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Passionate people: Springwatch needs you!

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Martin Hughes-Games Martin Hughes-Games | 13:56 UK time, Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Springwatch needs you! We know there are people up and down the country who are passionately committed to wildlife. Often it's one particular group of animals which has captured their imagination - is this you? Or do you know someone like this?

Someone who has perhaps become totally fascinated by... erm... dragonflies and turned their entire garden into a dragonfly haven. Or maybe has a stoat that nests under the floorboards every year that they watch (I actually know someone who does this!). Or perhaps they spent their lives putting up boxes for owls... The possibilities are almost endless.

We've already met Dave Cully, the amazing sparrowhawk man, whose entire garden is set up for watching this amazing species. Also, Ben Burville, who seems to spend more time underwater than above in his passionate quest to film extraordinary seal behaviour. Then there's Martin Carty in Mallaig, who is out night after night rescuing confused Manx shearwaters which have become disorientated flying at night. You might also remember the wonderful Maureen Davis, who feeds her badgers here in Bristol.

We would love to come and film some of you inspiring people and the animals you love for this year's Springwatch... so... if you want to share your passion do please get in contact, either by email or, if you prefer, by letter to us at Springwatch, BBC Bristol, Bristol BS8 2LR.

We're really looking forward to hearing from you.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Would love to have you come and visit my garden with all the birds feeding like mad on the birdfeeders. But I suppose you don't visit the Netherlands do you..?

  • Comment number 2.

    By the way, any chance telling us where springwatch is coming from this year?

  • Comment number 3.

    @littlewatervole: all will be revealed soon!

  • Comment number 4.

    We have owned a woodland (Alvecote Wood) and managed it for wildlife for the last 3 years. This winter we have planted over 3000 trees on an adjacent field to make a new woodland with meadows and ponds, to form a wildlife corridor. We are just two ordinary people who love wildlife and are trying to do our little bit to help, and you'd be more than welcome to visit.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't do anything particularly impressive or dedicated as some of the people featured last year, but being a full time 6th form student doesn't allow much time for anything like that, but I am still very passionate. I love wildlife photography, one of my photos got on SW photo club last year! I am still very proud about that! You can see all my shots here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/bill19/collections/
    All took with my humble bridge camera- being a 6th form student learning to drive doesn't allow masses of money either!!

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    Couple of days ago, male Robin was not too happy about me being in my old garage. Just discovered female Robin sitting on the nest, haven't had a chance to count the number of eggs yet.

  • Comment number 8.

    I would like to nominate my 11 year old son Ben, who is fascinated by bugs but in particular ladybirds. A much misunderstood group of insects - I'm sure there is a good story to help viewers understand the many colours (not just red and black or black and red) and even explain the Harlequin Ladybird issue.

    I have a lots of links to his website (search Ben Miles Wildlife) to help you understand what he's been up to so far but can't post them here due to BBC rules or www.flickr.com/photos/16247248@N07/

    Happy to go deeper when (or if) you need further story material

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi my computer cant seem to link to your email link!!!(I only use hotmail) have you got an email address please I can use,thanks Cherry/ (Cherrybarnowl)on Twitter to reply

  • Comment number 10.

    Since 2006, I have desperately, desperately wished my heart out to share my love of wildlife with the viewing public on Springwatch, especially since I have Asperger's Syndrome, which is a form of autism. I am probably Martin's biggest fan, and I would love to raise awareness of autism on Springwatch, by discussing how this developmental disorder affects the way I communicate my love of birding with him on the show, perhaps on a walk round my local reserves at RSPB Frampton Marsh and Freiston Shore. If this isn't possible, a reserve of the BBC's/Martin's choice would suffice just as well. Perhaps I'll pick up a lifer there!

    Simon King described me once as a 'vibrant, fun girl, full of good ideas and effusive enthusiasm'. I go to the Birdfair every year and enjoy it heaps (especially as this has helped develop independent living skills such as arranging my own accommodation), and Simon has invited me personally to join his team of bloggers on his new web-based venture, which I am sure you know the name of. I have not missed a single show since 2006, be it the main show, Unsprung, Photo Club or Pub Quiz.

    I have learned so much from Springwatch, and it has helped me find my niche in life. I would love it to give me wings of happiness by appearing on it, the show I love with all my heart.

  • Comment number 11.

    Can I please second the 11 year old Bugboyben (post above). I've just been looking at his flickr photostream and he quite obviously has a great passion for wildlife and a keen eye for photography. Its wonderful to see such wildlife enthusiasm in youth and it should be encouraged. He could give tips to other children. Note the 2p on photo for insect size demonstration, moth trap and sweep netting. I suspect he could do a regular feature! Good luck Ben and keep going. Rgds. Julia

  • Comment number 12.

    There was a request a week or so ago for people to send in reports of snowdrops coming out and frog spawn being sighted, to record aspects of Spring at different places across the UK. Just thought you might like to know that the frogs are starting to spawn where I live, in Northern Scotland, as I saw clumps of spawn laid last night in two separate places this morning - one a deep puddle and the other a ditch, both on a track leading to the North side of the Cromarty Firth. Sadly I also saw two squashed frogs within a yard of each other at the end of my road, but at least some frogs managed to spawn successfully.
    I was surprised to see the spawn as I don't remember seeing it this early in previous years, but maybe that's my memory playing tricks!

  • Comment number 13.

    Gardeners know that the best way to save a rare plant is to propagate it and spread it around. Why don't conservationists encourage the making of appropriate ponds and introduce crested newts?
    Ray

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    I went down the garden on 26th of feb and discoverd a pond full of frog spawn.We are in crewe not as far north but it still seems early to me.

  • Comment number 16.

    Where is the survey for Spring birds and other happenings? I had frogspawn on 16th February and that's over a month earlier than usual. It's all been removed and taken to one of the village ponds here. I already have about six pairs of frogs! Loads of newts too.

  • Comment number 17.

    You should visit College Lake, Nr Tring, has an amazing abundance of wildlife and seasonal birds - a great new reserve made from a quarry.

  • Comment number 18.

    The 'survey for spring birds and other happenings' is the UK Phenology Network, and they can be found at the Nature's Calendar website, www.naturescalendar.org.uk

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Whoops just re posting as I had not realised I could not put web links.... here is my post again, with web links removed.

    I was visiting your website, being a big fan of your programmes and saw that you were appealing for people to come and film, who are inspiring and who are passionate about wildlife..... I think I probably meet those criteria!

    This time last year, I put up my first nest box camera system and was captivated with the blue tits that nested in there... so much so, that I decided to start a blog to document what was happening in the nest box and around my garden. A year later, I cannot believe how things have taken off in my garden and the area surrounding it. I now have some ten cameras, all feeding back into my office providing me with amazing pictures of foxes, hedgehog, birds and much more!... in fact I have my own Springwatch right here! I have got local land owners involved, erecting barn owl and tawny boxes on their land as well as exploring the local area with two trail cams I now have.

    I am a very keen photographer and have taken loads of photographs and video clips of all the wildlife that visits, including a vixen who bought her cubs to my cameras last spring! The family still visit every night and I am hoping Fern will have more cubs this spring.

    There is SO much happening on my patch and I now live stream images from my garden and have been amazed at the interest all over the world.

    I would love to tell you all more about it, but do take a peek at my wildlifekate website if you would like to see a bit more. It will give you a flavour of the kind of projects I am involved in, on my patch!


    I am also doing a lot at the primary school that I teach at in North Warwickshire.

    I look forward to hearing from you... come and visit... you would be more than welcome... I have a very comfy couch!

    Regards,

    Kate MacRae

  • Comment number 21.

    Dear Springwatch, I am passionate about moths!

    Did you know that we only have 60 types of butterfly in the UK, but a massive 2500 types of moth. They all vary massively and i am mainly interested in hawkmoths which are the biggest we have. There are 9 which live here all year round and another five including the death's head hawkmoth which are tourists from abroad. Most moths eat nectar, just like butterflies. In fact butterflies are really just day flying moths!

    On any one night during the summer i would expect to see 30 - 60 types of smaller ones and perhaps 3 or 4 monster hawks. It is really fun and can be done anywhere. All you need is a really bright light, and the best is a mercury vapour bulb above a white dust sheet. The big fellas come in after 12pm so expect a late night and remember to bring a flask of hot coffee .. to keep you awake!

    It is a remarkable world which most of us have never seen. Turn off the tv, get outside and explore it. All you need to do is open your eyes. I live in Lincolnshire and would love to introduce Springwatch my world of moths!

    good luck,
    JBJ

  • Comment number 22.

    I was sitting on the top deck of the bus, passing our local park. While the bus was waiting at a red light I sat and watched a crow bury a bit of bread and then proceed to pluck out tufts of grass to ensure the bread was covered. I found this both entertaining and facinating. It just goes to show how intelligent birds can be.

  • Comment number 23.

    Is there any chance that Springwatch could visit Fort George (Inverness) this spring? When we went there in May last year, we were amazed to see hundreds of gulls nesting on the flat grass within the walls of the fort. Each nest was equally distant from the next, forming a grid pattern, just as though it had been carefully measured out beforehand! We were able to look down on the nests and watch the chicks hatching and playing together.
    This was of special interest to me as every year herring gulls nest on our flat roof and we hear the whole life cycle of what we call "the family upstairs". They have never caused us any problems whatsoever and give us so much pleasure.

  • Comment number 24.

    I'd like to also add the vote for young Ben. Its great to see someone at his age with so much enthusiasm for wildlife. Good on you lad.

  • Comment number 25.

    I have a kestrel nest box at the end of my garden, with a camera wired back to my office... a kestrel pair look like they might move in. I am very excited by the prospect! Would love to share it with you!

  • Comment number 26.

    Ben it's great to see you are so interested in wildlife, and that your parents are so good at taking you to loads of interesting places. Don't lose your interest in wildlife and the environment, I'm sure you are going to be an inspiration to many people of all ages. Keep up with the photography as well, you have a real gift.

  • Comment number 27.

    Great idea to get input from the general public!

    You mention Ben Burville and his seal filming - he also provided a great deal of scientific info for the messageboard last Autumnwatch and I saw him do a presentation last year with amazing seal footage (You showed a glimpse of some of that on Unsprung (when Gordon, Martin, Kate and Chris were debating about what a pup was doing on the seabed and some guy from a university had been asked too - it would have been nice to have had input from Ben Buville himself.)

    We are slightly biased as a group who enjoy watching wildlife and in particular seals but get that chap back on with more of his filming and see if he can provide the team with input - he has a marine biology degree I think(?)

    We too like BugBoyBens enthusiasm as a youngster for wildlife .. if only more teenagers would put down their game consoles and follow his lead and interest in nature - Good on you!

  • Comment number 28.

    I would love for springwatch to visit me, i am a young wildlife filmmaker in london. I am currently in the proccess of making my own willdife series, i try to film wildlife whenever i can! my aim is to become a wildlife filmmaker!

  • Comment number 29.

    Good for you YAP11. Steve Backshall made a wildlife film himself and National Geographic bought it. That's how he started. Keep making your films and keep knocking on doors. One day one could open for you. Until then keep that enthusiasm going and build yourself a portfolio. I wish you all the best.

  • Comment number 30.

    hi
    I recently saw a article on bbc look north aboout a jackdaw that has took a shine to this kid living in sunderland. Apparantly he was walking to school with his mam when this jackdaw appeared eagerly flapping around him. His mam somewhat concerned told him to hold out his arm and the jackdaw perched it self and has been with this young lad ever since! Im fasinated can any of you give an explanation of this behaviour? I thought it would be a great article to have on the long anticipated Spring watch! All the best

  • Comment number 31.

    If you want to see red kites you should come to Reading. The most I've seen at one time was seven over my daughters school in Tilehurst. We also get them very low over the gardens here in Earley, on Saturday there were three and a buzzard circling! (Think the buzzards come from the nearby university but the red kites are everywhere)

  • Comment number 32.

    Thanks for kind comments "Robin2279" - are you a member of Cornwall Seal Group?
    With regards new footage and involvement with SW/AW... not sure of situation yet but ... "Watch this space"...as I have been very busy filming!
    Best wishes,
    Ben "Seal diver" http://www.youtube.com/bburville

  • Comment number 33.

    I love watching wildlife in my small garden surrounded by trees , or should i say was surrounded by trees full of nesting birds , someone has just hacked the trees down well not even profesionally just left the trees as they cut them .
    hopefully the small trees that i planted last year on plant a tree day
    why are some people so anti nature there is hardly any nature left

  • Comment number 34.

    Springwatch is also popular in the Netherlands. It's a shame we can't see the video's on the website :-(
    If you would like to take a look in 8 birdsnests I can recommend the site of the Dutch organisation for the protection of birds:
    www.beleefdelente.nl (means experience spring). Not much action at the moment, but eggs are laid. You can see little owl, oehoe, stork, king fisher, swallow, peregrine falcon and 2 more I don't know the name of in English :-)

  • Comment number 35.

    Has there been a been a big increase in the numbers of Magpies throughout the UK? I saw 12 today when out for my walk this morning. Pre 1996 seeing or even hearing a Magpie here in Aberdeen was a rarity. Since 2006 they have become as common as Blackbirds !

  • Comment number 36.

    I live in Stevenage and have two small ponds in my garden. Years ago my Granchildren put some frog spawn in one of them. They all hatched and hopped off around June. Since then I have been removing the spawn every spring and putting it in a local wild pond. Every year the ponds are full of frogs and I wonder how long does a frog live for .This year I had spawn in February and they keep coming .

  • Comment number 37.

    Please anyone any ideas out there? Some 15-18months ago our restaurant of bird feeders went virtually ignored by our local population, and it is no better now. Anything to do with neighbouring cats? Our feeders hang from a now-dying Himalayan Cotoneaster in the back garden. Location, North East England.
    Help!

  • Comment number 38.

    Last Wednesday (23rd March), I had a ladybird crawling about on my window. Unfortunately it was on the outside, so I could not identify the species. Is this an unusual date for a ladybird to be active?

  • Comment number 39.

    been feeding the wild birds black sunflower seeds for the past three months. Going through about 5kilo's a fortnight (no joke). The Spotted Woodpecker has captured my imagination at the moment, it seems to be taking the seeds from the nets and walking backward down the tree to, what appears to me, hide them in the tree bark. Is this normal behaviour this time of year? Unfortunately I could only capture this event on my mobile and through the fly screen of the kitchen window but it clearly shows the Woodpecker busy doing something. The Nuthatch, which started visiting during the severe winter, is still feeding from the windowsill and is a rare sight for me as I have never seen one so close up. I can be within less than two feet from the feeding birds, thanks to the fly screen. Hope you like my observations and can clarify the Woodpeckers behaviour for me.

  • Comment number 40.

    I was digging up an old raised flowerbed with loose compost and found a Bee under the compost all alone, is it normal to find this? I have been gardening for years and have never come across this before has anyone else?
    Steve

  • Comment number 41.

    Martin! It WAS you I saw on Selborne Hangar today? I was geocaching at the time but after I passed you the second time, I watched a pair of Coal Tits around a nest and saw my first Red Admiral of the year. I have the dubious honour of being the woman who has seen the most species in Britain (or the only one sad enough to add them all up!) - see http://markgtelfer.co.uk/listing/
    Cheers! Sarah

  • Comment number 42.

    Hi!!
    Found out what the woodpecker was up to as close inspection of the tree showed the husks of the sunflower seeds embedded. Put some peanuts out for it instead. I hope the breeding pair produce offspring again this year.

    Happy viewing
    Will

  • Comment number 43.

    Hi A blackbird has returned to my garden for the third spring I know it's the same one because he mimics my whistle is this common with blackbirds.

    Regards Dave

  • Comment number 44.

    Thank you very much Ben Burville for you very compelling film about Life beneath the waves! You should be a camera man on Springwatch. I'd love to be able to dive myself after watching it. Please keep up the good work and congrats on your 1st prize!

  • Comment number 45.

    Please consider visit to our wild beavers in Perthshire. Plenty of locals in/near Blairgowrie who do their bit.

  • Comment number 46.

    what a realy good start to summer we are having got two robins in my garden one has got baby birds who have already left the nest and its only april .
    also there is ladybirds and bees about i think it should be a good summer for our wildlife..

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi, We're in West Sussex, not near any water (but a mile away is Warnham Nature Reserve)A Drake and its partner have decided to lay their eggs (13 in total!) outside our front door in our flower bed, inside a heather bush. We have found this exciting and unusual, so have our 2 children who await baby duckilngs, we feel quite honored to have a new little family living with us!
    Thanks
    Cat & Paul

  • Comment number 48.

    Thanks "littlewatervole" for your kind comments - glad you enjoyed the "Magic beneath the Waves" film.
    I have to credit Martin Hughes-Games who helped me out a number of years ago with my underwater filming - thanks Martin!
    This year I have located some REALLY special underwater sites for filming wildlife ... as for filming for Springwatch/Autumnwatch...
    watch this space...
    Thanks again and kind regards,
    Ben "Sealdiver" http://www.youtube.com/bburville

  • Comment number 49.

    For the last two years a family of Blue Tits have nested inside a metal box girder which is over the main entrance to the Visitor Centre at Whisby Nature Park, near Lincoln. It is possible that this will be repeated this year thought I have not had the opportunity to see if they have taken residence so far.
    I have a series of 10 images taken from last year at www.flickr.com/photos/ecoheathen/5270186742/in/set-72157607833136091 but was too late post processing to get them in as an offering for “your nesting in unusual places” article, should you repeat that this year. I will keep an eye on the girder for activity and let you know if they are back again. I think it is a marvellous example of the enterprising nature of birds which may be worthy of your filming.

  • Comment number 50.

    there is a fantastic pond near to where we live which is teeming with life, yesterday i spotted two herrons and there is hundreds of frogs mating, there is also some form of small fish, in the next few weeks i am hoping to see duckilings again this year, and the woodland on the area also is home to bugs and beasties of all sorts, deer and rabits.
    i am so proud to have such a fantastic patch within walking distance, it is just unfortunate that the local council do not feel the same and it is not regularly looked after.

  • Comment number 51.

    Im planning on trying to turn my garden into a butterfly and bee heaven this year, hopefully this will help me get better crops from my fruit and berry bushes. Amazingly with no effort from me (plants are all still very small.) i saw my first butterfly of the year, and it was a rare one, an orange tip, will be hanging about in the gargen with the camera today, maybe i can get a lucky snap of it.

  • Comment number 52.

    Could there be natter jack toads here in east sussex one dark evening the other week before the clocks changed back there was a very loud noise which sounded toad or frog like coming from a storm drain next to my house . A few days before at dusk,there was a toad walking down our road

  • Comment number 53.

    would love to have a big article on Frogs and Toads this year we have had some strange things in our little pond... dead females with 2 males attached on 2 occasions after spawning. The noises made are very entertaining, chirruping rather than croaking.
    Also would like to know if goldfish, 'toadpoles' and 'frogpoles', can live together. Do fish eat frogpoles but not like the taste of toadpoles?

  • Comment number 54.

    Having built a hedgehog house late last year I now have a resident ! :-)
    Not sure if a "He" or a "She" but will monitor with my camera and perhaps (fingers crossed) there may be a patter of tiny feet later in the year ?
    I know nothing about h-hogs so not sure if this will occur but will upload video if anything happens.

  • Comment number 55.

    Nice to see Bill Oddie is back on Easter Springwatch Special. Yesterday and today have heard Cuckoo Sing never heard that before in Sheffiled where I live. These days where I live most common bird in our garden is Goldfinch . Sometimes have as many as 13 in garden on feeders.

  • Comment number 56.

    Yesterday first thing in the morning I heard my first cuckoo,that's spring to me.

  • Comment number 57.

    Saturday I saw a small white butterfly with orange wing tips, and at about 7.30 pm heard the cuckoo

  • Comment number 58.

    On Sunday (April 24th) we visited the new Brockholes Nature Reserve (next to J31 M6, Preston). Fantastic day out; an amazing floating visitor centre, different habitats, good kids' playground & activities, lovely river & woodland walks. Congrats to the Wildlife Trusts & construction companies involved - this site is a bit raw yet but will only improve with age! Anyway, we saw loads of sand martins nesting on the banks of the Ribble, orange tip & cabbage white butterflies, ladybirds, bluebells etc. Today, just north of Garstang, we saw swifts, obviously nesting in a farm barn. Here in central Preston we are hoping that the peregrines which enthralled us last summer will return to St Walburge's church spire just behind us; we've heard & seen them occasionally so have fingers crossed!

  • Comment number 59.

    We have a pair of Blue Tits nesting in our back wall. Some rendering fell out from around the waste pipe from the bathroom sink and before my husband could make it good, we notice the Blue Tits going in there, removing bits of our cavity wall insulation and taking nesting material in. Our cat, Kevin, has also been very interested in the area around the bath and sink, perhaps listening to the birds? Obviously we are now going to have to wait until autumn before repairing the wall.

  • Comment number 60.

    At 55deg43'44.84"N X 2deg01'35.95"W (according to Google Earth) and having survived the harsh winter and our lane being under 4' of snow and not seeing the postman for 3 weeks it's good to see spring has finally arrived and that our 30 starlings, 30-40 sparrows, 6 blue tits, 4 great tits and 2 coal tits, plus Aiofe, our resident roe deer made it through almost 3 months of snow. Also returned, the greenfinches (2),1 chaffinch and 1 goldfinch. I also found our frog alive and well while I was weeding the veggie garden last week. First cut of the grass last weekend then came the sea fret, a cold s.e. breeze plus grass frost. Still too early to plant our my early veggies as more frosts predicted before April is out. Sighted several hares, ladybirds, bumblebees and our local buzzard. First of the hoverflies came out on Friday. Also good to see the cows back in the field. They arrived late last week. Several caterpillars seen, suspect they will become Red Admirals and Peacocks. That's the happenings in the Kingdom of Northumbria on the Scottish Border.

  • Comment number 61.

    Dowles Brook Wyre Forest.......25th April Went for a lovely walk,saw male redstart,blackcaps,warblers and dipper.Grass snake swimming across pool,plenty of small brown trout taking flys.

  • Comment number 62.

    Each year I get masses of swifts living in my roof, you can hear them scrabbling around in their nests. I live in a flat above our village shop, and they are all along the side of the lounge, there "fly by's" cause people to stand and stare, as they cant see where they suddenly disapear to. Your welcome to come and see them, though there not "home" yet

  • Comment number 63.

    meant to say yesterday the cuckoo and butterfly were seen and heard in Cranham essex, I have also seen a brown butterfly with white markings all over its wings, and the woods at the back of our garden the bluebells are opening, what a lovely sight, had a greater spotted woodpecker on the bird table this morning, we have lots of longtail tits as well as the blue and great tits, the bumble bees are also around, seen one with the orange bottom and one with the yellow.

  • Comment number 64.

    Saw three swifts in the early sunrise today also a bird similar to a sparrow in size and colouring but with a yellow head and chest. Anyone got any ideas as to what it is? Weather bright and sunny here in the N.E. but with a northerly breeze so decidedly chilly so resident birds feeding furiously from our numerous feeders with cock pheasant venturing into the garden to scavenge for scraps of bird seed. Brave pheasant, or foolish, as it was eyed up with relish by our 2 cats who eventually decided discretion the better part of valour and left it alone.

  • Comment number 65.

    This morning we got our first swallow back from Africa. About 3 hours later No.2 arrived. After an interlude of aerobatics and "swallow talk", they have already been swooping in and out of the shed geting it renovated.
    Now they are both in the garden shed for the night. Amazing ! All those miles.

  • Comment number 66.

    Perhaps I should have given my address. Malcolm Crawford[Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 67.

    Once again the har or sea fret has rolled in so not much chance of showing granddaughter's friend the Farne Islands and the puffin colony or even Lindesfarne as the tide will be in. Will have to head inland perhaps to the Stone/Bronze Age site of Maelmin and the ancient stone circle of Duddo. We might get to Ad Gefrin, birthplace of Christianity in Northumberland and maybe catch sight of some wildlife as well, if I can find it again deep in the heart of the Cheviots!

  • Comment number 68.

    Heard the 1st cuckoo this year at Wimborne St Giles in deepest Dorset on 21st April, my birthday, what a treat on a beautiful sunny day.

  • Comment number 69.

    This is rather a long comment but it is quite interesting!
    Last Spring in our local park, Alexandra Park in Hastings, a mallard had a clutch of 10 ducklings. The pond on which they were has lots of herring gulls daily so their chances of survival were not good really. However on said pond there are two white-fronted geese which have been there for at least twenty years and they kept close to the mother and babies until they were almost full grown, keeping all possible predators at bay. Nine out the ten survived. On Monday of this week, a mallard was out on the pond with a clutch of thirteen!! ducklings and one of the geese (the other one has not been out much lately) is doing exactly the same, keeping mum and babies under close guard. I look forward to seeing how the ducklings progress this year.

  • Comment number 70.

    I have just seen a strange creature in my garden, from our books it appears to be a Bee Killer Wasp, but is supposed to be rare and not around until July-Sept. Is this possible??

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi springwatch just heard my first cuckoo,was amazed to hear you say that they were in decline.Last year was my best year for cuckoo,s,i heard and saw so many in my area of winterton-on-sea near Great Yarmouth

  • Comment number 72.

    Ii'm certain I heard a cuckoo in Sunderland yesterday. Is this possible, do they nest this far north?

  • Comment number 73.

    Went to Siccar Point yesterday and learnt something new. It was there that James Hutton during the 17th cent turned the scientific world on its head by discovering the earth was not just thousands of years old but millions and through him began geology. Because of his discovery they named the local stone (Hutton Stone) used in building, after him. The sea was a beautiful blue but sadly, no birds. Saw my first swallow while helping g/daughter feed her horses in the evening. Cowslips are appearing along our lane and the young cows are taking an interest in us, standing at our back fence and watching television through our french windows - honest, they do!

  • Comment number 74.

    Hello,i herd my first cuckoo this year on the 24.4.2011.last year 2010 i first herd it on the 22.5.2010 so on that result it arrived a lot early than last year, i saw my first swallow on the 10.4.2011.i all so have a robin's nest in one of my nest box's i had a peep yesturday 27.4.2011. and to my surprise she is on her second brood all ready i was well pleased, my sighting's was at Stanford End, about a mile from where i live village of Riseley about ten mile's west of Reading, happy bird watching.

  • Comment number 75.

    We are lucky to have a tit-box with a camera - given as a gift.The pleasure it gives is enormous. They have laid ten eggs which are due to hatch - we think- next Thursday or Friday. We cant wait to watch the chicks come out of their shells.

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi Martin, we have swifts nest in our roof every year and we have a window overlooking the nesting entrance about two meters away. This year I'm going to try and video them coming in if possible. I have tried before but they are so quick it's not going to be easy.

  • Comment number 77.

    Me again Martin, about cuckoos. I live in the beautiful village of Appleby just outside Scunthorpe where there are hundreds of trees, but in the six & half years I have lived here I have not heard one cuckoo. Also my house martins still haven't arrived.

  • Comment number 78.

    Last year on one of the many ponds in our local park (Alexandra Park in Hastings) a pair of mallards had a clutch of 10 ducklings. This particular pond is much favoured by herring gulls, cormorants and the occasional heron so their chances of survival were not high. However, there is a pair of white-fronted geese on said pond, they have been there for at least 20 years, and they 'adopted' this family, chasing anything that approached away and staying with them until they were almost fully grown. Of the 10, nine survived! This year, last week to be precise, a pair of mallards was out on the pond with their clutch of 13 ducklings and one of the geese was performing exactly the same duty as last year. (The other goose seems to have a bad foot and is being monitored by the park wardens and doesn't get out on the water much at the moment.)
    I look forward to following their progress.

  • Comment number 79.

    Every year the seagulls nest on the rooftops across from our house (Ramsgate) This year a bunch of rooks hassled the seagulls until they left. The rooks then left but returned again when the seagulls had nested and seemed to be sitting on eggs. The rooks chased the seagulls away again and appeared to be eating what had been in the nest. This happened twice and now the seagulls seem to have given up and have not returned as yet. It poses the question, are rooks the latest species to discover urban living?

  • Comment number 80.

    When I was 17 in 1987 I was so upset by the loss of so many trees in the great storm and the threat of global warming that I decided to plant and grow some trees (although I live in Doncaster and the storm missed us!). I started with 50 conkers and 50 acorns and now I have over 25 species and semi-mature trees around my allotment and garden at home! (I'm still growing them now, with my son Jack aged 6, as we just can't resist the small green leaves of tiny seedlings. This year it's horse and sweet chestnuts. I know they are not natives but horse chestnuts have had a bad time lately). Jack loves collecting the conkers from the trees I planted when I was 17. He plated some conkers from my trees last year to grow himself!

  • Comment number 81.

    I have been watching Johnny Kingdom on BBC 4 recently. I would love to see him on the show as he is undoubtedly passionate about his wildlife. I try to be and do feed my birds, relishing the occasional woodpecker that visits. I do have a hedgehog patch that I fill with twigs & leaves every autumn. It must work as we see them around late at night during the summer. I have noticed lots of poo too. Another thing I am pleased about is I have heard a Barn Owl during the night and a reply to its call !!

  • Comment number 82.

    We have wrens nesting just outside our back door. They have discovered a small space between a defunct window frame and a wall and have diligently built a nest in this tiny space. They have been busy flying in with loads of feathers to line it. Getting very tame and are constantly whirring past our heads on a mission. It's great!

  • Comment number 83.

    I have a WHITE black bird in my garden, she has a nest nearby, I have photo's of her at the bird table

  • Comment number 84.

    Great News - all the blue-tit eggs have hatched. We now have ten small chicks to watch and hope they survive. The parents are looking after them well and are finding plenty of caterpillars to find them on. We did put out some small maggots in case they could not find enough food for all ten chicks. Keeping our fingers crossed

  • Comment number 85.

    Further to my comments on 1st May. The rooks having driven the seagulls from their nesting site on the rooftop opposite, have now decided to nest there themselves.

  • Comment number 86.

    We are currently renovating our cottage and have stood some old doors against a wall. For the second year running a pair of Pied Wagtails have nested between the doors. We cannot see them as the gap is too small. If we thought they would come back this year we could have set up a camera to record them.

  • Comment number 87.

    I have seen a bird in my garden and am not sure what it is .

  • Comment number 88.

    I have had a nest box on my wall since 1994 and since then most years I have had Blue Tits nesting in it. This year I have a pair of Great Tits and they are now very actively feeding young and have been for at least the last week. As I live in the north of the country am I right in thinking this is quite early? I would love to know.

  • Comment number 89.

    Can Kate Humble, as a beekeeper, inform the general public/viewers the need to inform a beekeeper or local council immediatley if they see a swarm of honey bees land on a tree, bush or wall? The swarm will usually move off within an hour and if not caught by a beekeeper, the swarm will then very often chose a chimney or attic or some other inaccesible place and become a nuisance and may have to be destroyed.
    As the local "swarm buster" for the Cardiff & Vale area, I am finding that I am informed of these swarms TOO LATE to re-hive them. Most people panic and think that it will go away, and they are right, it usually does within 1/2 an hour or the hour and cannot unfortunately be saved. As you are all aware honey bees are in decline and if us beekeepers can be informed in time to save a swarm, we will gratefully.

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    We have recently set up cameras to observe our kestrel box (six eggs at present) and owl box (currently occupied by Jackdaws - two eggs hatched - although there were about four eggs at the start). Also a feeding station currently used by badgers, foxes and muntjak. We would be more than happy for you to visit us if you're interested.

  • Comment number 93.

    Last week we had a muntjak and a fox feeding at the same time and a badger and fox also feeding together. Today, a neighbourhood cat came face to face with the fox and did his best to scare the fox away! Brave cat or foolhardy?

  • Comment number 94.

    Garden Foxes

    We have had fox families in the past but none more dramatic than this year. It started at the end of March when I heard a racket in the garden - like cats fighting - but a scraggy male fox had the cat in it's jaws! Apart from losing some fur amazingly she was fine. Then a week later the tub of cat food vanished from the kitchen - 10 days later (mid April) I found it - at the bottom of the garden and empty! My prime suspect is that pesky fox, but how did he get the lid off???
    We then saw a much smaller fox - looked like a juvenile - but guess what, she is a mum to two fluffy fox cubs. Every morning and evening they are out in the garden and so tame. The cubs disappear under the shed but mother fox just basks in the sun a few feet away from us enjoying the garden too! The cubs also like to bounce around the flower pots and on the slide. They were suckling their mum last night just outside the back door and I even managed to photograph them.
    Later I saw the male fox (who has no fur on his tail) and is not friendly like the female limping down the garden. What had happened? Then this morning I found one of the cubs dead at the bottom of the garden - how sad - not sure what had happened to it it had no obvious injuries and now I feel so sorry for the little brother or sister who has been seen out with his Mum, but not leaving her side. Wish I had been able to film them as it's more exciting than a soap opera here! What will be the next installment?

  • Comment number 95.

    At 8.0 this morning we first heard the cuckoo . We overlook the Wyre Forest in Bewdley and it sounded quite close to our garden but unfortunately we couldn't see it. I hope he/she returns.

  • Comment number 96.

    I know there is a nesting problem for House Martins this year due to the dry Spring, but why have all five sites under my eaves been unused for five seasons. I have some theories but how can I encourge them next year? I'm in the Lower Lugg River basin.

 

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