Episode 11 Springwatch

Episode 11

The team try to get live footage of otters as they celebrate the return of the otter across the UK. Also featuring more news from the live nestcams.

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Let's be honest, it is quite a damp, midgey evening here in Wales, but


we're very cheerful, because I know, we're going to bring you a


fantastic programme. Tonight we check out our pied fly catchers,


they're looking childreny and there's good reason. Charlie


Hamilton James brings us tales from the river bank and more exciting


than life on Mars, we show a butterfly emerging from its


chrysalis. Stay with us, for Yes, hello and welcome back to the


RSPB's beautiful reserve here in central Wales. It is our


penultimate programme, this one and only tomorrow night to go this


season. Let's crack on, last night we were keen to see what was


happening with our pied fly catchers, we had seven of them


almost on the bridge of fledging, in a nest box. Let's go live and


see what happened. That's provided us with the answer, there is one


left, six have gone, and I can tell you, they left very early this


morning. In fact, it was still dark, when they started popping out of


the nest box. That's why you're looking at pictures that have been


shot in infrared. Two have gone, this was attended by the male,


acted very early in the morning, and later, at 5.10am, another one


popped out in the murk of the Welsh morning. It was much later when the


others decided to come out, it was after lunch. Can't avoid repetition


here, but that's what it is all about. These little birds, hoping


out into the wider world. When I look at these, they've a short tail,


there's no down, but they're still very chicky. They look very small,


very young. Is that normal? Do you think they've come out too early?


It is part of the strategy, you have seven birds in a confined


space, it is getting messy and busy, in order to exercise their wings is


to get more space. Perhaps the strategy is to find yourself a


perch and take the development process on. Our cameramen found


them straightaway and they were being attended by the adults. The


birds that have left the six out there, female bringing in food


there. Then we saw something interesting. Here is a little chick,


there's a bluetit there, as soon as the tiny baby sees even another


bird, a shadow coming close, it starts to beg, later we saw another


bird coming. This is a young Robin, and once again, you get the same


reaction, from the fly catch Cher chick, it starts to beg. Actually,


curiously, sometimes, they will get fed, by birds of another species,


won't they? The impulse to feed them F the bird has food is so


strong, it is looking down at the massive food, yellow in this


instance, otherwise brightly coloured and it can't resist to


stick the food in. Even though on this occasion it failed. They're


getting fed, but would there be be food for something else? This one


of our brood, sat on a branch, there it is, but look what is above


it, it is a great spoted woodpecker, these are underestimated as a


predator in our wood left-hand side. Thing is, would the woodpecker spot


it? Well it certainly has. The chick is still being attended by


the parents, still being fed but the woodpecker didn't leave. Oh, in


fact it launched an attack. If we look at that again, there's no


debate about its intentions. What about that, that's an amazing piece


of behaviour. The little chick, I have to say, survived and it


carried on being fed by its parents. Do you think the kingfisher went


for the chick. Woodpecker. thought it is too big, I won't


bother? Had it manage today get hold tf, it would kill it. They're


formidable predators, if they came across the nest yesterday with all


of them in there, it would have killed it and had them so. I am


sure they would have had him outside. They're beautiful and we


love them. Woodpeckers, we do. should remind ourselves, there's


one pied fly catch Cher, still in the nest box, maybe it will fledge


during the programme? If it comes out, I would be more worried if it


left in the morning. Six out of seven are out. Let's take a look at


our common sandpiper, this is nested by the railtrack. This is


the adult who has been sitting on four eggs for sometime, and nothing


is happening. Those eggs, really should have hatched, the latest,


today. So, maybe they're never going to. The adults have been off


the nest for long intervals, sometimes an hour or so at a time.


It's been raining and cold, perhaps those eggs are never going to


hatch? Or perhaps they might be delayed. If it has been that cold


and they hadn't been chilled to the point they died effectively T could


extend the incubation period. But ultimately, you know. We have a


question coming in from Denise on Facebook F the sandpiper eggs don't


hatch, when will the adult give up and leave the nest? That's a


difficult answer, it will get to the point it senses it's gone


beyond hope of them hatching, I guess the reserves will be running


down. If if you're sat on a nest for 50% of the time, you're not


feeding and gradually losing energy, so there must be a trigger in the


mind of the bird, that clicks. It says I will have to look after


myself. The post important part of the population is the adult


breeding bird, not the eggs, so they should look after themselves


first. Now the live marsh cam. A beautiful Swan, let's see where the


cygnets are, hitching a ride on the back. It is very sensible. Lovely,


why paddle if you can take a ride. Interestingly, swans, they won't


fledge those baby swans for up to 150 days. Maybe four months before


they become independent from mum and dad. That's very sweet. A Swany


back. I won't mention the fact there's one there. We want to keep


smiling. Let's go to the extremely thrilling, mammal cam. We have


something in there live. That is vole fantastic. We have been


watching, interesting things have been going on inside the mammal


stump. Let's have a little look. Yes, there's more ham bags,


definitely, but actually we've seen handbags, they're going, I've seen


some of the moves before - but it has developed beyond this, and


we've gone from fight club, to Love Actually. More later. Earlier, Lolo


Williams went to the island of Mull, in Scotland, he was on the tracks


of a different mammal, bigger mammal than a vole, and one whose


life had become entwined with your Thousands of people come to murks


ull for the spectacular wildlife. Visitors are divided aboutity most


carries massic creatures, it is a mysterious animal, who is linked to


Vikings, Spanish Armada and Stonehenge, don't get too excited,


If their name is underwhelming, their story is anything but.


Domesticed in persa and Greece, goats were brought to the British


Isles around 6,000 years ago, they would have fed and clothed the


builders of stoning heng. In Mull many believe they're survivors of a


Spanish galleon, shipwrecked in the 16th century. But the ancestors of


today's small population were probably freed by crofters, around


250 years ago. Since then, they've fended for themselves, reverting to


the looks and waves to their wild ancestors. I see why they're so


well adapted to life, in a harsh environment. They have the hoofs,


that are able to climb the steepest cliffs and the shaggy coats, can


withstand the worst weather Mull can throw at them, even in deepist


mid-winter. They spent the day up on the high tops above me here,


feeding. They've come down of a evening, and relax. You see them


munching on that, and what is unique about the goats up here is


they'll come down to the shore and feed on kelp. From that they get


minerals, which they won't get from the land plants. In fact they have


a justified reputation for eating anything. They munch back scrub and


create an important habitat for insects and grazeers. But they can


eat, and damage, native plants in the process.


I must confess, I quite like goats. I know they do damage in some areas,


but, I think that they epitomise some of the wilder areas of Britain.


The bigger the horns the more powerful the fighter and skirmishs


can break out at any time. Status and mating rights are at


stake here. But the ruting season doesn't start until September.


This is just practice. Every growth ring equates to a year of life. And


some of these, are five, one or two, maybe six years old, that's old for


a goat. They've done well. Because of the effect they have have on


native vegation, the total of population on feral goats has been


managed and reduced. Today, just 40 tribes as they're known are


scattered across the UK. They're not always welcome, but I have a


bit of a soft spot for them. I just think that because they've been


here for so long, they have such a fascinating history, because they


so well adapted to this harsh environment, they deserve to be


accepted as a true part of the British fauna. Well goats may be


controversial to have them roaming around in the wild, but it is great


to have goat natural behaviour. Chris, I wanted to ask you, when is


an introduced animal, become a native animal? I can't give an


answer, because it is subjective. The general dating point is when


the UK became a separateed from Europe at the end of the last Ice


age, when the sea levels rose and we got cut off from Continental


Europe whafplt is living here then is truly native. That means 48% of


our terrestrial mammal fauna, not bats and dolphins are non-native.


Four of six deer species, brown hare, rabbit, both rats, mice


species, so people are flexible what they call native. Everyone


loves little owls, they didn't get here until 200 years. What about


the others, there isn't a fixed answer. They're considered aliens.


They're definitely aliens. They're survivors and let's have a look at


our goldcrest, a tiny little bird in that tree that survived the


storm at the weekend. The adult may be a survivor S it in the nest at


the moment? Yes it is. But, what about the chick, we've only ever


seen one chick. And I have to tell you, we are a little bit concerned


about the chick. Have a look at what we saw earlier today. Because,


look, the two adults are coming in with a lot of food and they're


trying to give it to the chick, but the chick isn't considering for the


food, in the end it takes it, but, we actually sent someone out to


look at it, and it is not developing how it should. The eyes


are closed, it has no feathers. don't know, they spend a long time


in the nest. Bluetits and things like this, maximum 14 days,


goldcrests being smaller, up to 19, 20 days before they pledge. And


because they're smaller birds, they're fed on what we call knew


treent pour, the small Erekat ter pillars, so it may take them longer


to grow. It is vigorous, it's got its head up and still fed. If


there's one in there, the parents are tending that, and maybe it is


just full up. Maybe it is stuffed, positive pack them on Springwatch.


Let me ask you about this little chick then, our pied fly catch Cher,


one chick left in there, we saw, Chris, is it going to go, no you


say? It is calling for food, and although the birds not there now,


the female, I've seen a few times bringing in food. So it is not


neglected yet. It looks forlorn though. Strangely, pied flies,


don't turn on to gardens, because in the first week, we were pleased


to launch our garden weigh in with the British Trust for Ornithology.


We asked people to go in the gardens and count the number of


birds we saw, so we could count the weight of living birds, to assess


how productive the garden were. More than 4,000 people, took part.


And we really please bed that. There were gardens that had lots of


birds, one reported 71 kilograms of birds, most mallardz. So that's a


conreally. Someone was chucking bread on the lawn and boosting the


statistics. The man who solid the world was living in Laeth in


Scotland, he looked in the garden and in the course of a hour, he saw


one cold tit. Those were the extreme results, on average it was


3.3 kilograms. The British ornithology is going to write this,


and publish it at some stage next year. They're only able to do that


because you took part, so thank you very much for helping them and us


out. Yesterday we saw some birds that you will watch in your garden,


in a totally new light by using a specialist, slow motion cam rafplt


we got absolutely fabulous images of them. -- camera. We have been


filming today, so what treats have you got in store for us tonight,


Martin? It is birds again, but a different way of looking at birds.


It is actually looking at our tree creepers, let's go to them live,


and have a look the at the nest. There's the chicks, moving around,


this is at normal speed, obviously, we have been watching all day, it


is now snuggleed down time. What is interesting, is when the adults


hunt they work their way up the tree trunk. That's quite, uses a


lot of energy. But then, when they leave the tree trunk, they save


energy, how do they do that? Have a look at this. Here's the adult.


you'll see, it is not using its wings much. In fact, they belied


oft tree. They'll go all the way down to the bottom and they'll div


to another tree and start working their way up. They use the


occasional flap, to glide. This one is actively flying, you may see a


tiny dot, it is seeing a prey item, to goes towards it and thinks, time


to save energy, and it goes into the extraordinary glide again. Have


a look at this, when they come into land, little bit of steadying, it


is all about conservation, and it comes in, perfectly judged, didn't


waste a Jule of energy, balancinging on its tail,


extraordinary. Now that was a tree creeper, but thinking about energy


again, we had a look at a moth. Look at this moth. Oh we haven't


got the moth, we lost one. We were having a look at moth as well, but


we'll try and see that one tomorrow. All this week, Chris and I have


been recaptureing the joys of our youth. The sun was always shineing,


it wasn't like this. But when we Martin, are you familiar with the


80s, boy band, AHa. Yes. They were wrong? Why They said the sun will


always shine on TV. We've come to Dorset, to look for fossils as I


used to do when I was a lad. Me too, I came here as well. This coastline


is famous, it is called the Jew rasic coast, it is between 200 and


240 million years old. So we are about to start looking for historic


treasure. How about a look at a contest here, about he who finds


the best fossil doesn't pay for the beer? I remember doing this as a


kid, and the excitement is you never know what you might find any


minute. I found my first couple of fossils. This is a bell am knight.


It is pointed at one end, here is another one, but it is missing the


end, so it would have joined on to there. These are part of the body


of a sea creature, that would have Chris, I think you might be


slightly interested in this, unprepossessing, but we both know,


it is a fossilised poo with fish scales still inside it. I think


you'll find that's the winning entry into our competition.


Fossilised poo, that's something, Rather nice amanite, old chap.


did not just find that. No, Chris, you know this river


extremely don't you, you came here as a child. I know all of its parts


intimately. I could tell you a thousand tales. A little owl's nest,


in a tree which is still there. A moor hen's egg hatching, that I


photographed and 100 metre up there. It was a frolicing ground, but


world famed when I was a youngster for diping, mate, so let get in


there and catch things and put them into jars. That's is the terror of


the river, it's a damzel fly lava and aerve - afternoon predator.


They impale their prey. Two sweeps of the net and we have a tray full


of life. We have a may fly laugha, and stickel back, which I haven't


seen for years, and what's that snail. Ram zelsnail and a pond


snail. Just teaming. What is it to rob


children to put these products to put it in a jam jar, to gaze into


it before they dropped asleep. is all happening in there. I had


forgotten how exciting it is. been fas it's astic. There's one


more thing I want to do, is take that jar and put it on to the fence


and look into it for a couple of Do you know what that is? That's


joy. Joy. That's a jar of joy. jar full of joy, never knew you


were so poetcal. They haven't changed much have they, they're as


enthusiastic and passionate now about wildlife as they were when


they were in their teens. Now, I'm passionate and enthusiastic


something tonight and it is in here. Now, in this studio yesterday, we


set up this little contraption with three different species of


chrysaliss, we have come yas, small tortoise shell and pointed lady.


The first one is this one. Because, this looks like it is just about to


emerge, and we know that because the pupa, becomes transparent and


you can see the patterns on the wings. So that could hatch, pretty


soon. Just imagine, what that is like, when the butterfly emerges,


you don't have to imagine, because it 457 earlier and we caught it on


camera. Surface-to-air drawn into the chrysalis, and enables the


butterfly to pump up its body and pupa splits. You can see the


butterfly is making its way out of that chrysalis, it then has to rest,


and pump the blood into ilt wings. The pumped up blood dries, and the


wings form a rigid structure. This takes a while, so we sped this film


up, it takes an hour to emerge and pump up the wings. And another hour


for the wings to harden. In a few hours, before the butterfly is


ready to fly. It then has to search for a mate, and reproduce.


And look at that, it is absolutely beautiful.


It is a real miracle of nature. I'm really pleased to say, we managed


to capture that, for a first on Springwatch.


But actually, unfortunately, the moment, it looks like it is not


going to be a great year for butterfly this year, and they think


the numbers are down by 20%. Chris, has some details. Well that's


certainly the case, and it's got to be something due to the weather


this spring. We had the damp period in April and this will hit species


hard. Butterflies are volatile animals. They can respond very


quickly, they can fly and lay lots of eggs, so one bad season, doesn't


always spell disaster. However, we do have these figures, which we've


got from butterfly conservation and centre for ecology and hydrology,


and they show a decline in one of the most familiar and commonest


butterflies, the smalltor ois shell. In fact there are other species,


which are declineing too. However, some, look at this, from the same


sources, we see, a very clear increase, in the number of come yas,


we had a comma butterfly emerge today. There's not only an increase


in population, but spread. Look at this, this map shows the dark


squares here, where commas, where, before 1962, but after that, they


started to spread into Scotland. We think that has something to do with


climate change. So, there are winners, and losers in the


butterfly population at the moment. Martin, how about a cultural


interlude. Eight line poem. William Wordswortth.


I watch you now a full half hour, self poised upon the yellow flour,


and little butterfly indeed, I know not if you sleep or feed. How


motionless, not frozen seas, more motionless, then, what joy awaits


you, when the breeze has found you out among the trees and calls you


forth again. It is nice to have culture on Springwatch. A bit of


poetry from Chris. Butterflies start as caterpillars and they're


crucially important with our redstarts.


There they are, looking small and very vulnerable, frankly.


Now the parents will continue to feed them, possibly up to four


weeks, but they'll start to look after themselves after about two


weeks. The question is will the adults,


lay again, will have a second nest. The answer that is no they won't.


What they have got to do is molt. The adults have to change their


feathers, get a new set of feathers, so they're ready to make the long


migration, all the way back to Africa. That little tiny one there,


is also in a few months, going to go back to Africa. It never ceases


to amaze me. Extraordinary stuff. Right, pied fly catch Cher, we're


worried about. Let's go in the nest. Has it been fed, I haven't seen it


be fed. Late in the evening, feeding would have gone down. Let's


go live to our barn owls. Live to our barn owls. And one of them has


just jumped off the perch we hear. That's what is fascinating these


two. That could be the first prot toe flight, of the warn owls. One


of them is over in the corner, it is hiding there most of the day.


Two is on the platform, the reason is why they're agitateed, is, let's


listen, a bit of wing-flapping there, is that apparently we can


see it, jumping off. This is the moment it fledged. Here we go.


before we cut live to them. Fantastic, that's got to be a telly


first. Almost. We'd like to know where it's gone now. Quick question,


we got, where would barn owls, from Ian Hill on Twitter, where would


barn owls nested before we built barns? No hollow trees is the


answer. Still do, if a tree bends over and breaks, they'll nest, and


on cliff sides and caves. Right all this week, Charlie Hamilton James


has been showing us family of otters. Here they are. And they're


a very unusual family this family, because, they've been coming out


during the day. Very unusual for otters to do that. But Charlie


wanted to find out what do the A great trick for finding dark


otters on a dark night is to look for eye shine. But my otter family


is nowhere in sight. I bring out my thermal imageing


camera which detects heat t should show up warm-blooded animals,


living on this cold river. Suddenly, I hear ducks alarm calling,


something must have disturbed them. The drugs are up against the edge.


Hard to see it, got the otter, it is right near the ducks. They can't


see it. He's right next to the Otters not only catch fish, they


are also rather fond of birds. I can't see if it is mum or if the


cubs are there, so I switch from the thermal to the infrared camera,


which can see more detail. It is hard to tell but I think, it is the


mum. As this otter is using the same stretch of river to fish as


the otter was during the day. I know from previous filming I've


done the otter eyesight is poor. Instead they use their


supersensitive and large whiskers to navigate and hunt. Tonight, it


is just so hard to keep track of them, let alone see how or what


they're hunting. These otters are keeping a really low profile. They


seem more skitish than they were in the day. I've picked them up on the


heat sensitive cameras. I can't see the cubs, I think the


mum must have hidden them in the bushes nearby. Something very


special, about seeing an otter at night like this. And I guess it is


because you're seeing something that you shouldn't really be seeing.


They are around, that's the key thing. They're using the river at


night as much as they are in the day. What's interesting me most, is


they're more nervous at night than during the day. And that's wrong,


otters should be the other way around. This family really have


changed my views on how otters may have. Views I'd held for over 20


years. My long night time search reminds me, that it really is


special to see a mother bringing up her cubs in daylight. Perhaps this


new behaviour, is the future of otters on our rivers. Something for


Well Charlie's dragged himself away to come and have a chat. Charlie,


lovely films for Springwatch, absolutely beautiful. Great fun


doing it. You've said about the otters you were surprised how much


you saw them in the day time, do you think we're going to see more


families in the day? There's a lot more otters in Britain now,


certainly in southern England and Wales, which were never great


strongholds and the result is we're seeing more of them and more during


the day. They're adapting to a urban environment? They have to,


because there's so many, and fish are plentiful in the middle of the


city and countryside, and otters realised this and adapted this, and


this is why we're seeing them in the city. Lovely goldfish, so why


not, snack bar. ? This is an otter that adapted to


an urban environment, because it is having a wander around Manchester


City centre, it is wandering across the road and payments and amongst


all the shops. Is this, Charlie, an otter, that really has adapted to


living in the city, or is it just lost? I think it is an otter that's


lost. I think you're right. They don't have good eyesight. They've


probably taken the wrong turn. love the guy in the car stopped,


let him go behind him and backed up. They do turn up in canals and


rivers right across town. Every major town or city, with a river,


has otters in it, basically. So they're everywhere.


Your otters were doing well, fishing in the day time and then


fishing at night, why would they bother, if they're doing so well in


the daylight? Otters do everything intensively, they'll hunt and then


sleep. It doesn't matter to them, whether it is the day or the night.


They can hunt very well at night. On this shot it is pitch black?


This is infrared image, it is pitch black to the otter, and I'm


interested to find out how they're hunting. If a fish is moving you


can understand it you can detect did with the whiskers or see it.


How is an otter finding small dead piece of fish at night. So I have


been putting dead fish under the stones and they can find them. I'm


thinking, how, they can't see or feel them. I had a theory they


could smell them. How do they do that? I got a camera, and I got a


dead fish, and I put it in the river, and film it had, all at


night frbgs pitch black. You can see there, the otter finds it, and


what it is doing is swimming up, watch the nose, a bubble comes up,


bounces off the fish, straight up the nostril and it is smelling it.


This is the first time we've really found out about this. It puts a


bubble out of the nose and smells it back in? Now I've been doing


this for years, that's just one of the things I filmed, but I


photographed them, holding bubbles, just under their chin and mouth,


while they're swimming along. And I'm wondering, if they're tasting


as well as doing the bubble- sniffing thing, but there's more


going on than we know. The bubble is absorbing the scent and


reabsorbing it into the body. Either taking it into the mouth and


nose and analysing the chemical signals. That's a knew scientific


theory from Charlie. You brought us back a kingfisher story and you and


the team brought us truly astonishing pictures. I never


thought I would see inside a kingfisher nest like this. Here


they are, if you could remind us of the story. The female on the left,


she's the red lower beak, and male feeding her, that's classic bonding


behaviour, she wants to know if he was a good fisherman. Here, right


inside the nest, shiny, beautiful eggs, it is very dark in there, and


this, the tiny chicks, they look like they're made of paper, and


there they are. How do the chicks and parent find each other in the


darkness to get the first, meal of the tiny fish? The chicks are blind,


they can't see, but they have the tiny little white tips on the beaks,


so, like there is in that nest hole, the parents can just about see them.


And the parents offering them the fish, between them they're feeling


around, but the parents are doing the work to put the fish in the


chicks' mouth. It is not pitch black. Jiefplt there was one


looking totally the wrong direction. It did turn out to be a sad story


that, because that nest was the floods, made it impossible for the


adults to get in there, which is extremely sad for us. You went back


and continueed to watch the kingfishers, can we get an update


from you. What's happening? I went out last Sunday, that's the male


bird. And what I wanted to see was a bird with a fish. Because that


would tell you. If they went in the nest with a fish, it means the


chicks have hatched. He is turning it, nice minnow, and going in there.


So there's only reason he will go in the nest is feeding chicks.


pleased you say you did that on Sunday, because all the floods we


had here, that could have been flooded again, if it was as bad as


west Wales. We were all right. also think, that there may be a


second nest on the go, is that right. While I was filming this,


the male was doing all the work, he was catching the fish and the


female would turn up occasionally and then go down river, I would


suspect she's getting a nest ready, and before the chicks fledge, she


will be on eggs. Because they will do, three, even four in a year.


it is able to end a kingfisher story on an up.


Let's cut live to the pied flies and see if the youngster is still


in there. I'm hoping it will stay. The reason I'm whispering is I


snuck down into the woods, because behind me, behind the fox gloves is


our mammal stump. Let's cut to it live, there is a bank vole nibbling


away at some of the food. I have to say, out of all the cameras, this


one is productive. They've got used to feeding in there, and we've been


able to watch all sorts of may have your. Earlier, we have avenue


recorded this. It hasn't always been pleasant may have your. Here


are two vols. We have to say, it is quite a confined space. Oddity, the


bank vole, two in there together. They're not fighting any longer.


There's quite a lot of noise and remember this is in darkness. These


animals are communicating smell, touch with whiskers and that sound.


The appropriate malon the left is defniltly curious about the one on


the right who is not so keen on that curiosity. And look there, I


think one on the left is a male, and he was making a move on the


female there. It's gone from fight club, to love club, to be honest


with you. But, she, is just a bit too busy feeding.


Look at that. The mating behaviour of the bank vole.


Once again, that's got to be worth your licence fee. Voles at it, in a


stump. It is the love stump. They could be at it, we don't know.


wouldn't want to disturb. Fight love to Love Actually, to cash in


the attic, I'm going to go now, we've seen fighting and love in


there, but we've seen an awful lot of eating. Have a look, they're not


just eating because they're hungry now, but that little vole is


putting food inity cheeks and come out, and cache it, basically hide


it. Unfortunately the cacheer has been eaten by the barn owl. That's


a cash converter. I don't think that was the very Cole vole. But


we've seen a lot of that with the owls. They've been putting food


aside, because there's plenty around. Whenever there's plenty of


food around, nothing will miss a free meal. Look at this, this is


one of our foxes that returned to the garden, where we were watching


them in week one, it found a piece of chicken, and digging a hole and


burying it. Typically the behaviour of foxes.


Super cacheer, though, is without a doubt, the squirrel. Of course, in


the Autumn time they bury vast numbers of nuts which they aim to


return to, even the little mole, which again, will cache the


earthworms. If it can catch them T bites them and particle liess them,


so they can't wriggling away and leaves them in piles in the tunnels


so it can return to them later. But the supercacheers are the birds.


And sometimes they're birds living around us. Bluetit will cache lots


of things. Cold tits in the space of just four weeks, will cache lots


of things and return to nearly 70% of them. Jays, 5,000 acorns a year


they cache, it is not just birds, but even spiders, if they catch,


extra prey, will kill it, wrap it up and put it in the corner of the


web to keep it there. It makes sense really, if you have available


food, to store it until later. is like panic buying, and I saw a


lot of people doing that this weekend, they saw bread and milk,


in case there was a problem. Will any of the cache go off, I presume


it would? Some will. But, they're not designed to remember all of it,


otherwise it wouldn't work for the tree. What would be the point of an


acorn, from an oak tree, if they were eaten. They will germate, this


is how many species get 57. - around. They depend on the birds to


help oak trees move uphill, which Jays carry the acorns up the hill


and over the mountain. That reminds me, I put chocolate behind the sofa.


We are watching a colony of seabirds fishing, how are they


doing around the coastline? Roy Denis reflects and investigates.


Our dramatic and varied coastline is home to countless globally


important seabirds. 70% of the entire world population,


of northern ganets nest on our shores. For great secures it is 60%,


yet many seabirds are in serious decline. Here or Fair Isle, numbers


have dropped 70% in 18 years. Puff fins are one of Britain's well


known birds and they're comecal to watch as they run around on the


cliff top. But sadly, the kind of iconic photographs we used to be


able to take of them coming ashore in summer, with the gills full of


sand eels is nearly a thing of the past. Seabirds are tied to the


oceans they depend upon. They're great indicators of the health of


our seas. If seabirds are doing badly, something must be wrong. The


sand eels used to be so super abundant and now they're so scarce,


and that's a problem, not just for Puffins, but also for razor bills


and kitty wakes. Commercial fishing of sand eels was banned in the


1909s, but now it seems the North Sea population of these small fish


is suffering from a different threat. Sea temperature, has risen


by 1 degree in the last 50 years, this warming, changes the ecology


of the sea. And the fish the birds need, are struggling.


As the food becomes scarceier, the birds have to fly further and


further away to find food in the seas. And that means, they make


less trips back home to feed their young. Without food, nests are


failing, chicks are dying, and the adults are suffering. It seems


crazy to me, that the cliffs where the seabirds nest, are strictly


protected and yet metres away the sea isn't. But the Welsh island of


Skomer is a good example of how things can be improved. The waters


surrounding the island have been protected as a marine nature


reserve for the last 21 years and here the seabirds are fareing much


better. Species declineing elsewhere, are actually increasing.


Somehow we've got to stop the downward spiral of these seabirds.


And at the same time, we need to protect the marine and species they


feed on. However, there are positive things happening. There


are one or two species that are bucking this general downward list,


one is ganets. One of the best places to see them is here on the


east coast of Scotland. I was here seven years ago, and I've just been


told by the seabird centre, there's 10,000 more pairs of gannetss here


now, and it is now approaching 60,000 parents of - pairs of


gannetss, their incredible behaviour, let's them target fish


deep in the water. These birds are feeding on big fish, mackerel and


herring, and both are doing well in the North Sea. They're not having


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds


to look for sand eels. And that's Until very recently, European Union


regulations meant up to half the fish caught by some fishing boats


were unwant by catch and thrown overboard dead. Eye catch is


wasteful and good that it is highlighted and being controlled.


Because it isn't good for the conservation of fish in the sea n


past decades it led to big increaseness those birds that could


exploit fish being thrown overboards. So, how these birds


will cope with a reduction in by catch is still unclear. The future


of our seabirds relies on fish, and the wise amendment of the oceans.


These, great seabird colonies of Britain, are one of the great


What can you say, why go to the sern Getty, if you can go to the


Bass Rock. In 1654, a guy called Robert Gorden went there, and he


found a local fishermen doing the same thing, ganets were following


the boat, only they threw a piece of board with herring tide to it,


the ganets would impale themselves in the board, they were after those


ganets, because they called them candle birds. They'd string them up


with a wick, and set fire to them because they were so rich in oil,


from the her rings they were feeding on, they could use them as


a lamp. No way. Way.


What an extraordinary story. It is a bit miserable. Let's liven things


up. From one bird ta fishs effectively to another, let's have


a look Lord Attlee cormorant this. Is controversial bird because it


Since then, they've become more and increased in population, it is a


cultural change. They're moving inland. Gravel pits have filled up


with water, and fish. They found a new resource and exploiting it. I


feel cultural interlude number three now. Did you know that almost


every weekend, 11 comerant take to the field in the Premiership.


they score. They're on the badge of the Manchester, on the badge, the


18 foot Liverpool bird is a comerant. I thought Dodo. So did I.


Now our birds, our pied ply catch Cher, the one that's left, it is


probably not going to go now. you were outside, I saw it being


fed. That's great. It is not abandoned, it is still fed. We've


had a question about it. Have we, how much longer with the parent of


a pied fly catch Cher, feed that little one, will they give up and


leave it in a nest? If it doesn't get out tomorrow, that adult has


six other chicks, hopefully still out there in the woods, I think the


adult will start to concentrate on the others, so it has to get out.


It is still being fed. Go tomorrow. Listen, the sound of desperation.


Oh stop t Sorry. Let's have a look at what


happened 15 minutes ago in the barn owls.


We saw the jump, where has it gone? There it is. Looking slightly


shame-faced, "What have I done?". Will it try and get back in the


nest. Well the typical practice is it will take food back to the nest,


it is not far from it, but that bird is secure. Here they are live.


The others look, like what have you done. That's like see no evil, hear


no evil and speak no evil. They're watching the one on the ground now.


They're no way ready to try that. It will juch around, exercising the


wings and it won't be long bf it can get back. - before it can get


back. Our marsh cam, we have a heron. So we have. Looking


beautiful up there. That makes a nice change to the swans. If I was


a frog anywhere in the area, I would be very scared. The goldcrest.


There, mum or dad, keeping things lovely and cozy and warm. A They're


paying a lot of attention to the one youngster, they haven't given


up on it. They have the capacity to breed again, if that fails, and at


a certain point, they would make a certain decision, do we build a new


nest, and start again, and play another crop of nine eggs, the fact


Have a "sixth sense". Now the sandpiper, it was moving a lot. I


was wondering whether it was happening. I thought maybe they're


hatching, that would be great. Maybe they'll hatch tomorrow.


That's it from us tonight. Tomorrow, Chris and Martin go for a night out


with a Bevy of badgers. Lolo Williams heads to Scotland to meet


whield-tailed sea eagles. We'll stay life in the owl nest and try


and find out what on earth will go on. Also, we will try and find out


The team try to get live footage of otters from their base in mid-Wales as they celebrate the return of the otter right across the UK, featuring some of the very best otter footage from Springwatch. Additionally Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games bring more news from the live nestcams.

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