness can


go a long way. We did not plan it, we came across it. That is what


Springwatch is all about. To mammals who woman here to feed, I


am talking about red foxes. Watching them here is an incredible


experience, I can tell you. Look at what the cameras managed to capture.


Just like the gulls, the foxes here make use of our discarded waste.


They are natural zavevengers and the bountiful -- savengers, and the


bountiful food means they hardly have to hunt for anything. The food


is delivered on their doorstep. Around the edges of the active


landfill one pair has set up home in a log-pile house. In April, the


looking after them, bringing them scraps of food zavevenged from --


savenged from the landfill above. Living right next door, in some


dense bushes, were another four cubs, with one lone vixen looking


after them. The cubs played all the time, practicing their hunting


techniques on passing magpies and scrapping with each other, already


determining a pecking order. All adorable scenes that did well


with my arrival with the adventure team a few weeks later.


How utterly devine was that? It gets better, I had been amazing


experience with those foxes. Come back to me tomorrow for that and


more surprising wildlife. Thank you very much, Liz.


Absolutely gorgeous stuff. As she said, there'll be more from Liz of


the dump tomorrow on the programme. Now, you have been rightly


concerned about our barn owl, so Bob and his family, let's go live


to them now. As you can see, I think your concerns, well, I


wouldn't waste them, if I was you. This is a very happy, healthy


looking bunch of chicks don't you think, Chris? Too happy for my


liking. They are not doing much. We had the hard weather, but they


continued to bring in prey at the same rate when it was not raining.


They had cacheed some where. We did have a barn owl incident over the


weekend. Look at this. Last week we saw a cat generating in and


generating animosity. This time we saw same behaviour. Who was the


intruder this time? Yes, it is one of the country's least favourite


mammals, I am afraid, a grey squirrel. Would a squirrel attack


those chicks, or would a barn owl attack that squirrel? If the


squirrel got too close to the nest, there is no doubt the adult barn


owl would attack. They will take young birds.... It is like, don't


you come near, or I'll punch your lights out. She has the flick knife


out and she is demonstrating what is happenedy there. I don't think


the squirrel represents a threat to the chicks. You have forgotten the


badger-cam. Let's go live to the badger-cam. Oh, there's no badger.


Nothing at all. We have recorded something very exciting. Was it


badgers? Let's have a look! No, it was cubs.


Looking slightly shocked. Strange we've seen cubs a couple of times


on that camera, but never with adults. I think they were born


somewhere in that badger sett, but out of reach from our cameras. The


vixen will be there somewhere. We only see them playing like this.


There might be badgers in that sett. It is not uncommon for them to


share a sett. Foxs will go into a badger sett. When I was a kid I


used to speak to an old fisherman. He told me foxes would make their


den at the top, badgers at the bottom and otters too.


From the blog, Jim, dark indicates karnnivor size and the twist at the


end -- karnnivor size and the twist at the end means fox.


The reason it is a fox is it has that twisty tail. It is dark in


colour F you look into the soul of this poo, I can see there is fur in


there. It means it has eaten something like a rabbit. You can


keep your eye on the web-cam. What do we have tomorrow? We get to meet


a handsome bird. We will bring you news of our beautiful Red Kite


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