Live discussion after the main Autumnwatch programme. Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games and Chris Packham are joined by Welsh wildlife man Iolo Williams to answer questions.
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Take three bemused presenters, nation of wildlife watchers two
tawny owls, a yellow fox, Iolo Williams, stick them in the oven,
gas lock for cook, serve them immediately. Welcome to tonight's
hot and spicy Autumnwatch Unsprung. As usual, we have our marvellous
audience. We have "Level-Headed" Joe, who is there ready to answer
your questions, throw them at us and watch out for the quiz
questions and Iolo Williams - give him a round of applause. Fantastic.
We'll give your questions to Iolo later. What shall we do right away?
We wanted to share this little thing for you. Thank you very much.
This was sent in - this slightly It's from Andy Smith, an AA patrol
man. He was called out to a car that had stopped. You can see why.
A squirrel had been stuffed in there and had stuffed the entire
intake full of nuts. How did he get in there? He had the key! Obviously.
Thank you very much. Andy, are we going to do the loudest call?
loudest call? Yes, this is interesting. Last week we had a
question of which bird produced the loudest call. Last week I thought
it might be a Nightingale. I wasn't sure. Did anyone else have any
idea? Beryl Jones from Cheshire said Chris said last week the
Nightingale was the bird had the loudest song. I would agree. I knew
a chap who was a chaplain in World War II. He said when the
bombardment in the evening began, he could hear them above the guns,
and he found it a must moving experience. It must be a moving
experience. There is a terrible edge to that but it does go along
with the fact that we said the songbirds would raise the level of
their song to try to compete with other noises. We also looked up -
Nightingales can produce song at 95 decibels. How much is that? It's
difficult to qualify, isn't it? We thought we'd play a Nightingale
song Now at 95 decibels to see what the audience thinks of it. I have a
gadget somewhere. Look at that gadget! Is that real? It's a CR-
812A. It's a beautiful sound level metre. All right, then. Get on with
it. I'm liking this. All right. Let's have the Nightingale song,
and I'm going to see - I'm just going to check -
CHIRPING OK. Now, what do you think? Did you
think that was loud? It is loud. Seriously loud! That was loud.
it the loudest bird? No! Oh! warbler. It's the only bird I know
that actually shouts at you, "Here I am." I reckon it's louder.
Yallows are loud, but they don't sustain the song. They're a bit -
say a band like the Damned that do a track that last like a minute as
opposed to Guns N Roses that drag it out over five, and in the end
you get thoroughly bored. Let me tell you what the answer was - it
was malfunction! Now, 106 decibels... Very good. Let's do
some questions. The first question we have is from Fran Perry. In
Greenwich park last week we saw yellow deer stag and fallow deer
stag fighting each other. Why would they do that? We have a picture
from Don Carey. Nice one, very odd. Is that unusual? I think it is
unusual because it's pointless. There is no point in a fallow
taking on a red because they're obviously not competing for females
of the same species. I think what's happened is in Richmond Park, you
have a density of these species. There is a huge amount of
aggression and hormones pumping around. Because there is similarity
between the two, I guess they get so frustrated, they need to take it
out on the nearest male. What we see here is displacement behaviour
perhaps, where they're doing something for the sake of doing it,
but in the long term, my money is on the red. Can I make a
suggestion? Of course. Maybe they're doing it for fun? Stop it.
They're so full of hormones. They're so pumped up. My chickens
do the same thing. My cockerel gets carried away I come in to break it
up. He attacks me. It's just a mistake. From Jennifer Miller, "I
remember being amuds when I saw a maganza displaying to a huge
goose." Do these crushes happen often? No, I think it's more here
at Slim Bridge, where they have a captive collection of birds. Most
of them, certainly from the northern hemisphere, are thinking
of breeding at the same time. There is a huge amount of displaying, and
sometimes they fixate on the wrong bird. I have to say at this time of
year we see a lot of homosexual behaviour in ducks. If there is a
shortage of females, they'll start to display to each other. Mallards
are like that. In crowded area, that's a result of that. Basically,
we're featuring muddled creatures in these answers... Not muddled,
really, but different - shall we have the quiz? OK. This week's quiz.
It is a name quiz, a bit of etymology. I'm going to give you
some names, old names that are no longer in use for British creatures.
You have to see if you know which they are. These are the old names.
We'd like to know the contemporary, more modern - the ones you have in
your field guides at home - the first one, A, mouldywarp -
Anyone know what it is? Hands up? Yallo w - that's not fair. Second
one, B, sea pie, sea pie? Anyone? Welsh name for that particular
animal is sea pie in Welsh. Is it? It is, yeah. Good skill. Would be
easy for a Welsh viewer. They've got it right. You're fine! C,
broc... A bit easier. A few nods in the audience. Lastly, let's finish
this off, D, yaffle. So these are the old names. We'd like from A
through to D the modern names of mouldywarp, sea pie and yaffle.
Send them in, see if you got them right. I thought they were really
hard. These two said they were easy. We were wrong. Whatever. I think
you need to start sensoring all the questions. Iolo, come and join us.
You dropped your poppy. Thanks, mate. Cheers. Before you start, I'd
like to draw everyone's attention This is a cat that is in love with
Iolo. He loves programmes like Autumnwatch where you appear.
Apparently, every time you're on TV, the cat gets up and strokes you.
Well, sorry, Sweetpea, I am not a cat fan. I am a dog fan, but I will
make an exception just for Sweetpea. Who is doing this bit? Is it me?
Iolo, here's some film filmed by Kimara McCrindle who works in the
Marine Discovery. Let's have a look at that film. Can we see it? What
do you make of that? Apparently, this is the very first time - we
tried to get some footage from the BBC library of this. This is
actually a dwarf sperm whale. We couldn't find any photos, nothing
at all. That's all we've got. One of the runners drew a picture of it.
Here we go. Who drew this for us? Nicola. I like that! A round of
applause! Well done, Nicola. think this is a first, isn't it?
is. It's a first for UK British waters, the first time it has been
seen here. It's a very odd one. It's the smallest of all the whales.
It's smaller than three metres, so some of the dolphins are bigger
than it. Tiny. It is, and usually found further south. They don't
usually come further north and Spain - across there in a line to
sort of Central America, Brazil, and they go down as far as South
Africa, but they don't come up this way, so that is the first one ever
seen. But the other thing, of course is they don't blow. They
don't advertise themselves. When they come up, they just come up
quietly, then go back down. They usually feed quite deep. One of the
amazing things about them is they have this red oil - you know like
squids and octopuses will squirt out ink? They have a red ink, which
is a defence, so it's an amazing mammal and one we know little about.
Fantastic we're still seeing new things in the waters that surround
our country. It's brilliant, and a lot of these new things are in the
sea. Two-thirds of the world is ocean, and there are so many things
down there we know very little about, and you don't have to go far.
You just have to dive or even go rock pooling. You'll sometimes find
weird things in there. That's one of the fantastic things about this
whole thing. We keep saying autumn is a great time to do it. It is.
Here is one from Linda from Antwerp in Belgium - we have viewers in
Belgium - hi, Belgium. She was on Skomer earlier in the year and she
was wondering when the puffins leave, where do they go? That's
God's own country, God's own country. Five years ago, I'd have
to tell you we don't really know. They go out in the open ocean where
they survive, avoid the winter storms, but over the last five
years, scientists from Oxford University have attached
geolocaters on to puffins. We know where they go. The odd thing is
they don't all go to one place. They scatter. Some go to the north-
east Atlantic Ocean. Some go up as far as the Farrows. Some go to the
North Sea. Some go to the Med. The odd thing is if one goes there one
year, it will go back the next year. Puffins just scatter. Puffins in
the Med! Whatever next, Chris? That's where I would go. What about
some photographs from our Flikr site? We haven't had many of those.
Apology for the loss of subtitles for 59 seconds
Take a look. Here's a montage of I think they're fantastic. He's off
again. Stop it. I didn't say anything. You didn't need to. Shall
we do our favourites? MP Goodley of the snipe. I think it's great
because you don't instantly know what it is. How does a snipe with
its beak preen the back of its head? It reaches around using its
long neck and it's accessing... Come on! What do you mean? No, they
have a very long neck. Feet - competition - apparently somebody,
no names, thinks they use their feet. To do what? The back of their
head. I thought you said preen gland! What sort of beak has he
got? A rubber beak! Now he's going to claim he's a little bit short of
hearing. This is my favourite. I would have wallpaper like that.
Wouldn't you? Wouldn't that be gorgeous around your room? This is
taken by Lee Yatesix. This is beautiful. It's very difficult to
photograph animals in flocks or herds because trying to get them
all in the right place where they don't overlap and trying get some
little distraction like that little mess of widgeon over there - I
would go for this one as my favourite - simple, plain,
symmetrical - I would go on Photoshop and lighten this eye to
balance it with this one, but I think this is a very powerful image.
This one was taken by Richard Nichool. Shall we see what our
audience think? Go on. Put your hands up if you think Chris's is
the best. Put your leaves up if you What about the wallpaper, chaps?
You bribed them all! You do. cheque's in the post. A couple of
weeks ago we asked you to send us photographs of the largest house
spiders you could possibly find. We have had a number of photographs
sent in. Now we know that a lot of people - we don't want to lose you
as viewers, we treasure you as viewers. In the corner of the
screen will be cute seal cubs for to you focus on while the rest of
us talk about spiders. Just stare at the corner and go "oh-oh" whilst
we deal with spiders. Show us the photos. Gosh, help! This is Alan
from Essex. That is enormous. I think it might be dead! This is
nice. It too will be dead! That's an interesting scale. Are you sure
that is liquorice? This one, this might be our winning one at the
moment. Yes, it is. Oh, that's huge! It's enormous and it measures
an incredible 14 hadn't 5 -- 14.5 centimetres. I love this graph.
This is a great graph. It really, really is. We have extended it,
look, it's had an add-on here. This is a miserable tiny spider. We have
had fine spread. Come on, we want to spread it. Continue to send your
giant spider pictures. The seals are still there! We have to move on.
Right, here is a special guest. Who am I talking to? This week I was
lucky enough to have that amazing encounter with the foxes, let us
now see - watch out behind you, if we can have another encounter with
a fox. Come on in. Lovely. Now this is Jeff. You are
Jeff. Yes. Please tell White House is this -- please tell White House
is this. Roxy, she is ten and a half years old. How did you come to
be with Roxy? Roxy was tied up on some railings when she was about
three months. We done a rescue and brought her back. We didn't release
her because she was too tame. So now she's the angel. She's the
sanctuary mascot. I believe you take her round to schools and so on.
Do you all sorts to tell people about foxes. We do. We do education
talks on foxes, we take them around schools, do shows and she loves it.
Put her down on the ground. Oh, she's off! She's very alert.
Absolutely gorgeous. Right, do you want to sit down? Yes. We have some
questions. Yeah. How do you tell the difference between a male and
female fox? She is female, obviously. Yeah, a male is a lot
bigger and are more thicker. This time of year they have obvious
testicles, the man, we won't go into that in detail. That's a bit
of a giveaway, that one. Only if you can see underneath F you see
them from the front you can't see the testicles. The testicles grow
dramatically this saoeupl of the year, they start off cashew size
and turn into wal -- into walnut size. She's relaxed down there. Why
do foxes have such thick luxurious tails, do they serve any purpose?
They are for warmth. A fox kurpls up -- curls up and the tail is for
warmth. As you were saying, Chris, they're used for display. They wrap
them around their nose, which is the only bare skin they have got.
It's balance, as well. When they run, it has a counterbalance as
well. It is more luxurious in winter. It thickens up. Is she all
right there? Yeah, she's looking around. One more quickly: I have
seen crows and magpies harassing foxes out and about in fields
during the day, why would they do this? Territorial. We have had a
seagull attack Roxy. But why, because they're thinking if she was
a wild fox, when they're nesting she could then be... That's it, yes.
You told me as well that she lives happily with your dogs? She does,
walks with four dogs and will only eat chicken, but it has to be
cooked. She won't eat raw meat. think the staff at the trust are
pleased about that. Just in case she gets off the lead. She doesn't
like swan. One more. People who haven't toys or teddy bears in the
garden, child's toys, they wake up and find toys, the foxes bring them
in. It's common. If you leave shoes out as well, they love the smell of
shoes and will pinch them and roll in them. She's quite ripe, the fox.
There is a smell over here. You could be enjoying the full benefit
of Roxy. I like the smell. I had a couple when I was a kid like this
and it reminds me of that, the whole house smelt like that. My
room stank a bit! For the best part of three years. Thank you very much
for bringing her in. It's been How are you going to get her out
from there? Come on. While we try and extract our gorgeous fox we
should give the answers to our quiz. Leave her, she's fine. She didn't
want to go. Did anybody get it right? Most people did. I told you.
Chris, are you going to give us the answers? I am, but they're trashed
by the fox. Here we are. I don't need the the answers, I can
remember. Did many people get - are we going to name any people? Steve
Knowles and Graham Westen. answers were Mouldywarp was a mole,
good thinking. Don't answer them all, give them a chance! I have to
find my notes, because I had interesting things, here we are. It
comes from the German language, it means soil and throw, mouldywarp.
Dirt tosser is the quote. Sea pie? Come on, oystercatcher. They come
from the sea obviously and don't eat oysters in this country, the
American ones do and we stupidly copied the American name. Broc?
Easy, a badger. The Gaelic name for badger. Lastly, Yaffle? Green
wodpecker indeed. Many folk names for the woodpecker, its laughing
call, yapping dale, it's suggested it brings on rain. Apparently
Bagpuss - was that an educational prog? Fans will remember Professor
Yaffle based on a woodpecker. People who had better things to do
with their time won't remember that at all. Chris tkorbgs they do that?
Yaffling making that call, is it a precursor of bad weather, rain?
mate, that's a folk tale. I thought it was science! It's not science!
am going to mention ladybirds, we have had loads of people saying
they have seen an unusual amount of ladybirds and why is that and
they've been asking loads of different questions. Go to the
website because we have an interview with a ladybird expert
who will answer all of those questions for you. Don't look at me
because I have no talkback left in my ear whatsoever! We have some
questions. Can I just throw one straight in for you. Kirsten is
desperate to hear Iola say "puffling" again and could you just
say it for them. Here we go. Go in tight, OK. Puffling. Once more?
Puffling! Can you walk over and do it now? Calm down! In fact, you can
walk over - for goodness sake, it's saeury. -- scary. A question, why
do some sea birds stand on one leg? It's a way to keep warm because
they have veins near the surface on the leg and if it's cold then it
will lose heat. So what they do is tuck one leg into these warm
feathers here, use the other leg and when that gets cold they pull
that up and the other one down. Actually they put the other one
down first or they would fall. your socks. From Steve, my daughter
wishes to know if there are cases of badgers with claustrophobia?
That's a fantastic one. Are there any? As far as I know every single
one lives in a sett, so probably not. It wouldn't be an evolutionary
stable strategy. We have a barn owl update. We asked you, I don't know
if we have a picture, yes, we have. We asked you to help out if we
could find a friend for our little barn owl chick that was abandoned,
if you remember that. It's the lower one here. That was the one we
actually met on Unsprung and here is the little friend. Thank you
very much. That's fantastic. They've feathered up a lot. Thank
you for that, perfect. I am going to wander to the map, while Jo
tells us about things to do this weekend. All weekend the National
Trust have a wildlife spotter event near bath. On Sunday from 9.30 to
12.13 there is a wildlife walk in Norfolk. And a planter tree event
near Oldham. You don't need to book for those. Tkpwubg to our website,
put in your postcode and you can find other things. What are all
these things? They're commemorations. Newport Wet lands
and the RSP B has 100,000 Starlings. The marine show we did, get out on
to the beaches, help clean beaches up because we did feature that,
that there was a lot of rubbish on the beach. I have to tell you
something quickly, I met somebody here in a camper van and they had
decided, due to Autumnwatch and Springwatch, that they would rent
their house and go on the road and go bird-watching around the country.
They've been on the road a year. I said when are you going back? They
Autumnwatch Unsprung has more light-hearted post-show analysis, special guests and audience-led discussions and debates.
Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games and Chris Packham are joined in the studio by Welsh wildlife legend Iolo Williams live at their base in Slimbridge, as they host nature quizzes, answer questions and and look at viewers' photos and videos.