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See ya summer and hello autumn

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Chris Packham Chris Packham | 22:07 UK time, Thursday, 1 October 2009

Spring erupts into a riot of highly energised and exuberant life. It explodes across the landscape, blooming and buzzing through the woods, over the fields and bursts all over Britain in a frenzy which is terribly exciting but all too short-lived.

Autumn seeps in gently, unfolds in the dingles and dales and unfurls in the copses and spinneys. It builds, envelopes and plateaus before drifting darkly into winter leaving just the rustle of windy leaves behind it.

It can be sunny, bright and sparkling or misty, damp and still. Or it can howl and hail and tear at the countryside, ripping up the end of summer and spitting it into Christmas with scant relief for all the life which flees or fails before it.

It has a greater variety of flavours and moods and a massive spectrum of sounds. Rooks caw, deer grunt, trees creak, leaves whisper and lots of species spend their last breaths in all but silence. It can be exhilarating or very sad but one thing is assured... it is always dynamic. That's why watching it will be such fun.

Autumnwatch has changed to cope with this fickle season. An hour a week for eight weeks plus an extra half hour of Autumnwatch Unsprung will give us the time and scope to try to capture all of autumn's splendour and spectacle and hopefully give everyone the chance to get involved so that we can see what's happening all over the UK in the run up to December, by which time winter should have arrived.

It's my first time on the programme of course and I'm pleased to be on board. The place is humming with last-minute ideas and scheduling and it looks good to come together for a cracking look at some really great wildlife.

I'm taking my usual laid-back approach. I can't ever muster a panic, so I'm not getting too worried about the final detail. I'm very confident that it will all 'come together' when it's crunch time at nine on Friday.

There's lots to look forward to: whirling waders, whiffling geese, the glistening black noses of sleepy hedgehogs, bats, migrating birds, hopefully some sunshine, a little mist, maybe a shower between shoots and a flurry of snow at the end. In reality we've been lucky with September and we know it won't last: cold and wet is part and parcel of the agenda.

So, it's a case of see ya summer (which seemed to rush away whilst I spent most of the spare parts of it painting the outside of the house, the Itch and the Scratch waiting dutifully till the brush ran dry) and hello to autumn. Please turn on and get involved, send us your questions, pictures or home movies. And I've got to go... a rehearsal beckons.

I'll be blogging regularly throughout the eight weeks of Autumnwatch so please be sure to come back for more.


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