Episode 9 Springwatch


Episode 9

Chris Packham, Kate Humble and Martin Hughes-Games return for the final week of the wildlife event. Plus Liz Bonnin begins her exploration of a landfill site in Essex.


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Transcript


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

:00:15.:00:19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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amount of flora and fauna mansion to thrive here.

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

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

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thrive in it, and the picturesque beauty here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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But, look at this. Just watch carefully.

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

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

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almost certainly that snake slithering through the grass behind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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been a difficult nest to seekers because it is so beautifully

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:14:05.:14:07.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:14:38.:14:45.

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

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:14:55.:15:34.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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mosquitos. What is all that about? I like moss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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sieve fledgling. -- expo sieve fledgling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:20:36.:20:42.

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

:20:42.:20:46.

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

:20:46.:20:51.

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

:20:51.:20:56.

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

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

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

:21:07.:21:14.

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

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

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

:21:23.:21:29.

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

:21:29.:21:35.

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

:21:35.:21:41.

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

:21:41.:21:45.

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

:21:45.:21:55.
:21:55.:21:56.

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

:21:56.:22:00.

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

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

:22:07.:22:12.

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

:22:12.:22:16.

soon realise they have different characters and different ways of

:22:16.:22:22.

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

:22:22.:22:27.

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

:22:27.:22:37.
:22:37.:22:40.

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

:22:40.:22:45.

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

:22:45.:22:49.

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

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

:22:55.:23:05.
:23:05.:23:14.

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

:23:14.:23:23.

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

:23:23.:23:27.

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

:23:27.:23:32.

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

:23:32.:23:40.

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

:23:40.:23:45.

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

:23:45.:23:55.
:23:55.:24:10.

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

:24:10.:24:14.

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

:24:14.:24:19.

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

:24:19.:24:23.

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

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

:24:30.:24:37.

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

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

:24:44.:24:49.

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

:24:49.:24:59.
:24:59.:25:10.

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

:25:10.:25:17.

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

:25:17.:25:27.
:25:27.:25:31.

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

:25:31.:25:36.

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

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

:25:41.:25:46.

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

:25:46.:25:52.

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

:25:52.:25:56.

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

:25:56.:26:00.

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

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

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

:26:11.:26:16.

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

:26:16.:26:23.

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

:26:23.:26:27.

oystercatcher call, something you'll recognise from beach

:26:27.:26:33.

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

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

:26:38.:26:44.

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

:26:44.:26:49.

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

:26:49.:26:55.

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

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

:26:59.:27:05.

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

:27:05.:27:09.

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

:27:09.:27:15.

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

:27:15.:27:22.

But uncharacteristically a bit scruffy. They seem to be ragged

:27:22.:27:27.

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

:27:27.:27:32.

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

:27:32.:27:37.

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

:27:37.:27:41.

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

:27:41.:27:47.

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

:27:47.:27:53.

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

:27:53.:27:56.

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

:27:56.:28:01.

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

:28:01.:28:05.

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

:28:06.:28:10.

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

:28:10.:28:17.

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

:28:17.:28:27.
:28:27.:28:27.

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

:28:27.:28:33.

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

:28:33.:28:38.

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

:28:38.:28:41.

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

:28:41.:28:45.

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

:28:45.:28:49.

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

:28:49.:28:52.

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

:28:52.:28:58.

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

:28:58.:29:02.

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

:29:02.:29:07.

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

:29:07.:29:14.

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

:29:15.:29:19.

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

:29:19.:29:24.

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

:29:24.:29:29.

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

:29:29.:29:34.

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

:29:34.:29:39.

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

:29:39.:29:43.

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

:29:43.:29:53.
:29:53.:30:00.

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

:30:00.:30:04.

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

:30:04.:30:12.

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

:30:12.:30:19.

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

:30:19.:30:26.

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

:30:26.:30:30.

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

:30:30.:30:35.

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

:30:35.:30:38.

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

:30:38.:30:44.

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

:30:44.:30:48.

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

:30:48.:30:56.

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

:30:56.:31:01.

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

:31:01.:31:07.

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

:31:07.:31:13.

forehis meal. Liz Bonnin is going to introduce us

:31:13.:31:18.

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

:31:18.:31:23.

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

:31:23.:31:29.

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

:31:29.:31:34.

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

:31:34.:31:37.

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

:31:37.:31:45.

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

:31:45.:31:48.

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

:31:48.:31:52.

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

:31:52.:31:58.

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

:31:58.:32:03.

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

:32:03.:32:09.

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

:32:09.:32:16.

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

:32:16.:32:21.

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

:32:21.:32:26.

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

:32:26.:32:36.
:32:36.:32:46.

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

:32:46.:32:50.

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

:32:50.:32:54.

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

:32:54.:32:59.

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

:32:59.:33:07.

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

:33:07.:33:11.

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

:33:11.:33:16.

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

:33:16.:33:21.

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

:33:21.:33:29.

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

:33:29.:33:36.

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

:33:36.:33:44.

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

:33:44.:33:50.

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

:33:50.:33:54.

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

:33:54.:33:59.

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

:33:59.:34:03.

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

:34:03.:34:07.

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

:34:07.:34:12.

more Mediterranean gull this is this country it might be difficult

:34:12.:34:17.

to differentiate between black- headed gulls and Med gulls?

:34:17.:34:23.

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

:34:23.:34:28.

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

:34:28.:34:38.
:34:38.:34:40.

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

:34:40.:34:45.

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

:34:45.:34:49.

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

:34:49.:34:53.

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

:34:53.:34:58.

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

:34:58.:35:02.

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

:35:02.:35:06.

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

:35:06.:35:10.

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

:35:10.:35:17.

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

:35:17.:35:27.
:35:27.:35:29.

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

:35:29.:35:37.

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

:35:37.:35:43.

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

:35:43.:35:50.

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

:35:50.:35:56.

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

:35:56.:36:01.

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

:36:01.:36:04.

understand population numbers without them crashing here once

:36:04.:36:09.

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

:36:09.:36:14.

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

:36:14.:36:21.

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

:36:21.:36:28.

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

:36:28.:36:38.
:36:38.:36:38.

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

:36:38.:36:43.

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

:36:43.:36:46.

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

:36:47.:36:51.

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

:36:51.:36:56.

wildlife find foods here and also a home.

:36:56.:37:04.

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

:37:04.:37:08.

Teeming with life. We'll join Liz lafrplt

:37:08.:37:12.

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

:37:13.:37:18.

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

:37:18.:37:26.

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

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

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 57 seconds

:37:36.:38:33.

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

:38:33.:38:37.

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

:38:37.:38:47.

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

:38:47.:38:57.
:38:57.:39:00.

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

:39:00.:39:05.

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

:39:05.:39:09.

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

:39:09.:39:15.

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

:39:15.:39:20.

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

:39:20.:39:25.

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

:39:25.:39:30.

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

:39:30.:39:35.

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

:39:35.:39:39.

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

:39:39.:39:46.

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

:39:46.:39:51.

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

:39:51.:39:57.

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

:39:57.:40:01.

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

:40:01.:40:07.

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

:40:07.:40:15.

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

:40:15.:40:24.

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

:40:24.:40:31.

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

:40:31.:40:36.

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

:40:36.:40:41.

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

:40:41.:40:46.

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

:40:46.:40:51.

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

:40:51.:40:56.

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

:40:56.:41:01.

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

:41:01.:41:04.

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

:41:04.:41:10.

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

:41:10.:41:15.

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

:41:15.:41:22.

any other food became in increasingly difficult probably led

:41:22.:41:31.

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

:41:31.:41:38.

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

:41:38.:41:42.

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

:41:42.:41:49.

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

:41:49.:41:52.

who is. Earlier this afternoon I had a word

:41:52.:41:58.

with him. Malcolm, in the last couple of

:41:58.:42:03.

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

:42:03.:42:09.

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

:42:09.:42:15.

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

:42:15.:42:25.

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

:42:25.:42:29.

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

:42:29.:42:34.

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

:42:34.:42:43.

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

:42:43.:42:48.

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

:42:48.:42:55.

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

:42:55.:43:00.

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

:43:00.:43:05.

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

:43:05.:43:11.

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

:43:11.:43:18.

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

:43:18.:43:24.

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

:43:24.:43:28.

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

:43:28.:43:34.

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

:43:34.:43:40.

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

:43:40.:43:45.

delightful pictures taken by our wildlife cameramen. These are pied

:43:45.:43:49.

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

:43:49.:43:56.

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

:43:56.:44:01.

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

:44:01.:44:11.
:44:11.:44:17.

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

:44:17.:44:21.

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

:44:21.:44:29.

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

:44:29.:44:36.

croissant and some lukewarm tea. Come on, mate!

:44:36.:44:46.
:44:46.:44:48.

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

:44:48.:44:55.

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

:44:55.:45:03.

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

:45:03.:45:11.

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

:45:11.:45:15.

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

:45:15.:45:21.

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

:45:21.:45:24.

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

:45:24.:45:30.

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

:45:30.:45:37.

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

:45:37.:45:43.

department of environment, food and agriculture are electro fishing.

:45:43.:45:47.

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

:45:48.:45:57.
:45:58.:46:01.

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

:46:01.:46:07.

ideal chance to study them. We look at this evolutionary

:46:07.:46:11.

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

:46:11.:46:15.

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

:46:15.:46:21.

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

:46:21.:46:28.

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

:46:28.:46:33.

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

:46:33.:46:39.

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

:46:39.:46:46.

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

:46:46.:46:51.

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

:46:51.:46:58.

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

:46:58.:47:02.

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

:47:02.:47:06.

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

:47:06.:47:12.

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

:47:12.:47:16.

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

:47:16.:47:24.

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

:47:24.:47:32.

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

:47:33.:47:40.

at lamprays. They are slightly intimidating.

:47:40.:47:46.

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

:47:46.:47:56.
:47:56.:47:57.

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

:47:57.:48:03.

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

:48:03.:48:10.

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

:48:10.:48:17.

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

:48:17.:48:21.

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

:48:21.:48:30.

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

:48:30.:48:34.

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

:48:34.:48:40.

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

:48:40.:48:46.

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

:48:46.:48:55.

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

:48:55.:49:01.

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

:49:01.:49:04.

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

:49:04.:49:08.

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

:49:08.:49:13.

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

:49:13.:49:18.

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

:49:18.:49:22.

home for wildlife. Take a look at this.

:49:22.:49:29.

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

:49:29.:49:32.

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

:49:32.:49:40.

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

:49:40.:49:46.

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

:49:46.:49:56.
:49:56.:49:57.

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

:49:57.:50:02.

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

:50:02.:50:12.
:50:12.:50:16.

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

:50:16.:50:20.

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

:50:20.:50:24.

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

:50:24.:50:32.

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

:50:32.:50:37.

amazing little bumblebees are adding to the biodiversity of this

:50:37.:50:42.

entire site. Bumblebees do well here because a

:50:42.:50:47.

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

:50:47.:50:57.
:50:57.:50:58.

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

:50:58.:51:07.

flourishing. The clue is in their legs. Sarah

:51:07.:51:14.

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

:51:14.:51:23.

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

:51:23.:51:29.

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

:51:29.:51:39.
:51:39.:51:39.

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

:51:39.:51:44.

have 24 species. Generally their experience is declining in range

:51:44.:51:48.

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

:51:48.:51:56.

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

:51:56.:52:00.

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

:52:00.:52:08.

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

:52:09.:52:15.

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

:52:15.:52:20.

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

:52:20.:52:28.

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

:52:28.:52:33.

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

:52:34.:52:38.

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

:52:38.:52:43.

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

:52:43.:52:52.

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

:52:52.:53:02.

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

:53:02.:53:11.

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

:53:11.:53:16.

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

:53:16.:53:21.

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

:53:21.:53:29.

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

:53:29.:53:39.
:53:39.:53:47.

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

:53:47.:53:55.

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

:53:55.:54:02.

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

:54:02.:54:12.
:54:12.:54:15.

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

:54:15.:54:20.

techniques on passing magpies and scrapping with each other, already

:54:20.:54:30.
:54:30.:54:34.

determining a pecking order. All adorable scenes that did well

:54:35.:54:42.

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

:54:42.:54:47.

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

:54:47.:54:51.

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

:54:51.:54:57.

more surprising wildlife. Thank you very much, Liz.

:54:57.:55:00.

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

:55:00.:55:04.

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

:55:04.:55:08.

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

:55:08.:55:13.

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

:55:13.:55:18.

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

:55:18.:55:23.

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

:55:23.:55:28.

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

:55:28.:55:34.

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

:55:34.:55:40.

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

:55:40.:55:46.

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

:55:46.:55:49.

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

:55:49.:55:54.

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

:55:54.:55:58.

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

:55:58.:56:03.

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

:56:03.:56:09.

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

:56:09.:56:14.

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

:56:14.:56:19.

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

:56:19.:56:23.

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

:56:23.:56:30.

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

:56:30.:56:37.

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

:56:37.:56:42.

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

:56:42.:56:49.

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

:56:49.:56:52.

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

:56:52.:56:56.

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

:56:57.:57:02.

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

:57:02.:57:07.

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

:57:07.:57:11.

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

:57:11.:57:17.

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

:57:17.:57:22.

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

:57:22.:57:32.

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

:57:32.:57:39.

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

:57:39.:57:45.

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

:57:45.:57:50.

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

:57:50.:57:56.

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

:57:56.:58:00.

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

:58:00.:58:10.

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

:58:10.:58:15.

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

:58:15.:58:22.

Chris Packham, Kate Humble and Martin Hughes-Games return for the final week of the wildlife event, with live updates on all of the animal characters.

The team are joined by Liz Bonnin, who begins her exploration of a landfill site in Essex. Chris and Martin take each other away for the weekend. This time it is Martin's choice - the Isle of Man.


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