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Simon King's new high-tech missions and fieldcraft insights for Autumnwatch 2009

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Tim Scoones Tim Scoones | 17:21 UK time, Monday, 21 September 2009

Simon King will be reporting - live via satellite link each week - on his own week of adventures as part of Autumnwatch 2009's new shape and format. As ever, he'll be using his remarkable field skills and his high-tech camera team to give you in depth analysis of some of autumn's greatest spectacles and phenomena.

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From the Arctic to Africa via the UK, Simon is tracking the whole of autumn

From the UK's wildest corners to subjects much closer to home, he'll unveil secrets, solve mysteries and deliver surprises from the world of autumn wildlife, as well as sharing his own tips and tricks so you can have a go yourself.

Back by popular demand, he's returning to the Isle of Rum and catching up on the gladiatorial battles and the sexual intrigues of the red deer rut, as the stags fight bloody battles to win the right to mate with the females.

This year we'll also be following the story with our famous webcams, so you can watch the action yourself for a whole week, as it happens. Fingers crossed that the stags don't trash the cameras in a fit of testosterone-fuelled pique... We've never tried this before, so you'll find out at the same time as us if the webcams are going to work or not!

Simon will also be travelling abroad - north to the Arctic Circle and (we're hoping) south to Africa - to see the other side of the lives of migrating birds, such as geese, wading birds, sand martins, ospreys and other migrants, which spend only part of their year on UK shores. What drives them to travel so far and how do they manage to achieve such a feat? He'll be investigating.


Simon's here with more in-depth analysis of some of autumn's greatest spectacles

Some of the geese are fitted with satellite transmitters, so he'll be trying to track them down and you'll be able to follow their daily progress online. Anyone who remembers our Supergoose project in Autumnwatch 2006 will know how amazing it is to follow them on every stage of their great journey. Once you start following individuals, you soon realise just how extraordinary migration is... imagine trying to do such a thing yourself!

By stark contrast to all his super-wild, international adventures, Simon's also taking us on safari much closer to home, among our suburban streets, gardens and parks as well as in our autumn woodlands. He reveals just how much is going on right under our noses and why this is such a critical time of year for our wildlife.

These are wild things that we have a good chance to see ourselves, if we follow Simon's fieldcraft advice. Finally, Simon will be looking ahead to the winter and showing us wildlife treats and spectacles that we can enjoy in the months ahead.

So good luck Simon and team. As ever, you've given yourselves one hell of a set of challenges (certainly the most wide-ranging we've ever had), but you do seem to have this ability to surprise us each time by achieving the seemingly impossible! I just can't wait to see what you come up with this time.

Tim Scoones is the Executive Producer of Autumnwatch

Autumnwatch 2009
Fri 2nd October - Fri 20th November
9-10pm every Friday night on BBC TWO
(followed by Autumnwatch Unsprung 10-10.30pm on BBC TWO, plus
a repeat of the main show for family viewing on Saturday afternoons on BBC TWO)... and across the BBC on regional TV, local radio, on the web... and where you live


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