17/01/2013 Winterwatch Unsprung


17/01/2013

Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games answer questions, take a look at viewers' photos and videos, and share your experiences of winter this year.


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Transcript


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around the corner, a live bird, a mystery man. Now, if we go back a

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bit, we find that we have some mystery people here, some strange

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people out on the veranda. What could it all be about? Let's go

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inside, and inside, we have Michaela Strachan, Chris Packham,

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and I can just see I think behind there - level-headed Joe. It must

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be Unsprung! Hurrah. Right. Here you go. Now, remember, Unsprung is

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all about you. It's your questions, things that you've noticed. It's

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all about the things you send into us. We throw in a few curveballs as

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well, but we all start with the quiz, which we have all started but

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Michaela will pick it up. We did show you the quiz on Winterwatch

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just in case for some crazy reason you weren't watching! But what we

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did was we took a photo viewers have sent in, mixed them up, made

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them into a puzzle, then you had to put them all together and make an

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animal. That was pretty straight forward. It's a grey seal. That was

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obviously not the quiz because we have given you the answer. This is

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picture A. What is that? Don't shout out if you can see... You can

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all get in here. This is B. This one is tricky. Can we have B?

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is tricky. Quite hard - any ideas? They can't see behind you. And C,

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which - yeah, is quite tricky, but remember, they're all animals that

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live in Britain. They are, and Chris is going to tell us something

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very interesting about them. Can I just say where you send your

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answers? Yes, tell me off. Facebook. They'll go through to Joe.

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This is very interesting. We often have mystery pellets here, but this

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has come in from Stephanie James from Cambridge, and she sent us the

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whole story of her mystery poo pellets. Here it is. This is one of

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those true romance things - "Look at my mystery poo." So she takes it

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out in her car - "I take my poo everywhere -" slightly dubious,

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this, isn't it? She's tried to send Stephanie, here we go. Let us offer

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it to the experts. Just a moment. Hold on.

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LAUGHTER Chris is's glasss are broken, badly

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glued together. They were broken during the week. They have been

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superglued, so thankfully they're here. Let's deal with these pieces.

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They're full of fur, so the first thing we can say is it's a

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carnivore that has been producing this. The first, quite long. You

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would need to pull that out and have a look at that. Stephanie

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doesn't mind. Pull it apart. It's quite coarse fur. What do you think

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it is? It's not soft and fluffy like rabbit. It could be fox still,

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but this looks like it could be deer fur or something like that. It

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feels coarse - when it rolls through your fingers like that it

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feels as if it's got an edge to it almost as if it's got sort of a

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section which is square or something. I think it's deer fur

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inside the poo. It's old, so sadly it's lost any scent it might have

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had, which might have been a give- away, then again, if this was an

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individual piece, you've got to think about the size of the animal

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that produced that. This could have been scavenged by a marten. That's

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about the right size of pine marten poo. It could be pine marten that

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scavenged deer. Is that right? think it is. Let's give him a round

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of applause. APPLAUSE

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I don't know whether we're going to be able to do this. You could

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become a hair detective. Say you're out and find a bit of barbed wire

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and find some hair in it, you can tell what that hair is. I don't

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know if this is going to work. Can we give - let's have a look,

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Royston. Bring him in. Have you got some deer? What's that? What do you

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reckon that is? A bit of deer? We're not going to be able to pull

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this off, I don't think. I can pull this one out. Can you? I reckon

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even though I have read what it is on the front... Well done. I would

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probably know because, look. Can you see closely? Look. There we go.

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That's good. Can you guys see even from a distance what that might be.

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Look at the colour. It's red, and it's bendy, and you can't pull it

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apart. Is that right? So it is... Yeah, and it's flexible. That one

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is flexible. And you happen to find it on our live cameras around the

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corner. Any ideas? Red squirrel. That's it. So squirrel and fox -

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you can bend the hair, but Chris, can you try and snap one of those

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for us? Snap one of these? Senate one of those. Snap it in the sense

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I am going the break it? Bend it. Did it snap? Hold on. That's a

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brilliant demonstration. See that. It hasn't bent. It's actually

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snapped. That would be deer. Deer fur snaps because it's brittle and

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hollow. If it snaps it's probably deer. If you can bend it, it will

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be fox or squirrel. This is badger, and it's elliptical in shaing, and

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oh, you can't see that. If you try and roll it on your finger, I can

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feel it. It won't roll because it's elliptical. I can see it. You can

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see it flicking. Flicking because it's elliptical. It's not round, so

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it's badger fur. We did it. We pulled it off. Do you want to tell

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us a foxy tale, Michaela? I'll tell you a foxy tale. Sometimes we get

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sent in footage of extraordinary animal behaviour. This is one such

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time. This is from George in Buckinghamshire. Just have a look

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at this. This is a fox in his garden, nothing particularly

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unusual about that but look! The cat comes out and starts, I would

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say, playing and chasing the fox. Looks like it's run away to begin

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with, doesn't it? It's a bit of a wobblably camera.

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Now the fox comes back again. cat sort of sits there, almost like

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piggy in the middle, isn't it? they did play together. Chris, did

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they play together? You know my thoughts on this - quite harsh. I

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don't think animals have time for play. I think they're constantly

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learning something that'll be an advantage to them in the future, so

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when you see fox cubs playing together, they're learning how to

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hunt, how to stalk one another, how to find their prey, how to be

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dominant, how to express that. This is quite controversial. New

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research into the neuro-science of animals shows some species

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apparently - I haven't weighed it through, this research yet, do seem

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to have pleasure centre, so not only are they playing, but they

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receive pleasure, so therefore we could argue they're not doing it

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for a behave I don't recall reason. They're doing it just because they

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enjoy it, but I'll have to come back with youen that. I haven't

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waded through - a gentleman sent me two books I haven't had a chance to

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read. He's changing his mind now! That's what it's about. I am happy

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to change my mind if it's proved correct. Thank you for that footage,

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anyway. I thought you were going to say life's about playing, but no.

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This is interesting - Simon Blackburn came through to us. He

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said, "I saw a Queen wasp yesterday but how do I know it's one? By the

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way, I am a pest controller." I would hope you would know. How does

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he know it's a Queen wasp? That's really easy to answer because the

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only wasp you'll find at the moment is a Queen. All the workers, the

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sterile females have died, and the males died in the autumn once

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they'd mated. It's just the females that survive the winters and as

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such they're an incredibly - organism. They have the whole nest

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in what are going to be fertilised eggs. Often they come into people's

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houses and find somewhere dry to hang up. They often go into a

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peculiar position. They have a hibernation position where they

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fold their legs up into a particular pattern, curl up their

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legs, and they'll hide behind the curtains or tuck behind the cushion.

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Invariably you don't find them until the spring. I always leave my

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windows open in the spring so they can get out. Lots come in, nice.

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was in bed once in my attic and had the central heating on. There was a

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loud buzzing on the bed beside me, turned the light on, and there was

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a Queen hornette in bed beside me, which was exciting. Can we see what

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one looks like? Here, a Queen hornette. There's a Queen hornette.

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That was what was in bed with me. Absolutely beautiful. These animals

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are fabulous to look and have a brilliant behaviour. They're a lot

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less aggressive than male wasps because there are fewer of them in

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their nests if they launch an attack and many of them are killed

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that means they can't rear as many Queens. Have you ever been stung by

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a hornette? No, I got stung in the eye by a hornette. I was

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encouraging it to sting someone else so I could see! I was with a

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brist brilliant entomologist. When we get stung, we're great because

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we don't react. Unfortunately one of the hornettes got out of control

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and stung me in the eye, closed my eye for about 24 hours in weeping

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tears - of laughter, of course, and then it went down, but I have to

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say it's very variable how people react to wasps around hornet Stigs.

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Some people can react very adversely to them. It can change

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throughout your life. The more I have got stung, the less I react.

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Sometimes the more you get stung, the you react. Did it hurt much?

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Not at all. It was so funny, we were laughing at it more than

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anything else. A hornet sting is classified as number two on the

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Justin O'Smu mitt Pain Index. This guy got himself stung by literally

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hundreds of insects and gave them a grading of how painful it is. He

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says - it's lovely - some of the things - hornets not too bad at all,

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a two. They don't go up very far. The highest is the bulletna which

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is dramatically paism. The bullhorn Acacia ant is like someone fired a

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pellet gun in your cheek and the bull ant is like walking over

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charcoal with a three-inch nail in your heel. I was stung by a bee the

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other day - I bought a pound of honey for �50! Oh! Could you move

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us on, Michaela, to the wonderful Voleman. Tell us a story. As I was

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saying before, we have extraordinary footage sent into us

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sometimes and we received a call from Swindon, Wiltshire, with a

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rather special story. This is really special.

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This arm belongs to David Tray and in it his additional member of the

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household. Can you guess what it is 2009, walking outside his house,

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David stumbled on what he thought was a male mouse. Unsure whether it

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was even alive, he brought it home. To his surprise, it survived the

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night. And looking closely, David realised it was, in fact, a tiny

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female vole. So when I first got her, the only way I could feed her

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was with this paintbrush with diluted goat's milk. With much love

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and care, the vole grew into a healthy adult, and after nine

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months, it heard the call of the wild. Not seeing it again for a

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couple of weeks, David assumed it had found a new life with its own

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kind, but on the off chance, he occasionally left out her favourite

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snacks. On the 17th day, I knelt down in the grass as usual to put

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food in the dish, and to my amazement, the mouse came charging

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out of the undergrowth, run straight in front of me and stood

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up on its hind legs, demanding to be picked up. I've never seen such

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a thing. I was amazed, delighted and decided that it's coming home

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with me because it obviously wants to. So why had Mr Mouse come home?

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Well, of course, he was really a she, and she gave birth to five

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babies that night. Mr Mouse, who's truly Mrs Vole, remains at Nut Tree

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House. Chris, can you tell me - can you

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shed any light on how long I should expect that this little creature is

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going to live? How long is it going to live? How long is it going to

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live that vol, Chris? In the wild, of course, they have all the stress

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of having to find food and deal with their predators, and many of

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these small mammals are designed to live 18 months. They get through

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their winter, breed as productive as they can. Many of them have more

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than one litter and they exhaust themselves. That's if they're not

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taken by foxes or tawny owls. The average vole - shrews can be less

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than a year, voles between one and two years. In captivity where it's

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being pampered... It really is. will be really interesting to see

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how long it does live. That's exhausted it, but it's had one

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litter. If it doesn't have more, a maximum, I hate to say it two,-and-

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a-half, three... Not much longer. But it's already done three years,

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which is astonishing. Isn't it? you said, all voles, field mice,

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about a year, but you know bats - same sort of size, a greater

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horseshoe bat - how long do you years! Amazing. Lynn Hardman.

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lovely Lynn Hardman! Every year she makes us a super tea cosy. What do

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you think it is going to be? Guesses from the audience. What

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sort of are -- are? An eagle owl! Thank you very much. This our idea

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of crocheting, I can't... Stay there! It has been picked up and I

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think we can reveal a brand new, extraordinary art form involving

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crochet. Michaela? Over two. -- over to you. Come in. That is

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incredible! Did you do your hat as well?! That is extraordinary. What

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do you call this? It is a mixture of crochet and taxidermy. Is there

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a real hare inside? No! There is nothing will inside? Not at all.

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How long does it take to do something like that? This is tiny

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for me. Probably two months or something like that. It is a small

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project for me. I have worked on one single project for two years.

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And that was for the Olympics? My goodness me. That is absolutely

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enormous. How difficult was that to do? It was difficult to keep going

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for two years, that was the main challenge with that one. Your

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fingers were hurting? I had to put my fingers in ice at the end of the

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day. When most people decide to crochet, they will do something

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like a hat, so what made you jump to wildlife? Art theory was behind

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it, and then the animals came in as an accessible thing to use. Have

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you always loved wildlife? I am keen on animals, especially my dog.

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You seem to be following the muscle groups as well. Yes, I try to

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highlight the anatomy of the Channel. I freestyle, and I start

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with one stitch and keep going. Have you ever crocheted a moth?

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That is the enemy of all of your work! Seriously, what do you do

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about them? It is a serious question. I think I have just been

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lucky so far. Especially the ones that we saw earlier. I was in one

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static place for two years, so it was a problem. A round of applause,

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extraordinary that we have noticed. Well, you have noticed it. We have

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noticed some here as well. We are calling them frost flowers. John

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Bingham sent in this picture. It looks like cotton wool, but it is

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not. Their early form in the frost. Doreen Johnstone has sent another.

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-- then they only form in the frost. It looks like a dog. We think we

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know a man that knows what they could be. It is Euan McIlwraith! He

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has been driving Winterwatch every night. Hello. Listen to those

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dulcet tones! Have you got any idea what it is? Yes, it is a thing of

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beauty, as you say. It is cold and side. The sap in the plans is

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expanding and causing small cracks. -- the plants. The capillary action

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continues, the ice crystals form and expand, and they forced out of

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the ice in amazing ribbons. Sometimes in a crack, you get the

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former around the plant. It is a thing of beauty, and very rare. Now

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is absolutely the time to get out and see that. Get out and see frost

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flowers. Amazing. I want to see a time lapse of it growing. You have

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to be quick because they disappear in the sunshine as my colleagues

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have found to their cost. Thank you very much, the man that knows!

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you will be doing Winterwatch Extract online after this programme.

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Yes. Many of you have heard robins singing at night. Let's remind

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ourselves what that sounds like, singing at night.

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to something there. It is not a robin. We have done that for a

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reason. It is Michaela Strachan! Let's hear what she had to do to

:21:26.:21:36.
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That was slowed down. It is complicated! We wanted Michaela to

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do that, slowed down, because that was how complex the birdsong is.

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The robins change their song. they change with lots of roses,

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variants, tones, patterns of notes, which adds to the richness and

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makes it more attractive to the females. I think we should play the

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real robin, and then Michaela to see how good she is.

:22:16.:22:26.
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WHISTLING. Very good! I think that I sound better! I think that was

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artistic licence! That was a real thing, really! I have to move on.

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From a very small bird, beautiful, for bringing it all in. How is she?

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Doing fine, quite relaxed. How long have you and Orla been together?

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Probably nearly five years. It is quite an intense relationship, the

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two of you. That comes from daily contact and building your trust.

:23:38.:23:46.

The first time you met it was not love at first sight. No. The

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hackles were up, pure aggression. She was not happy to see you? And

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now you have a close relationship. Can we look at the talons?

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Fantastic killing machines, like a grizzly bear. This is an iconic

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bird of Scotland. Is she OK if I ask you some questions? I don't

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think she can answer! We think she is looking at the beaver? There was

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something in the river. And she is that alert! William says, it does

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the golden eagle have a unique nesting have it? They tend to have

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one or two alternative sites. They will move if the nest is destroyed

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or discovered. Sometimes they are in more sheltered spots and

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sometimes they decide where to build according to the weather.

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There is one in America that is 200 years old, descended from an

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original power. Goodness. You are very relaxed about her being so

:24:54.:25:00.

close. Nine year-old Debbie Jackson, will golden eagles at the start

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living in England again? It is very unlikely that they will naturally

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recolonise in England. If that was going to happen, we would see

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larger numbers in Scotland first. Just time for one more. This has

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always fascinated me. How much weight can a golden eagle pick up

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and fly with? There are lots of myths about that. Yes. People

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overestimate their carrying ability. Anything heavier than five pounds

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is too heavy. They only carry things when they are feeding their

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young. They are known it to use height advantage to get a mountain

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goat and came up for the nest. They cannot physically climb. They have

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to aim at down and drop the mountain goat. So they would drop

:25:51.:25:55.

down, hit the prey and carry on with it? That is marvellous

:25:55.:26:01.

targeting. Thank you very much for bringing her in. Orla has been very

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wonderful. It is a joy to see how big they are. Staggering. I shall

:26:06.:26:14.

back off, not nervously but calmly! Michaela, would you like to resolve

:26:14.:26:20.

the quiz, please? Yes, but I was a bit concerned when I was doing my

:26:20.:26:24.

robin impression that the Eagle might come and pray on me! So

:26:24.:26:31.

realistic. We set a quiz at the beginning of the show. We mixed of

:26:31.:26:35.

photographs that viewers had sent in and we asked you to rearrange

:26:35.:26:39.

them and tell us what they were. Did anybody get it right or wrong?

:26:39.:26:49.

Yes, lots of people took part. Rebecca and Jane on Twitter got it

:26:49.:26:55.

right. Tell us the wrong ones, if they are funny. People thought the

:26:55.:26:59.

insect was a dragonfly, and some people thought the bird was a

:26:59.:27:07.

goldfinch. Not very funny. This was...? That is quite easy because

:27:07.:27:17.

there is a real giveaway. Waxwing, very good. A fascinating fact about

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

which one? The waxwing? He is lost for words! They occur in

:27:28.:27:32.

Scandinavia. We have spoken about them already this week. Maybe we

:27:32.:27:38.

should not ask you! There is a more attractive species in North America.

:27:38.:27:43.

It blows of the Bohemian ones out of the water. And does anybody in

:27:43.:27:51.

the audience to know what that could have been? Millipede?

:27:51.:27:57.

might not get it even when we rearrange it. Any idea? Some people

:27:57.:28:07.
:28:07.:28:13.

got it right. Snow flee. I thought it was a scorpion fly. I saw the

:28:13.:28:23.
:28:23.:28:28.

tail. And last one. It is a Chinese water deer. Well done to everybody

:28:28.:28:36.

that got that right. Fabulous fangs. We only have two native species of

:28:36.:28:41.

deer, red deer and roe deer. The Fellow at Chinese water deer were

:28:41.:28:49.

introduced. -- fallow and Chinese water deer. Thank you very much for

:28:49.:28:53.

Martin Hughes-Games hosts the climax to a week of Winterwatch, and it is time for viewers to take over the show. Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin answer questions, take a look at viewers' photos and videos, and share your experiences of winter this year.


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