Episode 3 Winterwatch


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Episode 3

The Winterwatch team showcase some of the animals that choose to stay in the micro-climate of Poole Harbour over the winter.


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Settle down on your sofa, we are back.

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Tonight we've got foxes, we've got water voles,

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But that's not all - back by popular demand...

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It's going to be phone, Foxy, factual and fabulous. Snuggle up,

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it's time for Winterwatch! Good evening. We are going to go

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live, straightaway, to the thermal camera out in the field. What you

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can see there on the left-hand side is a fox.

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In front of it is a woodcock, two of the stars of the series.

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Unbelievable. Moments before we came on air, it was walking towards the

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woodcock, we thought, is it going to pounce? The woodcock doesn't even

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seem aware. The Fox has stopped to have a clean. It's difficult to tell

:01:23.:01:30.

how far away it is, relative to the woodcock. I know it is difficult to

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see now, but we saw the long bill. Look at it now.

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If anything happens, we will come straight back. What an exciting

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start! Welcome to the reserve in Dorset, it

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is Winterwatch 2017. It has been clear in some parts, reining in

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others. Down here we have been besieged by fog. This is what it has

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been like on the reserve. I rather like this muted atmosphere.

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Beautiful, photographic, Impressionist! This is a Monet

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moment. A cormorant, caught in a Monet moment. Preening, probably

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with the dew on its back. It is a picture of surrender tree. --

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serenity. It has been giving people problems, you are not so keen? I

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don't know, you like some black and white, I like colour, I am more of a

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kingfisher girl. You are dressed like a Kingfisher! We have cameras

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all around the reserve. But we also have a camera more local, in the

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studio. It is actually up there. That is right by a barn owl box.

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There is nothing in it now, as far as we can tell. Look what was there

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last night. Two barn owls. They don't seem bothered by us being

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there. They seem to know each other very well indeed. A little bit of

:03:10.:03:14.

barn owl canoodling. It's nearly Valentine's Day! They

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are having a little kiss. I think it's romantic. They are probably out

:03:34.:03:38.

hunting at the moment, so we have a thermal camera where they might be

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hunting. Can we go to that? What is happening?

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He is still lying down. It might take off, if he gets up.

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They do get around. Let's go live to the carcass camera. Nothing there

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now, because he is on the other camera. A cast of Foxy characters,

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we will show you more of them. The foxes have been active, they have

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not only been feeding, they have been doing something else as well.

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This is Tyson. We know this character, very dark. He has taken

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some meat away from the carcass, he is burying it in the leaves. He goes

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back... He gets a nice bit of... That looks like a bit of lung. Takes

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it away to a different area. This is Cheetah, another individual. Taking

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a whole leg! Seems to take her by surprise. But she is determined, not

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going to leave that, it's a really good food resource. Taking it off

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again. Half as big as her! This is behaviour that you will see foxes do

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in the winter. They actually have quite small stomachs, relative to

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Wolves and dogs, about half the size. They can only eat about 10% of

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their body weight in one sitting. They have to eat little and often.

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When they are full, they take some and save it for later. On a carcass,

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that makes perfect sense, they can't eat all of it at once. They take a

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little bit and they cache it, not four months like some quarrels, but

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for a couple of days later. Sometimes they get quite ambitious.

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He has begun to realise he is not going to tear it off, and he cannot

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drag the carcass away. He switches behaviour and he is starting to

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cover it with leaves. You can see from the Topshop that he has swept

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an area of leaves about one square metre. He is attempting to cache the

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entire carcass! I like unambitious animal. Perhaps he is biting off

:06:01.:06:08.

more than he can chew. He continues to go through this behaviour to try

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to hide the carcass. As you can see, a fruitless effort. In the end, he

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realises that. The foxes haven't only been on the carcass. We have

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seen them in other parts of the reserve. We think this one is

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Cheetah, the vixen. She's down on the shore. Listen. She is down in

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total darkness. That was a fox, barking. Even here the alarm

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calling. She was probably on the prowl for any birds that have died

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during the course of the day, or seeing if she can catch one

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off-guard. Listen to this. They spotted her and she disappears into

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the nest. It's a bit like the Blair Fox Project! I suspect there is a

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curlew in the corner, just nodding. Very atmospheric. I will be

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following the foxy Who's Who throughout the programme. It has

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been bitterly cold and very foggy for the last couple of days. On

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Sunday it was bitterly cold, but the sun came out. With it, a lot of

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insects appeared. Rather to our surprise! Here is a fly. The gorse

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is in flower. A honeybee, surprising to see that. A little bit of nectar.

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The beautifully named marmalade hover fly. Thank goodness for the

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gorse, providing the insects with a little bit of a snack, even in the

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depths of winter. We have also seen something else, something rather

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curious on Sunday. Here is a quiz, can you tell us what these are and

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what they are doing? What are these animals, and what are they up to?

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Get in contact on Twitter, on Facebook. We will try to see who

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gets it right before the end of the programme. Yesterday I tried to

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inspire you all to get about the crack of dawn and enjoy the sunrise.

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I'm pleased to say, for a lot of you, it was not foggy and you sent

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in some beautiful photographs. Here are some of them. Look at that. When

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I opened my curtains this morning, I did not wake up a shot like that. It

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appears from these photographs that maybe we were in a microclimate in

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Dorset. All over the country! Absolutely stunning. Thanks very

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much for sending those in. Beautiful. A bit of colour, I like

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that. Let's check on the Fox and Woodcock.

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Another fox in the field! They are busy tonight. It is going towards

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the Woodcock! Pincer movement! What is going to happen to it? If

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anything dramatic happens, we are recording and will show you. Let's

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stick with this Fox. It's amazing, I'm not sure I want to see the Fox

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get that. We were celebrating them. It is chewing something. We will

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keep across this. If it gets more dramatic, we will go straight to it.

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Iolo has been to Anglesey, in search of one of his favourite birds, an

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enigma, but it gathers there in great numbers.

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Look at that! I've been coming to Anglesey since I was about four

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years old. The bird I always wanted to see was the Raven. They are big,

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bold, black, beautiful. But they are wily, incredibly intelligent. It is

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so difficult to get close enough to get a really good luck. But at this

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time of year, Anglesey is the perfect place to see them. Ravens

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from across the country gather here in their hundreds.

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Each afternoon, they are drawn here to feed, play and socialise. But

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it's not all about fun. The forest also provides them with a winter

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refuge. I visited this roosting site many times. But as Ravens are

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particularly elusive birds, there is still so much I want to learn. I've

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enlisted the help of Nigel Brown, who has studied the ravens on

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Anglesey for the last 20 years. We have an owl before dark, quite a few

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birds coming in. This is quite a communal experience, for these

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birds. It is probably a highlight of their day. What I love is as they

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come, you get the calls. They have something like 30 different calls?

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The Romans said 65, maybe they made up a few. It may be more than any

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songbird. Wow. It's really starting to liven

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up now. Your hearing tock-tock. It wasn't just ravens arriving for

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the party. I love the interplay between the

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cheeky jackdaws and the solemn raven. It's like being in the middle

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of an orchestra. You have the insects as well. Except it is not

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orchestrated. It doesn't seem to be. When they are coming to roost, do

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they roost individually, do they roost as a group, do we know that?

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Earlier research suggested that groups of up to six will occupy one

:13:06.:13:10.

tree. But we weren't ever able to prove that for sure. At night, you

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can't see them. That's why I'm really excited by what we are going

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to try tonight. We are going to try to film them after dark, something

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that has never been done before. Hopefully that will give us a pretty

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good idea of how many you have in particular areas within this forest.

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With thermal cameras at the ready, all we can do is wait for darkness

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to fall and hope the mysteries of the raven roost would then be

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revealed. I wish we had had this equipment 20 years ago!

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Fantastic. I've been up there, it's magical hearing all of the weird

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calls from the ravens. I love their calls, amazing. Can we see what is

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going on with the fox and Woodcock? The woodcock has gone. The fox

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didn't seem to notice it at all. The woodcock, they have this thing,

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emotional Baku -- no centre comes out at all, they tighten their

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feathers, and the heart rate can go from four per minute to 60, when

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they take off. Apparently I can slow my heart rate to almost nothing. An

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Aston Martin drives by and I explode.

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Our foxes have been at the carcasses during the night-time but during the

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day time we have buzzards. One of the birds has been particularly

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pale. This bird is quite unusual in that sense. Pale birds in the

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buzzard population are not an enormous rarity, you will find them.

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This bird, as you can see is altogether darker. We have a pale

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one here, this one is darker. Both the same species. Living in the same

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place, at the same time, doing, as you can see, the same job, but

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different colours. What about that? Very curious. When I see them, they

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are somewhere between both of those. Intermediates. They are a greater

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part of the buzzard population. Here on the left hand side you can see

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our pale one, in the middle you have the intermediate and on the right

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hand side the dark of the buzzard. What's the point of it? Why would

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you have a range of different colours in the buzzard. What we know

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for sure, the intermediates have a the greatest lifetime reproductive

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success. They rear more young during the course of their life than the

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pale ones and the dark ones. What is the point of being pale and dark.

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Nature needs a reason. It's likely there is a gee netcle linkage with

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the colours that would give those animals an opportunity under certain

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circumstances. If conditions change you might see an increase in pale

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one us because they are present in that population. In southern Sweden

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there was an enormous number of pale buzzards. For a a number of time it

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was better torque pale that dark. We don't know why it manifested in

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buzzards. Amazing. A fox is barking there. We have noticed the colour

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difference in sika deer. People have said, have you seen the white stag,

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the white Hart, here he. Is doesn't he look striking. He's not albino.

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Leucistic makes the pigment they don't get it out to their feathers,

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if it's a bird, or fur if it's a deer. They are very striking. In the

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old days the they used to hunt the white Hart is you find an innocent

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young virgin, she will sit down. The white Hart will come and lay it is

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head on her lap. The hunter would grab it. No-one has caught one down

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here in Dorset like that for over 200 years. Amazing. I love that. I

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Love that. Water voles, increasingly rare animal, of course. Very shy.

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Difficult to see. Russell has been out looking for them. He has a

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secret place he goes to where he gets intermaite with his water

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voles. We are on the chalk stream. I knew it was a special site when I

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fist arrived here. A lot of people walk past this place and probably

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don't even understand the wildlife that is here. Spend a few minutes,

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observe, and it comes to you. My main interest would be the water

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vole and it looks a fantastic environment for that. There is good

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evidence of the water vole. I have done the laying around by the side

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of the pond, going out on to the river, different tactics I thought I

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have to go in and join them. The voles are nervous. You have to

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be incredibly still, so you are freezing and being, very, very cold

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in the water. Just don't move about. As time goes by and you do more days

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of it they become more relaxed and then you will get them swimming

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past. Sitting right in front of you, you know, chewing away. They are

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always here, every single day, some of the special shots, it just

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happens that once, you have to be there to catch it.

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One of the most satisfying things is, because we have this beautiful

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chalk stream, you can see these silver bullets which are the water

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voles under the water with the air trapped in their fur. They whizz

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underneath you. An amazing experience, it really is. I've had

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cold days and I've had some very cold days. My last session here I

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think we were minus four. That day I only managed about an

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hour-and-a-half sitting in. Generally speaking, a session would

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be around about three-and-a-half hours. You get to the numb stage and

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then everything goes dead, you for get about it, but it does become

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quite painful after a while. The life of the water vole is very

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short. Most of them don't get through into a second year. So a

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huge steep learning curve. On first coming to the site really

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was this idea that possibly, possibly we'd got water voles that

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were climbing trees. The evidence on the tree I think most people put it

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down to squirrels. I think it was worth spending some time and then

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they started to climb. They were going up along the branches. I think

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there was probably six inches above the water. I thought, that is quite

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interesting, maybe not so steady on their feet. To my amazement they

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kept climbing and climbing and climbing.

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I don't know what the different was between the bark at the bottom and

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the top, they just liked to go higher.

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They were actually eating it. Winter time for water voles is very, very

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hard. It's interesting to find these behaviours, to work out what is

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driving them to do it. Is it a food source, a shortage of something or

:22:37.:22:39.

something they have A just found that they like? -- they've just.

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What a top bloke. I love a determined naturalist. He looked

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frozen trying to get that shot sitting in the water. Is it unusual

:22:53.:22:57.

to see a water vole eating bark? This time of year they have to eat

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80% of their body weight a day. They will take advantage of any

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vegetation that they can get. Difficult to see though because,

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let's face, it they are in massive decline. Difficult to see a water

:23:09.:23:13.

vole anyway. Also what is very difficult to see is a woodcock in a

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field in the dark. We've been very excited tonight because not only

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have we seen live on our thermal camera a woodcock, we have seen

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foxes behind it. This is what we saw seconds ago. Have a look. This is

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the woodcock, very difficult to see these birds. Here it comes.

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Returning back to the field where the fox was sitting, relaxing and

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grooming. Probably didn't even realise that the woodcock was right

:23:44.:23:47.

in front of it. There it is. This is a bird that we featured just a

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couple of days ago with Martin. It's fantastic. Let's see if that bird is

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still there now? There he is. You can see the spec there. This is the

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field that Martin caught the woodcock in. We are looking for the

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fox. Some way away. Quite a long way away. The woodcocks come from

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another part of Europe back to the same area. Each night they will go

:24:16.:24:19.

to the same field. It's likely that woodcock has been visiting this

:24:20.:24:22.

field. It could be the one that Martin caught, you don't know. At

:24:23.:24:25.

the moment it's avoiding those foxes. Last night we started an

:24:26.:24:30.

experiment looking at bird food choice. An experiment you could

:24:31.:24:34.

conduct in your own garden. If we look at our control, if you like.

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This is how we set it up initially. The feeders are the same. . The

:24:40.:24:46.

first thing we wanted to look at is how the birds behaved. What we

:24:47.:24:52.

noticed is that the tit speedies seemed to choose the feeders on the

:24:53.:24:56.

outside, not the centre one. When they arrive they take one of those

:24:57.:25:01.

sunflower hearts and fly off with it back to the security of the hedgerow

:25:02.:25:06.

to eat it. Gold finches, on the other hand, behave differently.

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They choose the central feeder, they arrive in numbers. They stick there.

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Each one taking a seed, having a I believe inle whilst the others look

:25:14.:25:17.

out. I think that's what this difference is all about. These are

:25:18.:25:21.

flock feeding birds. Safety in numbers, more eyes, so they don't

:25:22.:25:29.

have to retreat to the hedgerow. Robbins come in and get the scraps.

:25:30.:25:37.

Also do great spotted woodpecker. They are picking things up

:25:38.:25:41.

underneath. They are more forceful. When they hop onto the feeder itself

:25:42.:25:44.

they will drive off all the other birds. No-one wants a severe peck in

:25:45.:25:49.

the back of the head from one of these guys. That was the experiment

:25:50.:25:53.

we set up. The birds are using it in different way, which correlate to

:25:54.:25:56.

the behaviour that they would display if they were feeding on

:25:57.:26:02.

natural things. Gold finches feeding on thistle heads, lots of eyes

:26:03.:26:06.

sitting in one place. Tits go back to the security of the hedgerow.

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It's been mesmerising watching those birds against the black. You can see

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the colours. Colour is what our experiment is about. We want to find

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out how colour affects that feeding behaviour and what colour they

:26:21.:26:25.

prefer. These are our three feeders. Normal colour. We coloured two of

:26:26.:26:32.

them, one blue, one red. We painted the frame with nontoxic paint and we

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dyed the seeds. We will give you the result of that experiment tomorrow.

:26:37.:26:40.

All I can say is, they are both surprising and interesting and

:26:41.:26:45.

emphatic as well. We are trying to explain how animals get through the

:26:46.:26:50.

winter. There were several obvious strategies, migration, animals who

:26:51.:26:53.

move away. Animals which roost in places to stay warm. Some animals

:26:54.:26:58.

have to get through the winter by hibernating. Gillan has been out to

:26:59.:27:04.

find an animal that gets through the winter by hunkering in a bunker.

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In the summer, this area of Studland in Dorset is buzzing with all sorts

:27:19.:27:25.

of insects and particularly butterflies Flitting from flower to

:27:26.:27:29.

flower foraging for nectar, but this is winter and where have they all

:27:30.:27:31.

gone? Some, like the painted lady, migrate

:27:32.:27:48.

to sunnier climes. In other species, the adults die off. Leaving eggs,

:27:49.:27:54.

caterpillars to tough it out and emerge as adults in the spring. A

:27:55.:27:57.

few surprisingly Hardy butterflies manage to stay here throughout

:27:58.:28:04.

evening the harshest winter. This is a pillbox. Hundreds of these were

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built along the coastline to house guns and defend these shores against

:28:10.:28:13.

attack during the Second World War, but now it houses a completely

:28:14.:28:15.

different occupant. There they are. These are peacock

:28:16.:28:46.

butterflies. It's really quite easy to overlook special it is to see

:28:47.:28:49.

them like this. Before there were man-made structures, like sheds,

:28:50.:28:55.

they would have spent the winter in a hollowed out log, so to be able to

:28:56.:29:02.

walk into a place like this and see them in this state is quite special.

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They are so still. There are more and here.

:29:09.:29:24.

This is not hibernation as we know it. Mammals that hibernate, they

:29:25.:29:30.

wind down them metabolism to a point where it is barely ticking over,

:29:31.:29:38.

like a car engine, idling. But as it does, there is still wear and tear.

:29:39.:29:43.

Insects do something completely different, they actually switch the

:29:44.:29:48.

engine of. They hold all developmental processes until they

:29:49.:29:54.

don't age at all. But they have a really neat trick up their sleeve.

:29:55.:29:58.

Just like your car engine, they are sat with the engine off, but the

:29:59.:30:03.

ignition is still on. So if they are disturbed by a predator, a mouse or

:30:04.:30:07.

a bird, they flash their wings open to reveal the high eye spots that

:30:08.:30:16.

start for their attacker and scare them away. They have enough fat

:30:17.:30:19.

reserves to get them through the winter. In a few months' time, they

:30:20.:30:24.

will wake up, leave this pillbox and head out to mate and start the new

:30:25.:30:36.

generation. The pillboxes have done their job to help us, now they are

:30:37.:30:38.

doing the same for butterflies. Fascinating film. You would be

:30:39.:30:49.

really lucky to see a butterfly flying around now. But if you go out

:30:50.:30:53.

and about, even in the depths of winter, you might see a moth. So how

:30:54.:31:00.

can they fly in the icy cold of winter? We are going to find out,

:31:01.:31:04.

because we have Gillian here. You are passionate about insects? Yes.

:31:05.:31:13.

What have we got here? We try to attract some of the winter flying

:31:14.:31:17.

moths. There are a handful of species that are still active. We

:31:18.:31:24.

have a light trap, a Robinson 's moth trap, pretty much unchanged

:31:25.:31:29.

since the 1950s. It does what it says on the tin. This one is more

:31:30.:31:34.

sophisticated, it uses pheromones, the sweet scent of the female.

:31:35.:31:41.

Before we go on to the winter moths, I wanted to show you another

:31:42.:31:46.

species, the herald moth. I am going to put it over here so we can get a

:31:47.:31:52.

closer look. It's gorgeous! Beautiful.

:31:53.:31:57.

When you get nice and close, tight shots, before I get into the science

:31:58.:32:03.

bit, you can really appreciate what a beautiful moth it is. It's like a

:32:04.:32:12.

rich tapestry. This moth isn't really active at this time of year,

:32:13.:32:17.

it is just like the peacock butterflies we saw. Hibernating?

:32:18.:32:23.

Yes. It emerges quite early in the spring. To do that, it has to get

:32:24.:32:26.

flight muscles up to temperature. It does that by vibrating the wings. As

:32:27.:32:31.

you can see, a really nice shot of that. As it vibrates, it is slowly

:32:32.:32:40.

raising its temperature. Like massively exercising? Yes, do loads

:32:41.:32:43.

of presents and get warm. We saw it warming itself up. When you go to

:32:44.:32:49.

the thermal cameras, it is absolutely amazing. You can see the

:32:50.:32:55.

body getting warm. Not the wings, it is actually the thorax, right there,

:32:56.:33:08.

started to start glowing white hot. They can raise their temperature 40

:33:09.:33:13.

degrees. That was five minutes of warming up condensed into seconds,

:33:14.:33:19.

but it started to massively glow. I've seen this, back in Springwatch,

:33:20.:33:29.

we filmed owls hunting moths at night. You can see them, like bits

:33:30.:33:35.

of fire, whizzing about. The owl has seen it, will it get it? What

:33:36.:33:44.

fascinates me is that you can see so clearly only thermal camera how hot

:33:45.:33:50.

the moths are as they fly around. As you say, is it going to get it? Got

:33:51.:33:53.

it in flight. Absolutely fascinating. That is what moths do

:33:54.:34:01.

to warm themselves up. But that isn't a winter flying moth. What do

:34:02.:34:07.

the ones doing the winter? In my other pocket, I've got this. Here we

:34:08.:34:14.

have a male winter moth. I know it doesn't look like much... I like it,

:34:15.:34:20.

I have seen them at home. If we can get the lid off... He is starting to

:34:21.:34:29.

flatter his wings. It is quite a cold night, but it is active.

:34:30.:34:34.

Perfect example. It can't be far from freezing, and he is still...

:34:35.:34:41.

How on earth is he going to do that? He is not warmed up? No, but what

:34:42.:34:50.

you get is a lovely view, quite a small body. These moths belong to a

:34:51.:34:56.

family which have small bodies. Relative to that, really large

:34:57.:35:00.

wings. That means they are really energy-efficient with flying. They

:35:01.:35:04.

have done away with the digestive tract altogether. As adults, they

:35:05.:35:09.

don't need to feed. All they do is fly, they are single minded in their

:35:10.:35:12.

purpose to find a mate. These traits make them really suited to flying in

:35:13.:35:17.

cold temperatures. If we see them side-by-side... The herald moth is

:35:18.:35:24.

on the winter moth is on the left. The winter moth has a John -- chunky

:35:25.:35:35.

body. The wings of the winter moth, it is so efficient, it only needs to

:35:36.:35:40.

beat its wings four times a second, with the herald moth it is 60 times

:35:41.:35:44.

a second. It has adapted perfectly to flying around in the winter. Why?

:35:45.:35:51.

What is so good about being out when it is bitterly cold? The air space

:35:52.:35:57.

is empty. It is safe. There are no bats, they are hibernating. Even the

:35:58.:36:03.

spiders, there are few of them around. It's a great time of year

:36:04.:36:07.

for some moths to make the most of that. I am loving the male winter

:36:08.:36:17.

moth, but even more, I like the female one that I have got. She is

:36:18.:36:22.

right on the side. If I hold that, can you see that?

:36:23.:36:27.

You might notice something about that female. As she got any wings?

:36:28.:36:35.

They actually have vestigial wings. That is the remains of them. All she

:36:36.:36:51.

has is a fat body, but no wings. She is completely flightless. The

:36:52.:36:54.

question arises, how does the male possibly find a flightless female?

:36:55.:37:00.

It's a really good example of how these winter moths have to make the

:37:01.:37:08.

tough choices. It is a trade-off. The females lose their wings. That

:37:09.:37:12.

is because flying is a costly business, but so is making eggs. The

:37:13.:37:18.

females have left the business of flying to the males. They just get

:37:19.:37:24.

onto making eggs. How they find them is beautifully simple. They

:37:25.:37:29.

basically make their way up the tree trunk, the females, they make their

:37:30.:37:33.

way up to the tree trunks, they get themselves into a good position,

:37:34.:37:38.

they stay put and broadcast their position by sending out pheromones.

:37:39.:37:49.

Pheromones? Which are? Smelly sex gas. Fantastic! A brilliant bit of

:37:50.:37:56.

biology. I have seen the males, I have never seen the females. Have

:37:57.:38:01.

you seen a female winter moth? I have seen them, not very often. I

:38:02.:38:05.

had to be shown them by somebody that was another moth expert. The

:38:06.:38:13.

best place to find them is apparently an apple trees. There is

:38:14.:38:17.

one animal we are seeing a lot of on the live cameras. It is the family

:38:18.:38:22.

of resident foxes. There has been a lot of live action, an all-star

:38:23.:38:28.

cast. Let's remind ourselves of the leading characters.

:38:29.:39:07.

We should rename them, Mr Stumpy, Mr Cheetah! I hope it just doesn't end

:39:08.:39:17.

up stuck in the middle with one of them, that scene... In Reservoir

:39:18.:39:22.

dogs, there were six characters, we have only shown you four. We have

:39:23.:39:26.

two more to show you. They have a co-star role. Look at this one. This

:39:27.:39:32.

is a new character, not seen before. Look at the face. You can tell the

:39:33.:39:36.

markings on the face. You can see this one has a moustache. We are

:39:37.:39:46.

calling this one Tash, a dainty female... With a moustache! This is

:39:47.:39:56.

a male, but look at the eyes. The male is blind. They are calling this

:39:57.:40:09.

one Pugh. We now have a cast of six. That is not surprising, foxes live

:40:10.:40:13.

in social groups, typically with a dominant male and female, and a

:40:14.:40:17.

supporting cast of family members from previous letters. We have seen

:40:18.:40:20.

quite a bit of social interaction, interesting stuff. On the right-hand

:40:21.:40:30.

side, we have Stumpy. He is whining, there is clearly another fox coming.

:40:31.:40:42.

His ears go down. This is Cheetah coming in sideways, showing her

:40:43.:40:46.

flank, and then it kicks off. They stand on their back legs, lock their

:40:47.:40:56.

forelegs. This is called fox trotting. Now he sounds a bit like a

:40:57.:41:07.

cub, begging for food. It is very clear that Cheetah is the dominant

:41:08.:41:15.

fox. She offers her rump. He isn't mounting. He is still subservient.

:41:16.:41:25.

He is making that clicking sound, geckoing, typical fox conflicts. All

:41:26.:41:30.

of that whining, as well. And this time of year, there are probably

:41:31.:41:35.

more fox fights and scraps like this than any other time of year.

:41:36.:41:38.

Firstly, a shortage of food, although not in this image. Then

:41:39.:41:42.

they are breeding and dispersing at the same time. She has come in, she

:41:43.:41:48.

has pushed an animal further down the pecking order away, and now she

:41:49.:41:51.

is helping herself to some of the food. He has been forced to wait his

:41:52.:42:02.

turn. Because this is not an all-out scrap, he is remaining in

:42:03.:42:06.

attendance, that pretty much guarantees that these animals are

:42:07.:42:12.

from the same social group. We have a more dominant female, Cheetah, in

:42:13.:42:18.

the picture, and a less dominant male, behaving and sounding like a

:42:19.:42:23.

cub. Maybe he is one of her cubs from last year. Eventually, she lets

:42:24.:42:29.

him go to the carcass. Again, it might be a relic to behaviour,

:42:30.:42:32.

because there is an affinity between them and she might see him as one of

:42:33.:42:40.

her cubs from the previous season. If he could leave with his tail

:42:41.:42:44.

between his legs, he would. But he can't, because he hasn't really got

:42:45.:42:51.

a tail. It's amazing to see and hear that natural behaviour. Like any

:42:52.:42:56.

good plot, the storyline is complex and unpredictable. One minute you

:42:57.:42:59.

are feeling sorry for Stumpy, and then the tables turn. Look at this.

:43:00.:43:03.

This is one of the other characters. This is Rogue, eating at the moment.

:43:04.:43:11.

Rogue is not that confident, a little bit nervous. She can hear

:43:12.:43:17.

something. She can probably smell something as well. She sits down.

:43:18.:43:24.

This is not dominant behaviour at all. She trots off with her tail

:43:25.:43:31.

down, and then the tail goes between the legs. If you look at the back,

:43:32.:43:34.

you can see another fox is approaching. Which fox is this?

:43:35.:43:44.

Well, surprisingly, this is Stumpy. You can hear the noise, listen to

:43:45.:43:49.

the noise. Stumpy comes in, looking very confident. When you have seen

:43:50.:43:54.

what just happened previously, that might surprise you. Rogue comes

:43:55.:44:01.

behind, the tail is still very much down. Very much the subordinate fox.

:44:02.:44:04.

Stumpy has a nice feed. It's complex social interaction,

:44:05.:44:13.

isn't it, Chris? It is. We have seen a large female, Cheetah, dominating

:44:14.:44:16.

that smaller male, which could be one of her cubs. That smaller male

:44:17.:44:20.

dominating another one of the smaller females. Perhaps that was a

:44:21.:44:24.

litter mate of his, a female from the same litter. We will discuss

:44:25.:44:28.

this more tomorrow. Aside from the behaviour, there is a lot of noise,

:44:29.:44:34.

isn't there? Listen to this. Now this is a fox call that's very

:44:35.:44:41.

frequent at this time of year. If you've got foxes in your area, I'm

:44:42.:44:45.

sure you've heard that. That is not fighting. That is the sound of a

:44:46.:44:48.

Vixen barking. The reason she is, barking is to call males in. Because

:44:49.:44:53.

at this time of year the males roam throughout female ranges looking for

:44:54.:44:57.

mates. She's keen to mate with as many males as possible. If a male

:44:58.:45:05.

comes into the range. If there is a partner she has, she will mate with

:45:06.:45:10.

another male. When we look at fox litters we frequently find that they

:45:11.:45:14.

are fathered by several different fathers. That is because she is

:45:15.:45:17.

calling them in. You will frequently hear that. If you are out in the

:45:18.:45:23.

woods walking your dog, if one barks alongside you, it can make you It's

:45:24.:45:29.

a scary jump. Sound. Lots of you have been asking about our spoonbill

:45:30.:45:35.

camera, loads, at least five people have asked - I'm a great fan. I know

:45:36.:45:44.

you are. I know you are. We brought it back by demand. Here it is Robo

:45:45.:45:55.

Spoonbill the Sequel. Robo Spoonbill has not quite delivered the goods.

:45:56.:45:56.

Here it has not quite delivered the goods.

:45:57.:46:02.

Here it is. Let's pick it up. Hello, Robo Spoonbill. For some strange

:46:03.:46:06.

reason the spoonbills didn't like it. We are not sure why. Many birds

:46:07.:46:11.

will come straight in to even a really bad Dee coy. Is a brilliant

:46:12.:46:15.

decoy. They didn't like it for some reason. They stayed away. We are not

:46:16.:46:22.

worried. When we took Robo Spoonbill away the other spoonbills came

:46:23.:46:25.

straight in. It hasn't bothered them. I'm afraid, nice try, but,

:46:26.:46:34.

whoops, no cigar. Of course, spoonbills are fabulous. We have

:46:35.:46:39.

been out there filming them. We have lovely behaviour. Here they are

:46:40.:46:44.

coming in. They became extinct in the UK in the 17th Century, they

:46:45.:46:51.

were hunting to extinction. In 1999, after a gap of 350 years they first

:46:52.:46:57.

bred successfully. There is that remarkable bill. Tricky to preen

:46:58.:47:02.

themselves with it. By the way, look at that marking on the leg, that

:47:03.:47:07.

ring. That shows that bird is from the Netherlands. We think the

:47:08.:47:11.

majority of these birds, we think there are 23 right now, down in the

:47:12.:47:15.

harbour, they are all, we think, have come from the Netherlands.

:47:16.:47:24.

There they are, using those beak ends to feed. If they are very

:47:25.:47:31.

sensitive. They will snap shut on their prey and feed themselves.

:47:32.:47:36.

Sometimes even the mighty spoonbill gets it wrong. This one was trying

:47:37.:47:42.

to eat a flatfish. It's quite difficult to see this in the mist.

:47:43.:47:47.

See it there. The flatfish is frankly too big for that spoonbill.

:47:48.:47:54.

That isn't adopted for fish suppers if they are flatfish. It would never

:47:55.:47:58.

get it down its throat, even if it could. It can't break it up. Another

:47:59.:48:02.

bird perhaps might have a better luck. The shape of that bill will

:48:03.:48:07.

never, ever do it. What other bird might have a go at that flatfish? A

:48:08.:48:12.

black backed gull. Here it came in. It's got a much more dagger-like

:48:13.:48:17.

bill. It could maybe puncture that flatfish. I think it's the same

:48:18.:48:22.

flatfish. The spoonbill is still there. Can he get inside a flatfish?

:48:23.:48:26.

A difficult shape for a bird to eat. He has to try and plunge that bill

:48:27.:48:32.

inside the fish and, is he going to do it? Yes, he does. Look at that.

:48:33.:48:39.

He is getting all the plucks, as they say, out from inside. Fantastic

:48:40.:48:43.

to see the spoonbills. The first one I saw I thought it must have escaped

:48:44.:48:48.

from an ex-is toic aviary or something. Staggering birds. Water

:48:49.:48:55.

is essential for all wildlife if you want to encourage wildlife into your

:48:56.:48:59.

back garden the most effective ways to do that is to build a pond. This

:49:00.:49:07.

is a Winterwatch SOS. Every month for the next year we will show you

:49:08.:49:10.

something you can do in your garden that will improve it for wildlife.

:49:11.:49:17.

To get started, a pond from an old washing up bowl. If it still holds

:49:18.:49:20.

water, it can hold life. There we are. Where is Conan the

:49:21.:49:48.

barbarian when you need him. He'd put some pond in. I say, that's

:49:49.:49:54.

almost a perfect fit! Remarkable. Ideally, in a pond, you want a

:49:55.:49:59.

sloping side. The quickest way to do that is to use some pebbles. Get it

:50:00.:50:03.

started by putting some plants in. You can get these at garden centres.

:50:04.:50:09.

These are aquatic plants, obviously. I will leave them in their pots for

:50:10.:50:14.

the time being. Even a tiny pond like this one is the most effective

:50:15.:50:19.

resource to increase the value of your garden to wildlife. There, I've

:50:20.:50:27.

tickled the fancy of a tadpole and made a newt happy. If you can get a

:50:28.:50:33.

dragonfly dreaming by making a mini pond of your own we would like to

:50:34.:50:39.

see it. Send pictures to us Australianed all under the title of

:50:40.:50:43.

BBC spring watch. Go to it. Save our species. I know there will be cynics

:50:44.:50:52.

out there thinking a washing up bowl in the lawn, that won't work for

:50:53.:50:56.

wildlife or anything else. It will. Dragonflies will come to it. Your

:50:57.:50:59.

kids could be fascinating by what lives in it. I had one of those when

:51:00.:51:07.

I was a kid in my garden, I was always sticking my nose in it. .

:51:08.:51:14.

We will put one of those SOS online for a year. Look on Instagram and

:51:15.:51:23.

our website to see how to improve the lot for your wildlife in your

:51:24.:51:27.

back garden. We have a laif badger on the camera. True to form, it's

:51:28.:51:35.

just disappeared behind the grass. If we crash in, we can see it's

:51:36.:51:40.

there, sniffing around. It's looking for food. It looks like a female.

:51:41.:51:45.

OK. Let us go to our thermal camera. Our fox there is on the move, still

:51:46.:51:55.

roaming around in woodcock field. A little bit of scent marking there.

:51:56.:51:59.

It's all happening out there tonight. Foxes, badgers, woodcock,

:52:00.:52:09.

absolutely fantastic. We left you Iolo Williams was on Anglesey and

:52:10.:52:13.

was waiting to see the ravens come to roost. What would happen next.

:52:14.:52:19.

Let's find out. As night falls we sneak into the forest to get into

:52:20.:52:23.

the thick of the action. . Isn't it fantastic. We've come in under the

:52:24.:52:31.

canopy. We have the sea in the distance and we have ravens and

:52:32.:52:35.

jackdaws. Surround sound. It's fabulous. What is brilliant is being

:52:36.:52:42.

able to look now and, hopefully, find some ravens. But strangely, as

:52:43.:52:50.

we look around, the forest seems to be empty. We can still hear them,

:52:51.:52:54.

it's almost as if they've disappeared. But then we spot

:52:55.:53:03.

something in the canopy. Look at that, look at that. Wow! I can see

:53:04.:53:08.

the shape of the bird. You can see the outline. Yes. Oh, wow. That's a

:53:09.:53:17.

special moment. First time in my whole life I've had the advantage

:53:18.:53:20.

over a raven. I can see it and it can't see me. Look at the size of

:53:21.:53:30.

that. Look at that. Exaggerated in this peculiar light. How fabulous is

:53:31.:53:34.

that. One of the best views of a raven I've ever had, in pitch black!

:53:35.:53:45.

We are scanning. No ravens here. Surprising. We are in the place

:53:46.:53:49.

where we saw a number go in, we heard them calling at dusk. I know.

:53:50.:53:53.

I came in, I would have put my mortgage on the fact that we would

:53:54.:53:58.

have found a patch. We would have been picking out ravens left right

:53:59.:54:02.

and centre. We are struggling, aren't we? Try the tops of these new

:54:03.:54:06.

trees here. That's it. There we go. That's good. Oh, look at that. That

:54:07.:54:11.

has got to be a pair, isn't it? I'm thinking that, yes. That's the

:54:12.:54:15.

closest we've seen any two birds, isn't it? It rather confirms my view

:54:16.:54:22.

about things at the moment, that we are seeing a lot of paired birds

:54:23.:54:28.

coming to the roost that presumably haven't yet managed to secure a

:54:29.:54:29.

territory. That suggests maybe they will find around here. It's

:54:30.:54:51.

surprising to find the birds are so spaced out in the forest. As we scan

:54:52.:55:01.

the tree os we spot a grand total of five birds in adjacent trees. That

:55:02.:55:06.

is interesting. They are occupying a strategic position. On the edge of

:55:07.:55:09.

the forest overlooking that clearing. It's the spot where birds

:55:10.:55:14.

are often very vocal, sometimes launch themselves from there into an

:55:15.:55:20.

aerial display. It's a place where... Which we associate with

:55:21.:55:25.

communicating. Would these be more experienced birds then? Could well

:55:26.:55:31.

be, yes. This is the biggest concentration we've seen, isn't it?

:55:32.:55:38.

Yes. Are you surprised by the fact you haven't come across higher

:55:39.:55:43.

concentrations? I'm amazed. It's so diluted I wouldn't have expected

:55:44.:55:47.

this. We saw several hundreds going in. We are only seeing singles and a

:55:48.:55:52.

few pairs of birds actually in the trees. It means they must have

:55:53.:55:56.

dispersed into the full extent of the woodland here. They must be

:55:57.:56:00.

scattered over a very wide area? They must. That I wasn't expecting.

:56:01.:56:06.

It's been a fascinating nights. Nigel's previous research had

:56:07.:56:10.

indicated that up to six ravens would roost together communally in a

:56:11.:56:14.

single tree and that concentrations of birds would occur together in the

:56:15.:56:18.

forest. But tonight that's not what we found at all. Instead, the birds

:56:19.:56:25.

we watched enter the roost at dusk seemed to have vanished before our

:56:26.:56:30.

very eyes. I feel tonight as if I've opened a door, just a tiny little

:56:31.:56:34.

bit and looked into the magical world of the raven, but I've

:56:35.:56:38.

realised there's so much more to learn. I'm surprised by that. They

:56:39.:56:49.

are packed closely together. The study of raven it's the same. An

:56:50.:56:53.

unusual case. Always room for more research to find out more about our

:56:54.:56:57.

wildlife. Earlier on in the programme, at the beginning, we

:56:58.:57:01.

showed you some interesting footage of a natural phenomenon going on.

:57:02.:57:05.

Here it is. We asked you what are these? What was going on? Now, Clive

:57:06.:57:18.

Kays the animals are midges they are parting like it's 1999. Nearly,

:57:19.:57:25.

Clive. Glenn and Ellie said, they are winter gnats. A courtship dance.

:57:26.:57:31.

All those males, they are all males, they go together in big clouds like

:57:32.:57:35.

that attract the females in. The females get mate and go away. A

:57:36.:57:39.

winter phenomenon. It's been about the live-action. Did the woodcock

:57:40.:57:45.

make it through the show or did it get eaten by the fox. Let's look at

:57:46.:57:50.

our live thermal camera. It made it. It was not woodcock for supper. How

:57:51.:57:55.

marvellous. It's been a great show am we will keep our live cameras

:57:56.:57:58.

going. Who know what is we will get tomorrow. Hopefully the barn owls

:57:59.:58:02.

will be back in the barn doing moving and shaking. We have a 14

:58:03.:58:06.

million-year-old love story going on in a cellar. We were looking at

:58:07.:58:11.

water voles today, tomorrow it's another mammal in crisis. The

:58:12.:58:16.

hedgehog in rapid decline in the UK. We will see how they are getting a

:58:17.:58:21.

helping hand from humans. Gillan has been to investigate. What a show. I

:58:22.:58:25.

was hoping the fox would close in on the woodcock and take it - but then

:58:26.:58:33.

again that's just me. See you tomorrow night, 8.00pm, BBC Two.

:58:34.:58:34.

Goodbye.

:58:35.:58:41.

The Winterwatch team showcase some of the animals that choose to stay in the micro-climate of Poole Harbour over the winter. Plus, a look at how other species survive up and down the British Isles.