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A big thank you for helping us make Snow Watch

Martin Hughes-Games Martin Hughes-Games | 16:44 UK time, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Well, it's over!! We have just finished recording the programme for tonight, Chris has rushed off to catch a plane to Africa, Kate has gone back to 'Humble Towers' not knowing if she can get up the snowy track to her house and I am still with the team in the office - in a daze!

We had a few problems with the timings so they are making a few edits to finish it off. I hope you like the programme, it was made in a furious rush but I think we have included most of the issues you have told us about. By the way, Chris was in Edinburgh at 9.30pm last night, none of us knowing if he would make it to Bristol in time for our first meeting at 6am this morning!

I, and everyone here at Snow Watch, would like to thank you for taking the time to contribute to the blog, the Flickr group and the video uploader. What you sent us has had a profound effect on the way we constructed the programme. I would have liked to have included far more of your thoughts, pictures (especially your pictures, they were amazing) and videos.

If we had had more time to weave them in we would have, but it was so frantic some of our ideas fell by the wayside in the rush to simply make a reasonable hour of Snow Watch.

If you haven't looked at the BBC Snow Watch Flickr group please, please do. I don't think we have ever had such outstanding pictures.

Let's hope the weather eases off a bit and gives our wonderful wildlife a break from this relentless cold.


  • 1. At 4:58pm on 13 Jan 2010, LateNightSkies wrote:

    Thank You all very much for all the effort you have put in over the past week. You are all brilliant and much appreciated :) x

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  • 2. At 5:25pm on 13 Jan 2010, AdamLCanning wrote:

    Bostin! (Great!)

    Thank you, all!

    a.k.a Wildlife Filmer Adam

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  • 3. At 5:39pm on 13 Jan 2010, Katyaa wrote:

    A huge thank you to Martin, Chris, Kate, Simon and all the team involved in Snow Watch - can't wait to watch tonight - taking the laptop to work with earplug so I don't miss anything :-)

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  • 4. At 7:11pm on 13 Jan 2010, africaanimalseagle wrote:

    I really want to thank you all profoundly for a fantastic experience! Thank you Kate, Gordan, Simon, Chris and of course you Martin!!!! Also the entire BBC autumnwatch team for pulling the show together. Its been brilliant, and I cant wait for the next series. I hope you all are faring well in snowy England! It certainly isnt as bad in Spain!
    Best wishes
    PS: I think all of us can agree that 2009 was the best ever for Autunm Watch!

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  • 5. At 7:33pm on 13 Jan 2010, LazyRizzo wrote:

    Thank you Martin for getting this programme out so quickly - I am so looking forward to it! Thanks to Chris, Simon, Kate and Gordon for their endeavours, and all the team for putting this together. Can we still keep uploading photos to the Snow watch flickr group?

    How long til Springwatch?

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  • 6. At 7:34pm on 13 Jan 2010, Peter and Mary wrote:

    Too many robins in one garden??
    Missed the chance to contribute ideas to tonight's programme because heard about it too late. Don't know whether using the blog like this will work. We feed the birds in our garden on the edge of the Wiltshire countryside. We've had a robin for a while and know they're quite territorial birds but since the cold weather's been with us our robin numbers have increased hugely. The most we've seen at any one time is 5, but we nearly always have 3 around at the same time. They seem to waste so much energy fighting each other off at the bird table, bird bath and other food. Is there anything that can be done about this, so that they can just come and all get food when they need it?

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  • 7. At 8:35pm on 13 Jan 2010, Billy Clapham wrote:

    I didn't know about this till now, wish I had known about eh flickr group so I could of maybe contributed some snow photos in time!Never mind theres always spring watch!

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  • 8. At 8:43pm on 13 Jan 2010, Anne wrote:

    Just watching Snow watch now. Because we have been avoiding travelling in the snow we have been able to take better care of our birds and keep water and food going and have benefited seeing 3 or 4 robins, starlings, great tits, coal tits, long tailed tits, blackbirds 3 to 4, jackdaws, wood pigeons, ring necked doves, loads of sparrows, gold finches, wren all the usual... just many many more all day from very earliest light. But for the first time we also had a couple of thrushs and a red wing! I have two sets of seperate feeding stations, one with seeds, fruit and fat bits, the other with nuts and a fat ball, and a seperate waterbath and a pond. Also seen a wagtail and other birds walk the ice to the wet bit thats stayed flowing because of teh pump in the pond. Just hope the fish are ok.

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  • 9. At 8:50pm on 13 Jan 2010, lavinia lewis wrote:

    Wasps are still being found alive in Trefnant, North Wales, despite the ice and snow.

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  • 10. At 8:57pm on 13 Jan 2010, Ruth wrote:

    Hi. I watched the show tonight purely by accident, but found it quite interesting and informative - thank you. I don't normally feed birds as having 2 cats in a neighbourhood full of cats I think it would be cruel and unusual torture. But hearing what you had to say on the program I really do want to help the birds at this very cold and frozen time. Should I put food for birds in my garden or is this just a really bad idea with cats? Both our cats are keen predators and although they aren't going out much at the moment, they are very bored (because they're not going out) and birds in the garden may prove too much of a distraction. Any thoughts, advice, welcome. Thanks!

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  • 11. At 9:08pm on 13 Jan 2010, geegeedee wrote:

    Thanks for a very enjoyable and once again informative programme full of good ideas and tips to help us help nature where required.
    My only gripe is that I actually found the show completely by accident as I had not logged onto the website for a few days and did not know there was a programme until Tuesday night. Can I suggest that a few trailers could have been placed both on TV and radio (or did I just miss them?)
    Anyway great show and makes me look forward to the spring!

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  • 12. At 9:11pm on 13 Jan 2010, Kate wrote:

    Thanks for the show, we love the real time aspect of all your shows.
    We had some strange tracks in the snow in our garden, the creature must have been three legged and had distinct nails - is there any way I can upload the pictures for you to see?? They don't look like a rabbit or a rat, but they would be the closest we can think of.
    Anyway, I look forward to Springwatch - unless we get the pleasure of another winter programme.
    Thanks to you all
    Kate and Rick

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  • 13. At 9:11pm on 13 Jan 2010, Jake wrote:

    A huge thank you for the programme. Hopefully the viewing figures will be so good that we'll get a week's worth of 'Snow watch' in early 2011!

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  • 14. At 9:13pm on 13 Jan 2010, merlotti wrote:

    THANK YOU! Was soooooo excited to see my picture in your 'tracks in the snow' quiz! Loved the programme, especially since we'd seen so many of the animals, especially the birds, you commented on! Thanks for another great programme! Merlotti x

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  • 15. At 9:13pm on 13 Jan 2010, myrtle49tree wrote:

    Hi, I've been trying to watch 'Snow Watch', fascinating! whilst also trying to register in order to send a message to you all. I've been delighted to see and feed many of our usual bird visitors in our garden in North Wiltshire but this winter Bullfinches have returned after a gap of many years. Two birds that I've not seen in my garden until this year are Redwings and Reed Buntings. I have photographed each of these three species but only through the double glazing so the shots are not quite as sharp as I would have liked but clear enough to aid identifaction. However, if I had attempted to open the patio door I know the birds would have flown instantly.
    I look forward to your next series of 'Spring Watch'

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  • 16. At 9:17pm on 13 Jan 2010, billy_hitchcock wrote:

    awesome show guys! can't believe it's 4 months to springwatch, really not fair. but this and the xmas special definitely bridged the gap :-)

    we've had redwings in our garden in keynsham and it's been really rewarding the last couple of weeks getting to know all the birds coming to our garden for food in the snow.

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  • 17. At 9:30pm on 13 Jan 2010, wtgdi78 wrote:

    I know I should have checked but was so sure this brill programme
    would be available on I player - why not?
    Please make it so.
    Disappointed would be viewer.

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  • 18. At 9:30pm on 13 Jan 2010, Jackie Jay wrote:

    We didnt know that Snow watch was on so missed the programme. Could you advise whether the BBC will be showing a repeat as I have never missed a springwatch or autumnwatch before now and I am guttered.

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  • 19. At 9:32pm on 13 Jan 2010, edukate wrote:

    Loved the show tonight! Just wondered if you can start providing embed codes on the little videos you make. Would like to put Simon's intro to the show on my school website for kids.... but no embed code! Would be really useful with the other videos you make as well. Thanks again for great show.

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  • 20. At 9:44pm on 13 Jan 2010, sue brewer wrote:

    Thank you for a great programme, and, especially, many thanks for featuring my question about frozen birds' feet on the programme. I was honoured that Chris, in Geek mode, provided the answer!

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  • 21. At 9:44pm on 13 Jan 2010, FIONA SHARP wrote:

    Brilliant show, thanks team.

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  • 22. At 9:53pm on 13 Jan 2010, Margaret wrote:

    Thanks - great programme

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  • 23. At 9:53pm on 13 Jan 2010, LateNightSkies wrote:

    That show was even better than we could have anticipated! Thank you again for all the effort and I too hope the viewing figures give us a few more snow watch episodes next year! :)

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  • 24. At 10:03pm on 13 Jan 2010, Annie Redwing wrote:

    Dear Martin, Kate, Simon, Chris & team -
    fabulously stimulating, educational witty and enjoyable snow watch! Great that you can be so responsive and love all the different locations. It was brilliant tonight for me because I spotted a redwing in my garden here in Essex last week...a first for me as i am new to bird watching, and I felt remarkably uplifted by it,and then to hear mention of redwings by you guys...wow! It is a pleasure to welcome you all into my living room...

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  • 25. At 10:12pm on 13 Jan 2010, Oysterbay wrote:

    Hi Martin Chris Kate Simon and all the BBC Team. This programme was outstanding!!! The hour went so quickly!! I had never seen a Redwing or Fieldfare, but have seen many recently, as they have been devouring my neighbours Pyracantha berries, I thought it was very odd as the sheer number of them was intriguing as birds like these have never ventured into my tiny toen garden. Thank you for explaining why this is happening this year and why I have seen such an assortment of birds in one tree, at the same time !! I was wondering why I had several smaller birds checking out my bird box at the end of my garden too!! Please can we have a similar pre Springwatch programme like this, again. Congratulations also, to all Friends of Nature members, who's interesting questions were raised in the programme!!
    Fantastic stuff.....Hoping to see another one, if we're lucky enough, prior to Springwatch

    WELL DONE xx

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  • 26. At 10:25pm on 13 Jan 2010, Oysterbay wrote:

    Amended copy of post due to mistakes LOL !!

    Hi Martin Chris Kate Simon and all the BBC Team. This programme was outstanding!!! The hour went so quickly!! I had never seen a Redwing or Fieldfare, but have seen many recently, as they have been devouring my neighbours Pyracantha berries. I thought it was very odd; the sheer number of them was intriguing, birds like these have never ventured into my tiny town garden. Thank you for explaining why this has happened this winter and for explaining why I have seen such an assortment of birds in one tree, at the same time !!

    I was wondering also, why so many small birds had suddenly been checking out my bird box at the end of my garden and it was all explained in tonight’s programme, thank you!

    Please can we have a similar pre Springwatch programme like this??
    Congratulations also, to all Friends of Nature members, who's interesting questions were raised in the programme!!
    Fantastic viewing. Hoping to see another one, if we're lucky enough, prior to Springwatch


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  • 27. At 10:49pm on 13 Jan 2010, EnglishFolkfan wrote:

    Wonderfully done and perfectly presented, Congratulations to all the team for producing such a great programme with action, science, humour, suspense and surprises. Yes we viewers may give you information and questions: excellent choice of those tonight especially the Geek Spot, (that Science Man in a Van will go far) but it takes the skill & effort of your photographers, researchers, editors and everyone to put it together. Wish the programme schedulers had gotten a few more ads out but we did our best to spread the word the programme was on.

    As the Snow will be hanging around for a bit is there any chance of a repeat on BBC2 or 1 or even 4, seems a shame after all that effort not to give more folks a chance to see it.

    Xmas Watch & Snow Watch, I do hope the precedent has been set for a mini Winter Watch next year.

    A big thank you too for Nature's Calender happening on BBC2 11am in the mornings, pity I didn't find out they were on till this week, so I've missed Spring, now this is another great series that could do with repeating again before SpringWatch begins.

    Hope everyone gets to recharge their batteries before the SW series and, just maybe, at last Chris manages his perfect photograph.

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  • 28. At 11:18pm on 13 Jan 2010, Skylark wrote:

    Thank you team for an excellent informative show, you've made a lot of wildlife lovers the country over extremely happy! One off specials like this throughout the year is & would be a brilliant idea & it just shows you how important your programmes are to us viewers! Thank you too for answering my bat query, I am proud to now call myself Martin's Bat Girl! Best wishes & see you happily for SpringWatch :)

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  • 29. At 11:28pm on 13 Jan 2010, Goldfinch wrote:

    Thank you for a very interesting and fun filled programme! It was great to hear about how our wildlife is doing in this harsh weather and what we can do to help. Its particulary good that you were able to answer some viewers questions!

    Thanks again and I'm looking forward to Springwatch already!

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  • 30. At 00:54am on 14 Jan 2010, helena wrote:

    i missed snow watch will it be repeated?

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  • 31. At 07:08am on 14 Jan 2010, Darrell wrote:

    Hi Helena, you can always download BBC Snow Watch on the BBC iPlayer as it is available for the next 7 days and watch it on your PC.

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  • 32. At 07:13am on 14 Jan 2010, Darrell wrote:

    This is a link to the Snow Watch programme on the BBC iPlayer

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  • 33. At 07:48am on 14 Jan 2010, John Ewen wrote:

    Content-wise if you used the software employed by football programs to show what per-cent of play each side has had, it would have shown wildlife in camera shot 10%, presenters in front of camera 90%.

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  • 34. At 08:05am on 14 Jan 2010, rob venables wrote:

    new to this. just watched snow watch... can someone tell me where exactly chris packham was in the new forest, feeding the birds extremely close up(or so the camera shot seemed)...he said its a popular area. im going to the new forest on sunday and id like to visit that area

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  • 35. At 08:27am on 14 Jan 2010, littlejojo61 wrote:

    A huge thank you to Martin and the team for the brilliant Snow Watch. Do hope you know just how much your efforts and hard work are appreciated. To a novice like me the information and knowledge you share is just invaluable, not to mention the sheer entertainment. Thank you again.
    Please, powers that be, make it available on the iplayer.

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  • 36. At 08:31am on 14 Jan 2010, littlejojo61 wrote:

    Seems I didn't read previous postings properly and Snow Watch is on iplayer.
    Thanks and apologies.

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  • 37. At 10:08am on 14 Jan 2010, Janny-G wrote:

    Hi everyone
    Both my hubby and I loved the Snow Watch programme last night(: Some of the facts and figures that were mentioned regarding the bird population and the percentage that die astonished and dismayed us!! however it is great to know that they DO recover mostly.
    We are firm believers in feeding our garden birds all the year round, so hopefully they are nice and chubby.
    A friend who keeps her horse in the field next to my paddock must have had a deer fest in there the other night. She keeps bales of meadow hay in her field and when she arrived the other morning, there were deer prints in the snow with lots of dung everywhere. They would have had to have cleared her paddock fences, so the deer must be very hungry (we would have loved to be a "fly on the wall" when this was happening)!!
    Oh just to mention, I live in Lincolnshire; we have two Tawny owls in the area that I can hear at night and early morning when Im pottering about. We also are very lucky to have barn owls, water vole and brown hare here as well(I bought hubby a barn owl box for Xmas, so fingers crossed).

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  • 38. At 10:31am on 14 Jan 2010, lollypops wrote:

    Thank you everyone last nights show was fantastic!!

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  • 39. At 10:41am on 14 Jan 2010, 3to5eggs wrote:

    Yep great show very informative,you people are so dedicated.Keep up the good work.

    Thanks very much

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  • 40. At 11:21am on 14 Jan 2010, Maaike and Tom wrote:

    Thanks for a brilliant programme, especially with the short amount of time you had to actually put it together!

    Am also mega excited that my photo was chosen for the tracks blog *huge blush*!!

    There seemed to be so much more that everyone wanted to say and I think another episode would be brilliant if the cold snap comes back! Although, logistically, I'm amazed one was possible at all. I can't but hope, though!

    Thanks for all your hard work and listening to everyone on the boards, Snow Watch team!

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  • 41. At 12:11pm on 14 Jan 2010, rob venables wrote:

    please somebody HELP by friday 15th 12pm.

    new to this. just watched snow watch... can someone tell me where exactly chris packham was in the new forest, feeding the birds extremely close up(or so the camera shot seemed)...he said its a popular area. im going to the new forest on sunday and id like to visit that area

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  • 42. At 1:41pm on 14 Jan 2010, Mel Newman wrote:

    Snow Watch was excellent - well done.

    Just a small point which you might be interested in. Chris said that Dartford warblers have moved as far north as Suffolk. For the last three years Dartford Warblers have also been nesting on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. I have seen four at once in Sherbrook Valley and I have been told that there are as many as twelve . I hope they manage to survive this awful weather.

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  • 43. At 2:07pm on 14 Jan 2010, gull wrote:

    The snow and ice are definitely making it easier to get up close and personal with nature.

    We've had some nice photos of 'bitterns' sent in to BBC Wales Nature lately:

    I've just done a blog on them if you fancy a read:


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  • 44. At 2:08pm on 14 Jan 2010, Marcus Rheade-Edwards wrote:

    I'd like to thank every one involved in making the "snow watch" program last night, what a wonderful treat it was.
    I would never have guessed it was all a rush as stated, it was as great as all the other shows so far.
    I'm ready for Springwatch now, can't wait.

    Thanks team.

    Marcus Rheade-Edwards

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  • 45. At 3:19pm on 14 Jan 2010, Maggi wrote:

    A brilliant programme, informative and entertaining as always. I am constantly wondering how the animals and birds are managing. Saw a very weird sight the other day, a crow with the top part of its beak missing - only about 3/4" left. It was using the bottom half of its beak to pick things up and then just sort of shake it in. Any idea what may have caused this and is the beak able to grow back or will it become one of nature's casualties? Incidentally it is still around, three days later.


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  • 46. At 3:24pm on 14 Jan 2010, roger wrote:

    Hi Martin,

    Thank you and the team for such a wonderful programme.

    But how bout doing another one in the middle of summer this year inbetween spring and autumn watch, showing us what is in your neck of the woods and more important the effects that this cold snap has done for the various wildlife of ours.

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  • 47. At 3:28pm on 14 Jan 2010, Ruth Morley wrote:

    Hi all thank you so much for last nights program it was a delight to watch

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  • 48. At 3:40pm on 14 Jan 2010, Alan Instone wrote:

    We live in Hook Hampshire and have had very deep levels of snow. We've been looking after our normal bird population but today we've had an unusual bird visitor. Having checked we've identified it as a Fieldfare. He/she has been with us all day feeding on apples, grapes and seed.
    Friends suggest it is not normally found this far North and from our description it probably has a winter plumage. Grey head, brown wings, a mottled breast seperated down the middle by a white plumage that flows fully into a whit body. The mottle is an apricot colour. He has distinctive markings around his eyes with a yellow beak . When he flies his back also shows up white. Very attractive. Sorry I don't possess a telephoto lens otherwise you would have had a picture. Lovely Chuckling warbling sound when surprised. Any comments?

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  • 49. At 3:41pm on 14 Jan 2010, lizziebee3 wrote:

    A huge thank you to everyone involved in Snow Watch yesterday.

    To come up with the idea, get the whole gang on board and put it all together in such a short space of time is pretty impressive programme making. Well done!

    It was a great treat for all us regular "Watch" fans. More importantly, I'm sure it will also have encouraged others, who wouldn't normally does so, to think more about helping wildlife around them at such a bleak time.

    I hope in the future we will get to enjoy more of these "one-off watches"!

    In the meantime, looking forward immensely to the coming of Spring and Springwatch itself on the 24th May!

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  • 50. At 3:50pm on 14 Jan 2010, Ingela wrote:

    I loved Snow Watch yesterday. Didn't know it was on so what a surprise to turn on the TV! (Only missed the first 10 minutes.) Can't wait for spring watch.

    Just a quick query; I have noticed for some time that Kate Humble is a bit partial to stroking wild animals. Is this sensible? I would have thought that this might actually be very stressful. If this is the case, could someone tell her to stop? (Apart from that, I think she's great!)

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  • 51. At 4:11pm on 14 Jan 2010, shirley wrote:

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  • 52. At 4:24pm on 14 Jan 2010, shirley wrote:

    I enjoyed the Show Watch programme, but do agree with the comments made by other people about telling viewers to go to the website to find more detail about what to feed birds from store cupoard supplies, so many older people do not have internet access.
    I do not throw anything into the dustbin that birds can eat. I soak dried dog food overnight, birds love it, mashed potato left to go cold and crumbly, meat scraps finely chopped , apple cores, stale cake and old mince pies, chicken skins are very quickly eaten.

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  • 53. At 5:22pm on 14 Jan 2010, willmonty wrote:

    I have discovered a Wagtail roost right in the centre of Manchester - it is at M1 2AP - on the edge of Piccadilly Gardens - right outside of number 49 Piccadilly in the trees - there are 100s of them and 1000s of people walk past them unaware every night! Any chance of getting a film crew to it considering the odd location?

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  • 54. At 7:14pm on 14 Jan 2010, snady lady wrote:

    Brilliant!!an excellent show full of info,tips and wonderfull filmwork.Loved it from beginning to end,well done to everyone involved ,can't wait for May 24th.Thanks again xx

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  • 55. At 12:00pm on 15 Jan 2010, starryoldbird wrote:

    What a marvelous show - Snow Watch. Thank you team for giving me so much info regarding survival of snowbound animals and birds. it was so inspirational.

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  • 56. At 2:57pm on 15 Jan 2010, sue wrote:

    i really loved snowwatch ! it was brilliant and you all must have had fun making it . being a birswatcher i was particularly interested in seeing how birds were coping --most of our gaeden birds had dissaperared except woodp[igeions and magpies but we did ger 5 longtailed tits in the oak tree and this afternoon the song thrush has just made a brief stop, 2 chaffinches also dropped in .
    my local patch at rspb sandwell valley is sadly closed for now due to the centre`s frozen water.
    may i ask you , simon , gordon , chris and kate a question ? about 3 years ago when springwatch first came on there was also springwatch trackers for younger ones and i was , and still am , a springwatch tracker but it has not been on for 2 years so was wondering if springwatch trackers could be brought back . it was fun , very informative , plenty of things to do and i do miss it . (still have my badge).steve backshall was one of the presenters as was simon king who actually gave me his springwatch trackers t-shirt last year! please bring back springwatch trackers ! from sue .

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  • 57. At 4:57pm on 15 Jan 2010, Davina Green wrote:

    Hello everyone. I'm new to the blog.. so hi.
    I live in Carluke, which is in central Scotland (slightly south of Edinburgh)
    I just wondered what you thought of the fact that, since 20th December, I have had a Fieldfare take up residence in my garden! It came in to feed and has stayed there. Even now it's jealously guarding the food outside my back door. It tolerates very few other birds, especially the blackbirds!
    At first there was a second one, which appeared now and then at the fringes, but my fieldfare made quick work of him (or her) and chased it off. I've assumed my Fieldfare is a male, and I've called him "Fin" because one of his tail feathers sticks out.
    Has anyone else had a similar experience with a Fieldfare this winter?
    Davina x

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  • 58. At 09:40am on 16 Jan 2010, nigelS wrote:

    I wanted to relate news of our unusual winter visitor - arrived in our garden two days ago in the snow. We've never seen it before but had been excied by unusual tracks two days previously. Finally identifeid it as a MOORHEN! This seems absolutely astounding to me to have a Moorhen in our back garden. I can only think it has flown in looking for food since a local lake (3 miles away) is iced over).

    Martin, If you are reading - I would love to know how unusual this find is.

    Today the snow is all gone, but we were surprised to find the Moorhen is *still* waddling round the garden pecking at the lawn, among a flock of blackbirds.


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  • 59. At 10:36am on 16 Jan 2010, bluetwitter wrote:

    Got it wrong - told you I wasn't much good as a twitcher. My thrush I saw the other day came back into the garden yesterday pecking away and it was a Redwing not a thrush. My mum took to hogging the binoculars so I found it in the book and it was definately a Redwing. He was flicking up the leaves under the hedge looking for worms? He would have been there for ages if the blackbird hadn't come in and shoved him off. It was raining quite fast and the snow has vanished this morning now but as the soil is very heavy clay I dont think they'll found many worms.

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  • 60. At 12:21pm on 16 Jan 2010, stretcherman wrote:

    During the Big freeze last week ,we had in the hangar, one Wren,one pied wagtail, one robin all keeping warm and fed.
    There are allways pied wagtails around and robins but the Wren was a first.

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  • 61. At 12:55pm on 16 Jan 2010, goldfinch wrote:

    I live in the Forest of Dean. When we first moved in here, 10 years ago, our feeders were crowded, along with various tits, greenfinches and siskins. About 3-4 years ago the numbers of these two finches fell dramatically away. Recently I heard there is a virus which is affecting them and which spreads easily among them off the feeder perches and water bowls. So I have been disinfecting them (the feeders, not the birds!)every other fill. It's a lot of bother, especially when you're wading through thick snow to remove and replace so this is my question for 'somebody who knows' is the cleaning any actual use? Is there really such a virus? And does it only affect these 2 types of birds??

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  • 62. At 1:06pm on 16 Jan 2010, Copper_Beech wrote:

    Great programme! Thank you sooo much for making the effort. It was spontaneous, informed, fun, beautiful and thought-provoking, all the things SW do best, I think. I especially liked the bit about the animal tracks, the bit at slimbridge and john keeling's photography.
    Looking forward to Spring and springwatch more than ever.

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  • 63. At 2:21pm on 16 Jan 2010, hippyredneck wrote:

    Another fantastic show, Thanks to all of you for making wild life and all the information about it sooooo interesting. And just for the record I still have a chiff chaff here in Meopham with all the snow we have had.Roll On Sring Watch.

    Thanks again :)

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  • 64. At 6:55pm on 16 Jan 2010, julesyjules wrote:

    Davina Greene,
    I have also got a pet Fieldfare in the garden eating fruit that I put out for him/her, also chasing the other birds away from the fruit. Have been moving the fruit closer to the house to take a photograph but it the fieldfare seems to be a bit scared perhaps it is out too much in the open, so have put it bsck by the trees.
    Have also had a few bluetits landing on the bedroom window sill looking in which are cute!

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  • 65. At 6:58pm on 16 Jan 2010, skyofhoney wrote:

    Only just got the chance to watch it as have been rather hectis over past few days.....Thank you for yet another fantastic show it was a breath of fresh air after the past few weeks....lets hope the Dartford Warblers are o.k.......

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  • 66. At 7:46pm on 16 Jan 2010, LazyRizzo wrote:

    Great show, have recorded to save for my daughter when she comes back from Uni next time.
    I know it was put together hastily, and was well done, but please could we have more about the sea eagles in Springwatch? A minute's shot of Dave Sexton and about 3 minutes of Gordon filming on Mull was simply a drop of water to a woman in a desert! Please, more sea eagles, the biggest and in my view most magnificent birds in the UK.

    (and if anyone agrees, please let the Beeb know!)

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  • 67. At 9:40pm on 16 Jan 2010, des wrote:

    thanks for all your seasonal watches and i notice badgers play a big part in the show sadly here in north pembrokeshire all our badgers have a price on their heads as the welsh assembly has given the go ahead to cull and not inoculate them

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  • 68. At 10:54pm on 16 Jan 2010, julesyjules wrote:

    P.S Great snow watch loved it!

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  • 69. At 5:14pm on 17 Jan 2010, goldfinch wrote:

    The thaw has brought me out to do some gardening today and I was surprised that not a single robin arrived to help. Usually I have one or two. Allowing for the fact that some of my recent hungry customers were migrants, and will have gone on, where have my own birds gone? I had to collect back up about 70% of the food I put out, this evening, because otherwise the rats are attracted.
    By the way, did they say Springwatch will be on May 24th this year? It seems really late or is it always at that time? It's going to feel like an awful long time to wait. Or did I mis-hear what they said??

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  • 70. At 7:34pm on 17 Jan 2010, Steve wrote:

    Although this severe weather has been very hard on the bird life over here on the Welsh borders, it has allowed for two incredible sightings at our home. One was of a red kite circling in a low level slow glide over the field next to the house hunting for rodents. Its hunger has seemed to reduce its fear as it flew very close to us. The night before was just as spectacular when by torch light we found a barn owl hunting in our hay barn. Both of these were first's to be seen at close range. We felt very priviledged.As we feed the birds in our garden we have been visited by very large numbers of blackbirds, dunnock, blue tits, great tits, chaffinch, lesser spotted woodpecker, wrens, greenfinch, nuthatch, robins, crows, magpie and pheasant.It's been a spectacular winter.

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  • 71. At 9:21pm on 17 Jan 2010, julesyjules wrote:

    Seen a Blackcap at Stover Country Park Devon today and 95% of the ice has gone the ducks were enjoying being fed and having a good wash.
    Can't wait to do The Big Garden Birdwatch 2010 online end of the month :-)

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  • 72. At 3:13pm on 19 Jan 2010, Fidelma Shannon wrote:

    Snowatch was fab, really enjoyed it. I will be looking out for more signs of life around my area if it snows again. Will keep feeding my birds. In Cosmeston Lakes, Cardiff yesterday. Swans, ducks and cootes all well fed and the land brids too. Going to do the Big Garden Birdwatch 2010 and looking forward to springwatch.

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  • 73. At 12:22pm on 20 Jan 2010, lianne wrote:

    I thought the show was fantastic - Wish you'd do a series. It's one of the few programmes i'm happy to pay a tv license for.

    Thanks again for brightening up a cold winter's eve!


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  • 74. At 5:59pm on 20 Jan 2010, Jane Bray wrote:

    On the morning of the 13th of Jan I took our spaniel for a walk in the beautiful snow near our house in Gloucester.We live right next to woodland trust land and I was delighted to see so many prints in the snow ,we have foxes and badgers around us and I tried to identify the various marks.I thought how pertinent it would be to have a nature watch programme so we could see how animals were coping with the harsh weather.So I couldnt believe it when I saw the link on TV that night saying that there was to be a special Snow watch programme just for me ha! ha!I thoroughly enjoyed it, if the show was put together quickly you wouldnt have known it.The next day when out walking the dog again I found a shrew on the snow I am not sure if it had died of cold or lack of food but I picked it up and put it under a bush,it was still soft when I moved it,the next day it had gone, maybe eaten or I hoped recovered in the shelter.I am so looking forward to Spring Watch I just love the programmes.

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  • 75. At 3:44pm on 21 Jan 2010, Ian Doyle wrote:

    ........so damn annoyed, Springwatch and Autumnwatch ARE the best progs on the BBC ...why oh why was this not trailed.......

    I never knew anything about it !

    AND why oh why could it not at least have been repeated on BBC3 rathar than subject us to the dross on those channels ?

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  • 76. At 4:56pm on 21 Jan 2010, Sam Unsprung Researcher wrote:

    Hi everyone

    Thank you for all your comments.

    There is a parasite affecting finches and other garden birds called Trichomonad which is very serious. If you think the birds in your garden are being affected take a look at the RSPB's advice on this matter: http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/health/sickbirds/greenfinches.asp

    Springwatch is indeed scheduled for May 24th. This may sound late but it really is at an exciting time in the Spring and gives us a chance to get together the best possible footage of Spring from start to finish.


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  • 77. At 8:33pm on 21 Jan 2010, Carolewatch wrote:

    I have to agree with No.75, I'm devastated that I missed it too!

    I appreciate that the programme was done very quickly, so PLEASE, PLEASE can it be repeated?!

    I desperately want to know about all our new visitors this winter and Springwatch is too far away!

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  • 78. At 6:27pm on 22 Jan 2010, reasonstobecheerful wrote:

    Well Done team - here's eagerly looking forward to May 24th for Springwatch

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  • 79. At 2:23pm on 24 Jan 2010, goldfinch wrote:

    thank you for your link to the rspb site re the finch infection. It was very useful. Before leaving the topic, it might be worth posting up that there is a design flaw in many of the bird seed-feeders. Where the coloured plastic base meets the clear, seed-holding tube part there is often room for bits and grains to seep in and remain firmly stuck and when I've tried to get these out it has proved impossible. In there they rot and on one or two occasions I've even had seeds sprout! I'm sure this is not healthy and that they could be made more 'all-in-one', or are they being shipped in en masse from China and is design out of our control? Anyway, there's a challenge for a feeder designer out there somewhere!!

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  • 80. At 08:14am on 09 Aug 2010, U14560718 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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