[an error occurred while processing this directive]
« Previous | Main | Next »

Autumnwatch: Ask Iolo Williams a question

Post categories:

Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 21:10 UK time, Thursday, 11 November 2010

The guest presenter for the penultimate show on 18 November is wildlife expert and all-round good sort, Iolo Williams.

Iolo grew up in the north Wales town of Llanwddyn, near Lake Vyrnwy east of Dolgellau. He spent 14 years with the RSPB as a field and regional co-ordinator before springing on to the airwaves as a popular wildlife broadcaster.


Iolo Williams on his recent series Wild Wales.

The Autumnwatch team have set Iolo the challenging of finding and catching one of Wales’ most elusive creatures, the sea trout.

During their autumn journey, the sea trout travel upstream from estuaries to spawn. This long journey is an amazing sight as thousands of individual trout swim sections, jump weirs and step up the fish ladders to find a safe place to breed. Have you ever wondered what a fish ladder is? Where fish go on migration? Post your fishy questions for Iolo below.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Watch: Find out what Iolo Williams discovered whilst rock pooling on the Gower Peninsula.

Iolo has presented shows including Iolo's Special Reserves, Iolo's Natural History of Wales and Nature's Top 40 alongside our very own Chris Packham. This year he brought us Wild Wales which took us on a breathtaking flight across Wales before plunging us into the dark claustrophobic caves of the Brecon Beacons.


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi lolo and team , my wife and i were up in staithes near whitby in the summer, on the day we arrived we encountered a plague of tiny black flying insects.They seemed to look a bit like the devils coach horse beetle with the arching abdomen, but much smaller ive tried to no avail to find out what they are can you shed any light on this ? thanks love the show :>

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Iolo,
    We have a farm in Northern Ireland with the Glenelly river running through it. Last week we discovered a dead salmon on the river bank which had had its head removed, about a metre away from the body.
    The flesh had been eaten away right down to the back bone on the front half of the fish with the rest of the body intact.
    We have Heron and mink on the river and there were white splodges of bird pooh around the site.
    My question is, would a heron be able to lift a 40cm salmon out of the river and would it decapitate the fish or is this the work of the mink?
    It was a fair sized salmon and seemed to have been very healthy.
    We have never seen this before and are intrigued to know what is the likely explanation.

  • Comment number 3.

    hi lolo williams and team how are you
    lolo what was the best thing that u have flimed and seen

    my question for chris is what's the smell diffrence between otter poo and mink poo
    thank you
    from ryan mottram

  • Comment number 4.

    hi team
    i wanted to ask a question about kestral and when go out for a walk with my brother we sometimes saw one or two but can you tell why or where they go
    thank you
    from ryan mottram

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Team,
    I have several magpies visiting my garden, among several other varieties. One of the magpies has a very unusual beak which, on both upper and lower sections, splays from about halfway along the length, right to the end. Other than the bird having flown into a wall, or something equally unyielding, can you tell me what may have caused this to happen. The bird feeds well off of the grass. I have 2 good photos illustrating this. Can I e-mail them to you?
    Kind regards, Bill

  • Comment number 6.

    Dear Iolo and team, what exactly is a fish ladder and how does it work? also, during your travels around Wales have you ever encountered evidence of any supposed 'big cats'? Thankyou from a future presenter, Nathan Rodd

  • Comment number 7.

    A couple of days ago I came across a Red Admiral Butterfly
    lying upside down in a pool of water.
    I presumed it had drown,so I scooped it out and blew on it gently
    all the way home.
    Once in my warm lounge he dried of nicely and has been fluttering about the place since and finally settling on my net curtains.
    Should I put him back outside(i dont know if it needs to feed) or as it
    is cold now will he hybernate in the room.

    Regards Colin Warren...

  • Comment number 8.

    I was walking next to a canal in the South West today when I saw something small swimming along. I watched, thinking it would be a pond skater or waterboatman, but noticed that it was swimming almost vertically. As it emerged onto a leaf, I saw that it looked like a wasp. Is this likely or is there another insect which looks similar and swims in an upright position?

  • Comment number 9.

    Living in the Scottish Highlands many of mine and my partner's winter wildlife encounters happen in the dark!

    A lot of the time all we see is eyeshine including my partner's most memorable experience when he saw 3 sets of slitty green eyes at approx red deer height peering at him through a bothy window (he still believes that aliens landed in the highlands!).

    What causes different coloured eyeshine?, what could those green eyes have been (all other red deer eyeshine we have seen is yellow) and is it possible to easily identify wildlife from their eyeshine and the way their eyes move? (ie the animal's/birds gait) - I have looked all over the web and can't find a uk eyeshine guide.

    Could some lovely presenter or even the fabulous science geek help me out on this one please!!!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Team, there was some concern talked about over the disappearing Hedgehogs. I have one theory. For many years I have had a family of hedgehogs who hibernate under my garden shed. This year a Badger moved in , he killed and ate all the hedgehogs leaving the skins outside the shed whilst he took over the straw and leaf bedding and moved in.
    Question - Could the rise in the badger population be the downfall of the hedgehog. I was so insensed about killing the hedgehogs I moved him on by jumping up and down on the shed floor every day and weeing at the sets entrance! It did the trick.

  • Comment number 11.

    hi iolo is the life cycle of the sea trout similar to that of the salmon do they die after spawning and where in the oceans do they fatten up before returning ( presumably )to their native rivers to spawn

  • Comment number 12.

    Hi Iolo & Team,

    I have been seeing more Red Kites in North Wales (Bala area), having gone to Aberystwyth University to do my Zoology degree I got used to seeing them there in great numbers. Could they be moving North? If so would this suggest that they are hunting/scavenging for themselves now (a lot in mid wales are fed daily at places like Nant Yr Arian). Have you seen many up North?


    Kayla Williams, Bala

  • Comment number 13.

    I would like to ask Iolo how he pronounces his name?

  • Comment number 14.

    Can fish hear? When I was small, many years ago, I had 6 minnows in a tank, and when I whistled, they would come to the side to be fed. If I didn't whistle, they'd ignore me. I always thought that fish pick up vibrations through the lateral line, but would a whistle cause vibrations? Thank you, Sue

  • Comment number 15.

    A question for Chris.
    The road outside my house has trees down each side, over the last few weeks I have noticed Pied Wagtails appearing under the trees where the fallen leaves are (they fly off if disturbed-then return to the same area) then continue foraging. Sadly I have not seen any in the our garden.
    Any idea what are they looking for?
    Thank you

  • Comment number 16.

    This is a question for any of the presenters. What is wrong with this great tit that I found in my garden??

  • Comment number 17.

    Dear,Chris & Iolo ..

    Iam a long time watcher & first time contacter !

    What I have noticed is that the show hasent as
    yet shown the uk,s largest Freshwater predator -
    THE PIKE ! ..

    I know we have covered more of our water-ways this
    year in springwatch & autumnwatch - but I feel the
    pike is the most elusive & under-recorded shark
    of our freshwaters - yet never gets the exposure
    that Iam sure will delight & surprise viewers alike

    Please let me know your thoughts all !

    THANK YOU - Arthur.

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi Iolo, Hi Team

    My question is quite simply what is this bird.


    It lives on the River Frome with apparently its mate a pen and its two offspring. My son called it a Swoose.

    But I want to know what is it?

  • Comment number 19.

    Just seen on RSPB Community Blog a photo of Iolo, not as a naturalist but 'au naturale'. I suspect you could only use it on Unsprung after the watershed.

  • Comment number 20.

    If sea trout don't feed in the rivers how do anglers catch them

  • Comment number 21.


    I am confused. What is the difference between a sea trout and the 'ordinary' brown or rainbow trout?

    Best (wonderful programme)


  • Comment number 22.

    Lolo i believe there is a fish unique to the conwy river and no other river in britain' i have forgoten the name' but the local fishermen go out for these fish at a certain time of year.
    Do you know of these fish and can you put me out of my misery and tell me their name.
    john stokes

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi all,

    2 weeks ago at around 8am, I was walking near my home in the South Wales Valleys when 3 massive waves of birds flew from NE to S direction. They looked like woodpigeon........nothing much unusual about that perhaps, except that I estimated that there were between 3-5,000 individuals. They flew like Woodpigeon, they were too big/ wrong shape for Redwing and Fieldfare or Starlings. What were they and why so many together? Interestingly, they did not call to each other and I didn't have binoculars with me so I couldn't ID them with certainty. Can you help?

  • Comment number 24.

    @Helen Lyndon, we think you're right. It was probably wood pigeon. They do migrate both from the north east of Europe but also within the UK from the north to the south.

  • Comment number 25.

    how can i get the sport world email add


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.