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Bill Oddie blogs about Springwatch

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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 15:25 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011

Bill's written a wonderfully 'Bill' blog post for Saga about the early days of Springwatch, learning to love the internet and...erm... Harry Hill. Here's an excerpt:

...Back in the early years we were only just beginning to embrace digital technology. Or rather everyone was except me. It became something of a running gag that I didn't even own a computer, let alone know how it worked. I even claimed that my lips were physically incapable of saying 'www' 'forward slash' or even 'dot com'. I insisted that if there were to be any references to 'websites' Kate Humble would do them...

Read the full post here - it's well worth it.

Watch Bill explain how to use the internet to enhance your wildlife watching on the Springwatch Easter Special, at 8pm Easter Monday on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    Hi Bill,
    so pleased to see you back on top form. I visit your web site a lot & as ever you manage to entertain as well as passing on you extensive knowledge. Thank you for that. I look forward to springwatch easter special & even more now i know you will be on it. Welcome back!!

  • Comment number 2.

    I am so happy to hear that Bill Oddie will be on the Springwatch Easter Special!! :-D


  • Comment number 3.


    I've got foxes in my garden! I wondered where the pile of sand came from - I was all for blaming the kids next door! Three cubs spotted playing so far - very cute. Got a couple of nice photos too.

    Nice to have you back.

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes, what a lovely article. I was never fond of the Bill Chris debate. They've both been great at getting the natural history message across to the public. I was a youngster in the 1970s, and the Goodies were essential viewing. I also think that Chris is a wonderful natural history presenter, an unashamed nature geek, yet cool to boot. So it's never been one of them better than the other to me, just 2 guys who've done a great job, along with all the others behind the scenes at Springwatch, of enthusing and informing the wider public about natural history. The BBC Natural History Unit are a marvellous institution, and getting the natural history message across to the great British public is just so important. So more power to all your elbows, and thanks for doing such a great job.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi bill
    please can you tell me,do we have wild lizards in the uk? over the easter period my wife found a small lizard? we live in southampton and it was very hot that day.it looked as if it only had half its tail?

    cheers kevin

  • Comment number 6.

    Very funny - Bill tells it like it is.

  • Comment number 7.

    Has it ever been heard of for Great Tits to build a nest lay 7 eggs and then a Blue Tit to come and sit on them, we have a nest camara and are totally confused by what we have seen today? Any help would be greatfully received!

  • Comment number 8.

    I live on the edge of farmland in Hertfordshire where there is a lot of wildlife, including foxes, red kites, owls, sparrow hawks, dear and game birds. In our garden we have a 3 foot high gatepost in quite an exposed position. During the snow we caught a few mice in our loft and to dispose of the bodies we started to put them on the post as a sort of offering. To our surprise they were taken by something. Since then we have continued to do this with anything that dies in the garden, including a green finch, blackbird and a weasel. All bar the weasel have been taken but we have never seen the animal/ bird in action. We don’t think it would be a fox as the garden is fenced on all sides (even rabbits cannot get in).
    Has anyone any ideas on what might be doing this and is it a normal behavior?

  • Comment number 9.

    we have heard our first birdsong in our garden today the 25th of April 2011 at about
    1-30pm we have not heard any birds or seen any birds till today we live in Staffordshire from Noreen and Vivian Hankey

  • Comment number 10.

    hi Bill,

    so pleased to see you back from nichola

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Bill

    Just can't tell you how great it is to see you back!


  • Comment number 12.

    Could the show let viewers know that there are dedicated Wildlife Police Officers throughout the country who can be contacted at any time.

  • Comment number 13.

    We have just seen a much missed sign of Spring...the one and only Bill Oddie! A big cheer went up in our house for this nature loving inspiration.

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Bill my wife Susan and I have already seen many Blue Tits, Great Tits in our garden in the northeast.
    Last week we had a fox walk through the garden in broad day light, is this normal ?

    Nice to see you back

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Bill
    Great to see you back on tv, i have recently found a nest in my garden and pleased to say that its the new home of 2 "Collared Doves" it is situated on top of my security light and when i have looked out of my bedroom window this morning there are 2 eggs in it. I just hope that the chicks will survive and i am now on a daily watch duty! I shall upload some pictures shortly of the nest and the eggs progress. i have nick named them William and Kate.

    your biggest fan Liz x

  • Comment number 16.

    Great to see Bill back on the prgramme!

  • Comment number 17.

    hi i live in tunstall nr withernsea, i would like to know ,what is happening when you see, what looks like a spiders web that has wrapped alot of little black eggs, then plenty of little caterpillers are growing inside, theres no spider around at all yet the birds are near but thet dont touch it ,what sort of butterfly/moth would do this, could it be a red admiral, hope someone could help me out on this please have got pic and will download, ps we have already heard the cuckoo up here at tunstall thankyou paulatunny xxxx

  • Comment number 18.

    Enjoyed your session on Springwatch.

    What snakes lay eggs in England. We found some today at the bottom of the winter bonfire load - we thought they would be slow worms cause we are lucky and have many in our garden - probably cause we like to be as organic as poss (although one of the dogs does not agree with slow worms unfortunately!) but we understand they do not lay eggs - what kind do? - Can you help please.

  • Comment number 19.

    great to see bill back, and cant wait 5 weeks for springwatch to start good luck team xxx

  • Comment number 20.

    Oh Bill I'm so excited, this saturday i noticed gold finches pecking at the flowers of my cherry blossom tree which is only 10 feet from the back of our house. I looked closer and found they have built a nest only 7 feet from the ground. They have been sitting on the nest now since then, so its 3 days. I can see whats happing from the comfort of my chair on the patio, which is amazingly close.
    They are constanlty cherping to each other and its a wounderful song. I'm affaid to see if they have laid any eggs, so as not to disturb them. Any surgetions?
    Ive notice they leave the nest at dusk. All this excitment is to a good supply of sunflower hearts. Oooh last month we had around 30 Waxwings strip all the berrys off our tree. This has been the second year they have been back. So glad to see you back Bill, let me know what you think.

  • Comment number 21.

    How wonderful to see Bill back. I'm hoping that we will be seeing much more of him and a little less of the double-barrelled man with the hair.

  • Comment number 22.

    Will you be on this years springwatch

  • Comment number 23.

    I live on the western edge of the New Forest.
    At 0510 this morning there was a full on dawn chorus that lasted for over 20 minutes - I can't remeber the last time I heard one... or was I dreaming?

  • Comment number 24.

    Hi Bill...just wanted to let you know how great it was to see you on Springwatch again last night, although i still watch the programme and enjoy the wildlife, it just isn't the same without you, not only do i miss your knowledge, i miss your humour and wit...so please let's see more of you on TV Bill!

  • Comment number 25.

    Fantastic to see Bill ( Mr springwatch ) back on tv. Always appreciate his wealth of knowledge. I have robins nesting for first time ever! Four have hatched.

  • Comment number 26.

    Really glad to see Bill Oddie, hope we see more of him soon, how about his own show?

  • Comment number 27.

    brilliant to see bill on the springwatch special, love his enthusiasm for the wildlife features. hope to see you on this seasons springwatch programs too.

  • Comment number 28.

    Bill, it's GOODIE to have you back as a guest presenter - your bird knowledge is really appreciated by a keen amateur watcher like me who has learnt so much from you during the years that S.W has been on, keep going mate. All Harry Hill can do is sit behind a desk and read load of dross of an auto-cue - great entertainer - NOT !

  • Comment number 29.

    Hi Bill have missed you on spring and autumn watch so nice to see you back again looking so much better, thank you for your great knowledge on birds and all the other things about wildlife you tell us about, thanks Bill

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm ssssoooooo glad to see Bill again...he does make me chuckle!!!
    I have been getting more and more involved with the wildlife in the garden now that my children seem to have no further use for me! I have never seen long tailed tits in our garden before and was so excited when they started to become regular visitors.
    Whilst sitting under my very large Cenothus I noticed alot of activity in the top branches. I am now delighted to say, I now have a pair of long tailed tits making a beautiful masterpeice of a nest in the top branches. It's great to see them but I see a bluetit on a regular basis trying to muscle in on the nest.
    Reading some of the other blogs I am thinking that our lively little blue tits are either getting crafty or lazy trying to pinch the hard work of other birds. I know that it is quite common for other birds to move into others nests, but what are our blue tits up to?
    Look forward to seeing you all when the next series starts in 5 weeks. Good luck gang.

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Bill , pleased to hear you are back however sad to say I missed the show .
    Thought you might like to know I heard a Nightjar @ 11.30 25.4.11 also we have had a Cuckoo around for a week , lastly we are being bombed by Chafer beetles , in Winkton Christchurch.

    Kind regards 5footgranny.

  • Comment number 32.

    Dear Bill Oddie
    Watched Springwatch tonight, and you were not showing us your hidden camera shots or the beautiful spring animals. Missed you.

  • Comment number 33.

    I am not a bird watcher but I am very much aware of their collective impact in that I grew up in Suffolk and Norfolk in the fifties and I remember very clearly the dawn chorus which was a pretty noisy affair. Now living in London as I do, I count smaller and smaller numbers of swallows in my area. Last year we were down to about five. When I visit East Anglia the dawn Chorus is a very muted affair.

    I read in the paper of the migration of birds from Africa to northern Europe to breed and that tens of thousands are slaughtered by shooters in the southern Mediteranian countries just for fun. This is illegal but carries on regardless.

    If we are worried by the huge drop in the number of birds visiting this country couldn't more be done to reinforce these laws? We are very keen on blaming farmers but it seems to me this slaughter doesn't help.

    I also wonder if there is anywhere in Europe where one might hear a dawn chorus which is anything like the ones I remember as a child.

  • Comment number 34.

    We were so very glad to see you back on our screens during Springwatch Bill, it was a resounding YES, AT LAST, BILL IS BACK!!!!!! from us all. The programme hasn't been half as good without you, your knowledge and humour has been sorley missed. We so hope that you will be included in some way in the new series of both Springwatch and Autumnwatch, we will make sure we tune in to watch every week if you are.

  • Comment number 35.

    Chris and Kate,

    I was walking around our village in deepest darkest Oxfordshire yesterday 26 April and I spotted a Blackbird with a white bib. Is it possible it was a Ring Ozel or more probably a Blackbird with some white feathers. I have to say that the bib was remarkably like the markings of a ring ouzel which was a total surprise to me. I would not have expected to see such a thing in Uk let alone oxfordshire. Is this a possibility.

    Nick Wand

  • Comment number 36.

    Steve & Mandy

    While over the field the last few days we have seen a lot of bumble bees entering a hole in an oak tree but last night you could hear the tree hum and feel the vibration there must be a lot of bees in there to sound like this, are they nesting or just gathering, We live in beddau near pontypridd in wales



  • Comment number 37.

    I saw today two carrion crows tumbling through the sky attacking a third crow. They tumbled over my car bonnet as I was driving and pinned the third crow down and in an instant killed him through several hard blows. I have never seen such a vicious attack. Why would a pair of crows attack a crow in this way?

  • Comment number 38.

    Cuckoo heard 26th April at 12.25. came from South East and went towards East. Has been around now for a few days yelling it's head off. Area is CM8



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