The Story of the Springwatch Clash Volume 2 - Springwatch 2013

Monday 10 June 2013, 09:51

Chris Packham Chris Packham Presenter

(See Volume 1)

Week two and Great Spotted Woodpeckers had been drumming like a 'Tommy Gun' on my nest boxes , the music on our weekend round-up was a bit too 'Jimmy Jazz' for me , I'd have preferred a 'Rebel Waltz' . 'Look Here' at an Australian Flatworm , new to science , discovered by a participant of our Bioblitz and despite the sad loss of our young Buzzard I said 'I'm Not Down' because in reality its all part of the cycle of life . Five , thirty six .

Wrens blast their song out with all the fury of 'Clash City Rockers' , the pronunciation of Chough from 'chow' to 'chuff' was first noted in 1643 at the time of the 'English Civil War' , the Great Spotted Woodpecker had broken into a viewers nestbox with all the panache of a 'Bankrobber' and our tuffty headed Meadow Pipit Family certainly deserved the title of 'All the Young Punks' . Only four in programme two , sorry , total up to forty .

'Life is Wild' I told Micheala whilst describing the vicious antics of our Jackdaw intruders , our nestful of meadow Pipits had to gape to remain 'Cool Under Heat' and a Weasel which had predated a viewers nestbox was justifiably 'The Equaliser' as it was balancing out prey and predators in the ecosystem . The beautiful Grass snake emerging from the compost heap was as polished and shiny as a 'Brand New Cadillac' . Forty four .

Programme eight . . . if they had evolved to be camouflaged then Water Rail chicks might be 'Koka Kola' coloured and when it comes to a Grass Snake attack our fleeing Meadow Pipit youngsters needed to 'Play to Win' by scattering from their nest . A man was running for a 'Train . In Vain' because he missed it but saw a Kestrel which he reported to our Kestrels Count Survey . Another fellow tweeted me suggesting that we post snipers to scare off the Jackdaw intruders , but of course , 'Guns on the Roof' wouldn’t be an answer as I'd have 'Police on my Back' if I organised that . In our fledging frenzy it may be that our Redstarts are the 'Last Gang in Town' . Fifty with four programmes to go . A bit worried about 'Julies Been Working for the Drugs Squad' and 'Whiteman in the Hammersmith Palais' tho' !


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    We have had a honey bee swarm in our front garden. This is the pek of the swarming season, except that they were late starting this year. Perhaps it would be good to tell people how to recognise a swarm and what to do (i.e. find a swarm collector from the British Beekeepers Association as quickly as possible).

    I would send you some photos and a 2min 30s video clip, if I knew how to - we don't use Flickr or Facebook, just old-fashioned, bog-standard EMail. You don't seem to allow image files on the Blog.


    David Perkin
    for Lynn Levy and David Perkin.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    We have a blue tit nest in a box in our garden. Husband watching it constantly. We saw chicks flying out last Tuesday 4th and he wanted to check the nest on Sunday to see if there were any dead chicks to clear out. When taking off the top of the box the nest was divided neatly into two parts: the one half completely empty but the other half (which had a cover over it) had lots of young chicks in it! The parents are busy feeding this 2nd half still - even though their first half of the brood had flown the next. There appears to be another tit trying to help out - visiting the nest regularly and actually going into the box when mum and dad are away. This tit could be a member of the first brood? Do blue tits often have two broods so close together or had the female laid lots of eggs and had raised the one batch first before transferring her full attention to the other side of the nest? We are intrigued and still watching.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I have pics of a pair of the green woodpecker that wish to share, who interested and how do I do it

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I noticed a few! Knew this year was the clash right from day 1's 'should I stay or should I go'.

    Chris is a legend, no idea how he does it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    What's going on?!
    Viewers can hardly fail to notice that while Michaela and Martin are being bitten to death by midges, Chris looks cool, calm and collected. Is it his stoic, true professionalism, the use of a superior insect repellent, or is he just not that tasty a geezer?

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Had a bit of a packham moment yesterday, saw my first early marsh orchid ssp. coccinea and common blue of the year at Ynyslas...

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Tonight you showed some colourful birds on Springwatch. I saw a bird on it - bright/vivid yellow and black down the wings. Yesterday morning, while driving to work, I think I saw this bird flying from one hedgerow to another in a country lane - I live on the outskirts of Horsham West Sussex - could it be a Golden Oriole?

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Has anyone come across a chiffchaffs nest?
    As a boy I found one and watched it everyday.
    I don't hear anything about them. No nature programme
    Mentions them ever?????

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Any Idea?? A female Woodpecker has been visiting our bird table for peanuts all winter. Over the last week she looks dishevelled with feathers (pecked) missing from the back of her head but worse her beautiful white feathers appear to have turned brown as if covered in tar. Any ideas and will she be Ok?

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    My wife Jane and I have just escorted Mother Mallard and 8 very small young across a road on a housing estate, through a park (popular with dogs having a run round), shooed away 3 threatening crows, 400 yards to the nearest water. The bird appeared to know where the water was but would never have made it without being attacked without our assistance. What would the presenters have done? Should we have let nature take it's course ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    After your article on the plight of kestrels.I spotted one the following day hovering over the A14 at Haughley. Viewers were asked to give details on sightings but I cannot find where on your website to do this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Question : Do cuckoos always lay eggs of the same colour and therefore choose a nest to suit their egg colour, or... do they somehow lay the egg a different colour each time relevant to the nest chosen ? Does that make sense ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.


    Much happier now the wonderful history of the elevated bog has been told.

    Saw a heron with two chicks on the waterside on the Mawddach Estuary yesterday. Plus oyster catches slumming it taking mussels (and took home some myself), a swan pair etc.

    All easy to see, access free.

    Still worried about your attacks on anthropomorphism.
    At the same time you tell us creatures do this or that in order to..
    Which sounds like a teleological explanation to me.

    I'll give you an example you weren't involved in.

    Gulls sit down and so reduce aggression. Aren't they doing what we do when we insist aggressive people sit down.
    And we do so with good reason. Any attack on us is more difficult for them.
    That's what they're doing - what we do.

    You'd say they do it in order to reduce aggression, an absurd teleological account from your own perspective. I'd say referring to us is to refer usefully to another animal species behaviour

    Evolution knows no sort of 'in order to'. Why do you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Glad you hear 'y'll bigging it up for gulls.

    Here they cull them - boo!

    Tell you what, why not give pigeons a huge hooraay.

    They are a delight1

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    Here' you get fined a thousand quid for feeding gulls. Bechod!

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Springwatch is back with cool Chris Packham
    And his old mate Martin and Michaela Strachen
    They're bringing us the action from Ynys Hir
    With lots of webcams and other gear.
    We've seen bees and snakes and water rails
    And even a feature on the love life of snails.
    But this year they're too keen on showing us predation.
    Sometimes it makes me want to change the station
    We must be pragmatic, we hear Chris insist
    Creatures must eat each other to exist.
    But I wonder how pragmatic he would be
    If an eagle owl swooped down and took his poodles for tea!

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    I'm totally pragmatic, Chris replied.
    Birds? I love them all to bits
    Excpet for those nasty woodpeckers
    Who ate my little tits.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this series of Springwatch, as I always do. I think the three presenters gel together perfectly and I am very pleased, and perhaps a little biased, that they are all vegetarians. Well done Michaela, Chris and Martin. However, I have one big niggle. Why does Chris, who is a very erudite, educated and knowledgable person, persistently use the intensely irritating grammatically incorrect terms of "sat" and "stood", instead of "sitting" and "standing" when talking?

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    fantastic program, horrfied to find that mirgrant birds in europe are still trapped with glue to be eaten is this true ?


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