Episode 8 Autumnwatch Unsprung


Episode 8

Live discussion after the main Autumnwatch programme. Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games and Chris Packham take a final look back at all the experiences of the autumn.


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Transcript


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It's Friday, it's going to be a wonderfully colourful show. We have

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got red grouse, red deer, white hares and golden eagles. All the

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Welcome to Autumnwatch live. Coming from Slimbridge in Gloucestershire.

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We have heard our curtain call. This is the last of the series.

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We'll be talking -- About the weather. We are British! We'll talk

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 155 seconds

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They experience our most extreme weather conditions. It has been a

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very unusually autumn. Above 600 metres here in the Karen gorpls

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trees can't grow. Right here we're on the brink. There are a few

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stunted examples. Above this, the habitat in the UK is as close as

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you can get to the Arctic. The Arctic what better place to go for

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a spot of skiing. Only one problem, there's no snow! Last year there

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are two metres of snow. As we reported earlier, there was a

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sprinkling in October. The average daily maximum temperatures are five

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degrees higher last year than this. It has had an impact on the

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wildlife. Some of the Heather is in flower now in nof. Still in flower

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I -- Amazing. That has meant some animals are able to exploit food

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resources they would not normally get to You would not normally

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expect to see bull finches! favourites. You would not expect to

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see them on the top of moors at this time of year. Are they

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indigenous. We get a few migrants, the Scandinavian birds are bigger

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and brighter than the UK ones. They look like UK ones. When it gets

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harsh they will move down and feed on the low lands. I know where they

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will come, to my garden and pinch the buds off the apple tree! That's

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what apple trees are for. Some of the creatures are bright pink.

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Others like this have a better idea of what to do. This is a mountain

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hare. It's left with a bit of a problem. At the moment because

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there's no snow it's sticking out like a sore thumb. Rather than

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hiding from predators it's making it more noticeable to predators.

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While we were up there, we also saw these. At this time of year,

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mountain hares are a principal component of their diet. If they

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are bright white it means they are easy to catch. I can't understand

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how any survive. They don't get caught out every year. What is

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happening is obviously the hare is not responding to a coverage of

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snow, it's responding principally to day length. Some years

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unfortunately they get caught out and a few probably get caught!

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weather has been strange in Scotland but peculiar all over the

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country. You are right. It has been peculiar. Do we like to talk about

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it? It's a British pastime to talk about the weather. I can't help

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myself. It has been mild for this time of the year. We have asked you

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to let us know your observations. We have had a incredible response.

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It was the best response in the series. You have been telling us

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about lady birds. We have had lots of you tell us about bees and

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watches. All over the country bees and watches are around. Toads and

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frogs. And the butters flies and moths. Lots of flowers are still in

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flower. I'll put some of the magnets on the map. We have got

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apple blossom in Tewkesbury. Roses in Greenwich outside London. And

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Emma harr told us about that. And foxgloves in Derbyshire. It has

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been a mild autumn. The latest we have from the Met Office has given

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us a graph. Which they haven't trusted me to do. We have

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temperature up the side and time along the bottom. It starts on

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September 1. The dotted line is the average temperature calculated and

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you -- As you can see until we get through to the beginning of October,

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end of November it's pretty much hovering around the average. It

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veers up here. What we have seen in November are so far temperatures

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well above the average. The average temperature for November has been 9

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degrees. That's 3.1 above the norm. And the highest ever was 8.8 in

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1994. This could end up being the warmest November. November is a

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transitional month. It often starts warm and gets cold at the end. If

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it gets cold now it follows a typical November pattern. The

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impact on your selection of species here is noticeable. I think because

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these are dramatic events they hold a higher potency for us. People

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notice them. In terms of the grand scheme of things I'm not entirely

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sure it will have an impact. These are isolated things. Nature has the

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ability to soak up the cold or warm periods. Some wildlife has been

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quite confused. Let's look at the ducklings. Below the flamingo pool

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there are ten ducklings swimming around. It seems they think it's

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spring. What is going to happen to them? They will have a tough time.

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They are reliant on finding their own food. This is possibly a sign

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of not a second spring, these birds responding to a forthcoming spring.

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If it fleezs and gets cold they could be be be be in trouble. They

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are already in trouble. Once they are looking for food they are food

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themselves. Look at this. We also filmed this, this week. And a

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little ducklings swimming around with mum. Look at that. A black-

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headed gull has tried its luck. It is quite a small gull. Look at how

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protective the adult is. She has come in and the duckling has

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scarpered off the mud. This is more capable of taking Mallard chicks.

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They would gladly do so and possibly clean up the lot. Fingers

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crossed for the duck lgz. The female will undoubtedly breed in

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April and if she fails again in May. It's time for Liz Bonnin when we

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sent to the Karen gorpls to cover an emotive issues. The British

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landscape gets no more dramatic and beautiful than in the Highlands of

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Scotland. It's most valuable and important habitat is the Caledonian

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pine forest a rich mix of trees, Heather and all the animal species

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associated with it. But as beautiful as this place N is,

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something is out of balance in this spectacular landscape. I'm not here

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just to admire the species, I'm here to find out about one of the

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most controversial issues in Britain today. They belong here

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just as much as all the other animals but humans have created --

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Created an ecosystem with no natural method of controlling them.

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Some believe that the red deer is population is so out of balance it

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needs culling. My journey starts on a special estate. He works on the

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sharp end of keeping deer numbers Long-eared bats just listen. They

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hear the sound... That is amazing. How does water come out of a

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whale's back? It's the water that is caught on the back of the whale

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so you get this spray. Out of the blow hole. It is the air that comes

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out of the blow hole which is almost like a nostril on the back,

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if you like. Does it smell? It does. I have had it hit me in the face

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once! It is not very pleasant. If you go whale watching, don't go too

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close. I wish you had bathed before you came in! Why do ladybirds have

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spots? Chris? Nick Baker could answer that one! Try and condense

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it. I will ignore the spots and go for the colour. Contrasting

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markings, just to warn potential predators they are distasteful.

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spots are there to break up the obvious and make it a distinctive

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obvious and make it a distinctive animal. You know me, don't eat me

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because I'm foul-tasting. If you squash one in your fingers, not

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literally squash it, but if you smell your fingers afterwards they

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reflex bleed out of their knee joints and it is quite a soapy

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smell. You wouldn't want to put that in your mouth. If you lick it,

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it is very bitter. I didn't know that. Shall we go to the board? We

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have so many letters and drawings from viewers. Look at this. All

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sorts of things. This is all from one family. This is Will. Aged four.

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He's done us, basically. There's me. I have very long legs there.

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There's Chris. You are a bit smaller! LAUGHTER Very rounded!

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This one's from Joe, aged six. These are great hedgehogs. A good

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message. Don't give bread and milk because it will make them poorly.

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That is pretty good. There's me. Martin. There's you. And there's

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Chris with the owl. "I like poodles and poo." We know, Chris! This

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picture, this is beautiful. The badgers. And this is the most

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beautiful duck on earth. Some great artwork there. We have also had

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some tremendous photographs sent in. I am always critical... Before you

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do that, we should gather the starlings up. Before you do the

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photos... There is a bit of speed about this. A pair of dogs is going

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to come at me! They make a sparrowhawk look pretty tame!

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are you going to do this? They are so well trained! I must learn to

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train Chris and Martin like that! Hopefully, the dog also be as well

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trained as that(!) They are getting better the photos. I thought I

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better pull one out which I thought was sensational! This one, a lot of

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imagination has been used here by this photographer. Let's have a

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 155 seconds

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montage of the rest of some of our Some good photos. Brilliant. Can we

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do our favourites? That is my favourite. It's a blur of nuthatch

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action! Love it. Gerald Robinson is my favourite. That is beautiful.

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Isn't it? The tip of the beak is missing! Seriously. Do you have a

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favourite? I do. This one was taken by Maxwell Law. The fact it's flown

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directly at the photographer. What do you think? The audience voted

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for this one. Really? That is pretty. The swan came a very close

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second. Yes! A swan without a beak! Moving on. What are we doing next?

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The poodles. I can't believe you forgot that! Where are the

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beauties? We have lots of people asking - come on, my boys. We have

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had lots of people asking why do dogs howl when they hear certain

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sounds like those foxes? Ah! Hello, Scratch. And Mr Itchy! Hello. While

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these settle down, let's go back to our quiz and see if we have got

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anybody who got... DOG GROWLS are well trained(!) Scratch! Come

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here. Go to Daddy. Did anybody get the right answers? No. No-one has

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got them all. Are we going to have a go? Yes. I will ask you. I

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thought that might be some sort of... It's a... It's an insect of

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some kind. Some wasps do. That's the case made. You are closest,

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Chris. The species is key here. Shall I tell you? Yes. As a kid I

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reared the caterpillers of this moth. I couldn't find the cocoons,

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they are puss moth caterpillers. They have chewed into table legs

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and stuff like that and hidden. If you find them, you can't get them

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off even with a hammer. The caterpiller has chewed the wood and

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formed almost a bomb shelter of a cocoon. Did anyone guess that? If

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you put your hand up you are in trouble! Let's go on to this one.

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Any guesses? It is a mollusc. might be a species that is new to

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this country because of climate change. No. It's been buried in

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like that? If you turn it the other way round, it's been buried, the

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pointy-end down, it is the biggest one in Britain. Last time I heard,

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there were 14 around the British coast. There used to be a lot more

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but because of anchors and disturbances to the sediment they

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get lost and broken. That is really rare around our coastline. It's

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called? It's called a fan mussel! Anyone guess that one? No. OK.

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we go! I knew they were both on the shore tonight! Isn't this the

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easiest one? That is the easiest of the lot! We all know what that one

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is! Woodcock! They used to use woodcock pin feathers to do the

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pinstripeing on Rolls-Royce cars! This one. Liz should know that one.

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We didn't do very well! Thank you very much. OK. A moment of truth.

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Scratch, come here! Come on. Come on! Now, sometimes when your dog

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hears the ice-cream van, or certain music, it produces a howling sound.

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People wonder what this is about. Let's see if these two can produce

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a howling sound now if we play the Autumnwatch theme tune, which they

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have been trained to listen. AUTUMNWATCH THEME TUNE

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LAUGHTER Shhh! Anyway, let's have a couple

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of questions. Calm down, boys. Do birds get fat on fat balls? Let's

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have you answer that one? They use so much energy in finding food and

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feeding. They will eat what they need, you know. They don't get fat

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like we do. They are always active. Fat balls are fantastic with them.

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It is full of energy. It is one of the best things you can put out.

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Put them out without the plastic mesh. That can get caught up in

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their feet. In fact, go on the website. We have loads of

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website. We have loads of information about how to feed your

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birds. At this time of the year, it is important that you do keep

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feeding them. People think they are overfeeding them because when they

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get cold they fluff their feathers up. But they are trying to keep

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warm. At the moment, very few birds are coming into gardens because it

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is so mild and there is lots of food out there. If it does get cold,

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they will come in Thank you for all the questions that you have sent in.

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We couldn't make Unsprung without you. You really have been a big

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part of this show. So we have decided to celebrate that by

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showing you the best bits of showing you the best bits of

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Unsprung, from you, our audience. I have a question here, what is your

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favourite poo? Is it a POO-dle?! What a work of art! The sweetest

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quickfire question, have a look at this. This is from Finlay. I have

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been taken to task by a 15-year-old girl. We have had a lot of

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questions about hedgehogs. Very on the ball. Don't you poo on my map!

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Oh no! Look at this. This is from Phil Smith. This one is fantastic.

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This is from John Tattersall. Oh dear. Kirsten Hunter is desperate

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to hear you say "puffling". Puffling! My favourite answer was

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(a) could be Santa Claus. We have this photo. I would have wallpaper

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like that. Come on, Chris. That is beautiful. I like that. I would put

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that on my wall. Hats off to onand Matthew. Helen Proud, I love some

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of the names. Thank you to those who got in contact. APPLAUSE Well,

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a fantastic series of Unsprung. There are a couple of dogs in

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Battersea Dogs Home. If anyone is interested, they are free to a good

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home. As troublesome as the Sex Pistols! Nevertheless, we have

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enjoyed it all. Thank you very much to the audience for contributing.

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As the series draws to a close, Autumnwatch Unsprung has some final light-hearted post-show analysis, nature quizzes and audience-led discussion.

Guests drop by from across the series, and Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games are on hand to answer questions, take a look at viewers' photos and videos, and wrap up all the experiences of the autumn.


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