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Springwatch's final week - get involved

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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 16:28 UK time, Monday, 13 June 2011

Another week on Springwatch has seen a procession of dramatic stories unfold...

We've had no end of drama on our live mini cams: from choking buzzard chicks to the sad demise of yet another clutch of pied flycatcher nestlings. On a more positive note, we've been blessed by the endearing sight of the mother buzzard sheltering her chick from the rain, and while the badgers have been elusive, brief sightings of fox cubs have made up for it. And who's couldn't enjoy the privileged view of a nest of grass snakes?

If all of that wasn't enough, we discovered the source of a mystery noise in the owl nest (with the Springwatch audience getting stuck into the process of elimination), and witnessed just how much character you can pack into a wood warbler nest.

Last week also saw our guest presenter Iolo Williams bringing us amazing stories from Skomer and its wealth of seabirds. There was no shortage of magical moments, including this sequence with an adorable puffling.

Our final week promises all manner of wildlife finds, from our live cameras in Mid Wales, to Liz Bonnin unearthing insights at a rubbish tip in Essex.

Of course as ever, we need you... your stories, your wildlife videos and photos and your questions. There's no shortage of ways to get in on the story:

  • On the blog: the team have been blogging regularly about our films, our big themes, our favourite photos, our contributors and more. So if you have an opinion about any of these, or you have a wildlife question you'd like answered, then do post it on the blog.
  • Messageboard: we have three different forums where you can chat about UK wildlife, about the webcams or about the show itself.
  • 'Like' us on our Facebook page for news, chat and more.
  • Share your photos of spring fauna and flora on our Flickr group.
  • Upload your wildlife home movies.
  • Join in the conversation on Twitter with #springwatch.

With a bit of luck we've inspired you to get out and enjoy British nature for yourself. If we have, you can find nature events near you with the BBC's Things To Do website.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I volunteer with a local Wildlife Rescue Society which specialises in rescuing Hedghogs, but I spend a lot of time giving talks to various groups showing a rescued Barn Own.
    I can answer most questions thrown at me but I have difficultly finding the answer to - How fast do Barn Owls FLY? Anybody know!!

    The Own Man (Frank Harrison)

  • Comment number 2.

    Fair Ynys Hir, I was there,
    of all reserves, there's none more fair.
    The air was fresh, the skies were clear,
    when I was there, at Ynys Hir.
    ***
    Visitor Centre already closed
    but squirrels for our cameras posed.
    Garden birds chirped and chattered,
    our presence to them hardly mattered.
    ***
    We walked the peaceful avenues;
    we marvelled at the greens and blues.
    Reeds were rustling and birds still sang,
    with nature's sounds the reserve rang.
    ***
    Acrobatic swallows flew,
    stunning stunts in skies of blue.
    A heron fished, still silhouette,
    determined that a fish he'd get.
    ***
    We relished in this secret land,
    its countless virtues, small and grand.
    Our souls enjoyed the peaceful balm,
    we left there feeling warm and calm.
    ***
    Bright Ynys Hir, I was there,
    breathing of the fresh, clean air.
    The sights and sounds filled me with cheer,
    when I was there, at Ynys Hir.

  • Comment number 3.

    I am a volunteer at a local Animal Rescue Society which specialises in rescuing Hedgehogs, but I spend a lot of time giving talks with a rescued Barn Owl as well (Now a resident at the rescue) to various groups including young people.
    I can answer most questions thrown at me about the Barn Owl but I have had difficulty in finding out - How fast do Barn Owls FLY? Any ideas.

    The Owl Man (Frank Harrison)

  • Comment number 4.

    The above poem is my own creation, inspired by our first visit to Ynys Hir a couple of years ago. I've had such trouble uploading it though, until tonight!

  • Comment number 5.

    should i move my nest box???? They were here when we moved in and i noticed that i have a blue tit family,great stuff i know, buttt, it's directly in the sun and i don't want them sizzled! So, my dilema, to move or not to move???

  • Comment number 6.

    Today we found a baby Starling dead one one of our feeders in our garden. We have a feeder that contains fat balls we put out and these fat balls are held together with netting. The baby starling had been feeding on these and some how got its tongue caught and became distressed and got its tongue twisted more and more. We later found the baby when we got home and think it must have died from shock. We have no idea how it even got its tongue caught or if this is common.......Lydia

  • Comment number 7.

    Chris reckons the blackbird was sizing up the wood warbler chicks for tea, but I reckon the blackbird was wondering whether to share its tea with them. I had a robin's nest which was adopted by a female blackbird in May and then her mate started feeding the chicks as well as the pair of robins. We thought perhaps the blackbirds' own chicks had been predated and then they quickly came across similarly aged robin chicks which they might have thought were their own?

  • Comment number 8.

    How do seagulls discover a tractor ploughing even when nowhere bear the sea or landfill sites?

  • Comment number 9.

    Thought Chris might be interested in this one. We live next to the woods, and about 15 months ago a badger started visiting our garden. We started to put out food and water for it, and it has continued to visit our garden every night since. Last night when it came it had a beautiful tiny badger cub with it. Will this be this years cub? and how old is it likely to be? Is it unusual for us to have had this badger visiting for so long? Catherine Brown, Offerton, Stockport.

  • Comment number 10.

    Thought Chris might be interested in this one. We live next to the woods, and about 15 months ago a badger started visiting our garden. We started to put out food and water for it, and it has continued to visit our garden every night since. Last night when it came it had a beautiful tiny badger cub with it. Will this be this years cub? and how old is it likely to be? Is it unusual for us to have had this badger visiting for so long? Catherine Brown, Offerton, Stockport

  • Comment number 11.

    so how many Manic street preachers tunes is Chris going to get in tonight?

  • Comment number 12.

    MR CHRIS PACKHAM, a challenge to test your skills... I hear your manic preaching every evening, yet without The Holy Bible... I dare you!

  • Comment number 13.

    Magpies and Jays predating nestboxes.
    Just to let you know we only had two Bluetits fledge from our garden nestbox this year, after five successful last year. To make matters worse a Magpie took the first one, then despite our best efforts of chasing the Magpies away most of the morning a Jay pounced and got the other one when we turned our backs.
    Dave

  • Comment number 14.

    We have a nest box in the garden and this had a blue tit family nesting in it. The adults were very active to start with but actress three weeks or so they disappeared.

    I left the box for a week or so and then checked it to find that there was a blanket of moss and animal hair with a small nest built into this blanket. In the nest there were the skeletons of six tiny birds but no evidence of the eggs.

    I assume that either something frightened the adults away or like on the programme tonight, maybe there was not enough food for the adults to find.

    If this is the case what can we do to encourage the right insects into the garden?

  • Comment number 15.

    Curlykj (U14890373) ** on Monday, 13th June 2011 (Just Now)

    We have a small garden with a blue tit box in it. We have had blue tits nest successfully but the last 3 yrs, they have inspected the box, and briefly decided to stay. However, they have suddenly disappeared. It appears the box has been overtaken by bees! This year they are really beautiful...they have little white bottoms. They keep themselves to themselves, hurt noone..yet, and are just so busy doing whatever is they do in there! They start around 8 am and finish around 7pm! What are they actually doing in that box?

    Miss my bluetits but am really loving my bees!

  • Comment number 16.

    Dear Kate, Chris and Martin I absolutely love Spring and Autumnwatch and have seen every series, please could you answer a question for me. In the last month I have seen a lot of dead bees on the pavement mainly on my walk to and from work, I know they are in trouble and I am doing my best to provide a wildlife friendly garden to encourage them. Please can you tell me why so many are dying and what I can do to help them. Thankyou and keep up the great work from Karen B.

  • Comment number 17.

    Dear Team,

    I'm a lonely boy living in a bower!(I kid you not)
    Please have a read of 'Angle Archaeopteryx' on the Unsprung messageboard where
    Jeremy was asking for stories about unusual/daft nests;it's no.653,and I was hoping
    for your views,but it's lost in the mix,methinks!In a nutshell,I watched a pie hover
    just 7ft from me as it fled--along with it's mate--a pursuing blackbird.Hope to hear.

  • Comment number 18.

    Dear Martin and the team,
    An Ode to Asymmetry and the glory of the moment (reference to photography and Chris Packham’s artistic sensibility).

    Ignore the symmetry that dear old Packham seems to strike,
    Any great artist will tell you, whether Constable, Turner or the like,
    Photography like art is often about time
    The moment it seems is not Packham’s shrine
    Symmetry is for the naïve so don’t be afraid
    Nature often tries but gladly refrains
    So if you want the moment to form a picture true
    Ignore the mirror; its image is simply askew.

  • Comment number 19.

    You've told us of blackbirds dying because of dry hard soil and no earth worms - but you didn't tell us what we can put out on our bird tables and feeders to help make up!!
    Incidentally, my blackbirds are fine!
    So are my
    Robins, chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches, song thrush (GORGEOUS,) sparrows, dunnocks, blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, tree creeper, AND a nest hammered into my old apple tree by a great spotted woodpecker and a nest full of babies, now fledged. And whist's happened to yours ? Haven't sent hem since the first week of Springwatch.
    And if anyone wants to come and KILL the starlings, pigeons, ring collared doves, crows, jackdaws, magpies, and pheasants - drat the lot of them - you would be very
    welcome !!!
    I bought in the winter from the RSPB, a nest box and camera, and put it in place of my 20 year old box which has several lots of babies ever year....and not a thing have I seen ! I cannot work it, it won't show on my TV (it is a special expensive wireless one too). I'm so disappointed?

  • Comment number 20.

    You've told us of blackbirds dying because of dry hard soil and no earth worms - but you didn't tell us what we can put out on our bird tables and feeders to help make up!!
    Incidentally, my blackbirds are fine!
    So are my
    Robins, chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches, song thrush (GORGEOUS,) sparrows, dunnocks, blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, tree creeper, AND a nest hammered into my old apple tree by a great spotted woodpecker and a nest full of babies, now fledged. And what's happened to yours ? Haven't sent them since the first week of
    Springwatch.

    And if anyone wants to come and KILL the starlings, pigeons, ring collared doves, crows, jackdaws, magpies, and pheasants - drat the lot of them - you would be very
    welcome !!!
    I bought in the winter from the RSPB, a nest box and camera, and put it in place of my 20 year old box which has several lots of babies ever year....and not a thing have I seen ! I cannot work it, it won't show on my TV (it is a special expensive wireless one too). I'm so disappointed?

  • Comment number 21.

    You mention that all the baby birds need constant feeding but what about water? What stops them from dehydrating as I never see the parents bringing liquid naturally to the birds?

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm in Devon and we think have tawny's nesting in our garden somewhere,We have seen atleast 3 juveniles and an adult.Last night we saw one of them sitting on a fence whilst the adult hunted for food and the frequency of the feeds would suggest it probably wasn't mice or voles as she did this quite a few times to feed the same one.What else could she be feeding them?.Also would a tawny ever nest in a thick bunch of conifers?,it appeared as if the adult kept going into them whilst one of the youngsters ramained on the floor.

  • Comment number 23.

    I cannot get my video to load so am adding a link to the fox that responds to the sit command
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHFy1-Zzxrw
    :-)

  • Comment number 24.

    For several years a wren has used an old swallow's nest as a base for her own in our woodshed. This year the swallows have built their nest right up against the wren's and appear to be feeding the chicks whilst incubating their own eggs. This only become apparent when I installed a webcam. Is this unusual behaviour ? Also, being country folk all our lives, we had never seen a stoat until a family of them has been raised in the wood pile outside the shed. Should the wrens and swallows start to worry!

  • Comment number 25.

    Love Springwatch! Wondered if anyone could let me know why Starling youngsters make noises like they are sneezing or spitting!??? I've noticed this over the last couple of years whilst hosting a flock of extremely garrulous and amusing Starlings during the breeding season. They don't do it all the time - just sporadically! Hope you can help. Can't wait for tonight's episode- thanks for the fantastic entertainment =)

  • Comment number 26.

    Just had to share this, today we have had two Little Owls in our garden. We've seen one on its own for the past three/four years but never two together. Hubby put a nestbox up a few days ago and one sat on it today.

    It's probably a bit late for this year but fingers crossed for next year.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi, I have a question about photography and wonder if someone could help me?
    I currently use a standard digital camera to take wildlife/nature photographs, but I would like to buy a camera that will allow me to take more detailed photographs, like the ones on Springwatch's photo club.
    Does anyone have any advice of what to look for when buying a camera? (What types of lenses etc. would you recommend for a novice?)
    Many thanks! :)

  • Comment number 28.

    Hi, I have a question about photography and wonder if someone could help me? I currently use a standard digital camera to take wildlife/nature photographs, but I would like to buy a camera that will allow me to take more detailed photographs, like the ones on Springwatch’s photo club.
    Does anyone have any advice about what to look for when buying a camera (What types of lenses etc. would you recommend for a novice?)
    Many thanks! :)

  • Comment number 29.

    We have lots of fledglings - goldfinch, tits, chaffinch, greenfinch, robin, on our feeders, both feeding themselves and being fed by parents. In past week, have witnessed four collisions of youngsters into conservatory glass - one fatality; others recovered. Wondered how widespread this is.

  • Comment number 30.

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

  • Comment number 31.

    farming yet again: it's not widely known but pea, bean and potatoes are sprayed with herbicides to make harvesting easier. i think that just about covers my gripes with farming, although there could well be others.

    incidently, the two nests in this year's springwatch were absolutely beautiful. i am of course referring to the buzzard and the kite. as an ex-wildlife photographer myself, i know a nice looking nest when i see one, and they were great.

  • Comment number 32.

    Dear Team , do birds inter-breed as do other species of animals , ie: dogs , fish , etc ! We do not know ! Love the series ! The Smith-Pitt family , Bury St. Edmunds

  • Comment number 33.

    Do ladybirds generally bite? I only realised that one was visiting our outside "patch" this am.when I received a sharp nip on my inner forearm! Unfortunately I didn't manage to count the spots (the ladybird's, not drops of my blood!) or grab a photo - but the ladybird was a slightly orangey red colour and quite heavily spotted all over. This isn't the first time that I've been nipped - maybe I'm particularly attractive to these particular minibeasts ... mosquitoes certainly always feast royally and never go hungry whenever I'm around!! Also, when I was young, a similarly biting ladybird then "blew" a yellow transparent bubble of something from some part of its anatomy ... this memory has stayed with me and I have often meant to find out what the odd behaviour (and substance!) might have been. Any ideas? And again, is this behaviour common? (I presume these things constitute some kind of defensive action ... although I'm not aware that I've ever done anything other than just to be in the same space!) Thanks, TB.

  • Comment number 34.

    Can the viewers be told what REALLY made the mystery noise - ie the male barn owl. please read my message 268 and others yesterday.
    Peter Smith

  • Comment number 35.

    My two daughters were in the hottub today when they noticed some wasps flying in and out of the hottub housing. When we took the panel off we found a wasps nest. I guess it's the ideal place, nice and warm. Beware all hottub owners. :0)

  • Comment number 36.

    At 20:36 14th Jun 2011, You wrote:
    Hi Team...this evening at 6pm, I saw 2 black ants dragging a fairly big bumblebee along the road. I couldn't see an ant's nest nearby and the bee looked like she was in some trouble..but she still had some movement. I know we shouldn't intervene but I am passionate about bees so I removed the ants (unharmed)..they were persistent in trying to get the bee back...I put her on a flower and on checking later, she was gone.Hope she survived.My question is...what was going on??? Were the ants going to eat her???

  • Comment number 37.

    chris looks to have got it wrong again with the fox taking food into the badger set if you look to the left of screen the fox leaves the way the badger came in sorry chris

  • Comment number 38.

    We have recently been having our chicken eggs being eaten. At first I thought it was either rats or a fox. However, yesterday I saw a Magpie go ito the nesting box and a few minutes later it came out with a broken egg and finished eating the contents of the egg before flying off.

  • Comment number 39.

    i'm guessing those buzzards are helping themselves to the grass snakes on the compost heaps. it might be an idea to cage these heaps; some things are just too good to eat, i'm sure there's plenty of other prey around.

  • Comment number 40.

    Two more examples of how desperate blackbirds have been this spring:
    We had a pair of blackbirds repeatedly coming into the kitchen through the open door and taking cat food from one of our cats bowls while we, but not the cats, were a few feet away. Felt it necessary to discourage this dangerous, if ironic, behaviour (3 cats) so started leaving leftover cat food in as safe position in the garden. Seemed to work, soon had honeysuckle full of fledglings.
    At the same time, while walking into the entrance of my workplace saw a female blackbird running out of a low bush with a small blue egg (dunnock or robin?) in its beak.

  • Comment number 41.

    I really object to tagging the animals - it must distress them & it is a violation of their freedom. I don't know how the team square supporting this & clearly caring deeply for them. Is it really justified so we know that a cuckoo has flown so far in so many days from A to B? Big deal!!

  • Comment number 42.

    did cris and martin see Garrulax formosus in the isle of man?red winged laughing thrush!

  • Comment number 43.

    I share the excellent Chris Packham's frustration over Brits "still languishing in the Imperial age" of measurements, but would respect his stance even more if he and his colleagues would just pronounce Kilometre correctly. When I was taught the metric system at school in the 1950s, the relatively few Brits who used the word in those days said Kilo-metre, not Kil-ometer. As my father - who was in Germany with the RAF after the war - explained, the Americans occupying their zones of West Germany and Austria adopted the German spelling, Kilometer, but not the German pronunciation, confusing it instead with the -ometers, or measuring instruments, within the English language. That ugly aberration subsequently spread, courtesy of Hollywood war movies. The entire - far superior - metric system is properly and consistently pronounced everywhere else in the world by placing the accent on the defining first syllable of every measurement.

    Apart from that, Springwatch etc. are great series, and enormous thanks to the brilliantly professional team members on both sides of the cameras.

  • Comment number 44.

    The wildlife on the Pitsea landfill site is amazing, but is there a downside? We all know of the injuries our rubbish can do to wildlife, so are there many cases of gulls being caught in the plastic ties from drinks’ cans, mice trapped in bottles, foxes with heads in tins etc?

  • Comment number 45.

    this song-bird protectionists group: i cannot help but think of that line in the good book, 'beware of false prophets'.

  • Comment number 46.

    will someone ask kate why do birds fly south for the winter,,,my granson says because its to far to walk..{sorry.but i liked it }

  • Comment number 47.

    A Poem from a House in Herts:-)

    There's Springwatch on the laptop and I'm wandering round the house
    There's Buzzard in the bedroom and he's hunting for a mouse
    Barn Owl babies in the bathroom all barking for a bite
    Mum's cooking in the kitchen to the sound of a big Red Kite.
    I open up my wardrobe and a warbler's in my way,
    I'm trying to put my clothes on to get on with my day.
    Heron's in the hallway, he's strutting to and fro,
    And Osprey's in the office where the piles of paperwork grow.
    I'll miss my evening viewing when there's no more Springwatch Live
    But I'm loving that you've taught me how to help our wildlife thrive.

    Thanks Springwatch Team for helping to make home education fun.
    See you in the Autumn.
    From Thomas Edgecombe and his Mum
    Near Hitchin in Hertfordshire

  • Comment number 48.

    There's Springwatch on the laptop and I'm wandering round the house
    There's Buzzard in the bedroom and he's hunting for a mouse
    Barn Owl babies in the bathroom all barking for a bite
    Mum's cooking in the kitchen to the sound of a big Red Kite.
    I open up my wardrobe and a warbler's in my way,
    I'm trying to put my clothes on to get on with my day.
    Heron's in the hallway, he's strutting to and fro,
    And Osprey's in the office where the piles of paperwork grow.
    I'll miss my evening viewing when there's no more Springwatch Live
    But I'm loving that you've taught me how to help our wildlife thrive.

    Thanks Springwatch Team for helping to make home-education even more enjoyable.
    See you in the Autumn.
    From Thomas Edgecombe and his Mum
    Near Hitchin in Hertfordshire

  • Comment number 49.

    Chris:- Largest British carnivore? Is a Grey Seal as large as a Killer Whale then?

  • Comment number 50.

    Killer Whales definitely occur in british coastal waters

  • Comment number 51.

    Behind the scenes: Mr Packham in amongst the orchids on Tuesday at Ynyslas dunes:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/walesnature/2011/06/springwatch_visit_to_ynyslas_d.html

  • Comment number 52.

    We were at Leighton Moss Nature Reserve a couple of weeks ago and we saw a blackbird with a completely white head. Has anyone else ever seen anything similar?

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi ,we have bats in our loft this is the 3rd year they have returned,my son and I counted them this year and there is currently 49 of them,its amazing watching them at dusk,will they have to be moved at some point because they will obviously increase in numbers ?

  • Comment number 54.

    I live on the outskirts of a little mining village right on the edge of the woodland, there is a disused quarry not far from me, there is a falcon's nest in there with 3 chicks! i feel very lucky seeing this every day!!

  • Comment number 55.

    I've got a real mystery on my hands and are desperate for you guys help. Foxes and badgers have been coming to my garden every night for 7 years for food without fail they've suddenly stop coming and can't think why. Any ideas as to why they are not coming anymore? I live in a housing estate near a wooded area

  • Comment number 56.

    We must be lucky in our garden our green woodpecker feasts himself on our peanuts the other birds don't get a look in .

  • Comment number 57.

    Do all birds have a nictitating lens over their eyes? I recently photographed a juvenille robin having a bath at the edge of a river and it appeared to have a nictitating lens over it's eye. I am used to seeing this on dippers but have never seen it on any other birds..

  • Comment number 58.

    I went for a run on Sunday and the route took me across Datchet Bridge over the River Thames at Windsor. I stood and watched hundreds of swallows (maybe swifts) swooping around, clearly feeding on clouds of insects swarming over the river. Having decided to try to take a photo from my mobile phone I took a minute to set it up by which time... all birds but one had disappeared!
    Was it just my presence far below that sent them away or do they come and go in swathes, all off to feed their young at the same time?

  • Comment number 59.

    Hi,
    My husband and I today went for a lovely walk along the River Cuckmere. We had such a lovely time spotting lots of different birds and I just wanted to share with you those that we could identify: yellow hammer, heron, swan, lots of canada geese, great tit, several juvenile egyptian geese and one adult one, swift, black headed gulls, cormorant, nightingale, greenfinch, magpie, crow and a little red bird which we haven't been able to identify, possibly a crossbill.
    During one of the Springwatch programmes, a viewer made the comment that British bird are boring, my husband and I beg to differ and think they are fantastic. I'm sure you agree.
    Best wishes.
    Lianne

  • Comment number 60.

    Re the many young frogs/toads I witnessed a similar thing near Orchardleigh Somerset last year (at about this time of year), on a footpath near the lake.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hi springwatch gang
    Are barn owls left/right footed. As they brought in all those shrews/voles they seemed to bring them in with the left or right foot. Is there leftys in the barn owl world?
    Or is it just how the shrews have been caught

  • Comment number 62.

    hi strange question for you all need a bit of help would a green woodpecker mare with a great spotted woodpecker we have a woodpecker hole in a tree were we live it has chicks but not popping there heads out yet hence the question both the great and green woodpecker go to the hole but never go in to what we have seen early this morning the green woodpecker was with 4 great spotted woodpecker fledglings on a telephone pole it cant be the chics from the nest as they are not ready so would the 2 be mating or is there anouter reason for this thanks

    Reply to this message 1

  • Comment number 63.

    If you are not getting any Badgers from your Welsh sets, is this because they have all been slaughtered by DEFRA????? As I understand Welsh Badgers were still culled despite the ban in the rest of England??

  • Comment number 64.

    Hi, just watched the Raven on tonight's show. When I was younger maybe early 70's parents took us on holiday to Angelsey, stayed on a farm near a small nature reserve near a big aluminium smelting works.
    Nature reserve had a Raven called Tommy, he was always escaping and tormenting people, he collected windscreen wipers from cars and on one occasion a lady driver in a traffic jam jumped out so angry that she threw car keys at him, he dropped wiper and took keys back to his cage!
    I fell in love with him and wanted to take him home to Croydon, I did hear that he was sent to be a Raven at Tower of London.
    Does anybodyelse remember him?

  • Comment number 65.

    We need to get kids off the sofa and outside!... Any chance of a Junior Springwatch with prizes to motivate our kids of today?

  • Comment number 66.

    Regarding Chris’s enlightening look at the bee orchid yesterday, surely in time bees will realise that the plant is not a bee, and so will ignore it? Will the orchid then evolve to imitate some other insect species?

  • Comment number 67.

    hi,

    cates here again. if kate could e-mail me concerning the rainforest campaign i'd be grateful. only by harvesting the natural products and getting these forests to earn their way out of destruction, can we ever hope to save them.

    anyway, if you could pass the message on.

    thank you.

  • Comment number 68.

    the coverge from Pitsea this week hs been very interesting, especially for a native Baso! but what I would like to know is - whats the timespan for public access to the site. ie when can we explore and have a wander around. The reason I ask is that my beautiful green space I've looked at from my front door, walked the dog on, taken the kids there when they were very young, they played footy on etc. for the past 30 odd years is being turned into a housing estate. Work is already starting. Its breaking my heart to see this happening and its not the only green space in the town that this has and is happening to. Early on in the series the loss of countryside hedgerows and habitats was discussed but its not just happening there. My space covers an area big enough for 4 footy pitches plus a bit more its divided by hedgerows, it has a fair assortment of trees, two small ponds and several back gardens which all attract quite a bit of wildlife. Oh what the heck when it comes down to it I'm just going to miss it.

  • Comment number 69.

    Can you imagine catching magpies in cages and then killing them because they might harm birds you are raising for somebody to enjoy shooting? Anybody coming into my garden to kill magpies, grey squirrels, or anything else they don't like had better be prepared to deal with three rottweilers.

  • Comment number 70.

    I have a sink bowl full of common frog tadpoles which have not gone thro the metamorphosis process, they have been in this process since beginning of March,
    They have clean water & have oxygen weed and I feed them, is there any advice you can give me as I would like to see them forming asap
    Regards C.S.

  • Comment number 71.

    My friend rescued a greenfinch chick - 10yrs ago! She wouldn't fly away, and so bacame part of the household. Still alive and strong. How long do finches live?

  • Comment number 72.

    Last week's feature on hedgehogs was very interesting. However, I think Springwatch (and the BBC) missed an ideal opportunity to highlight just how destructive slug pellets can be to these delightful creatures. Providing holes to allow hedgehogs to travel between adjacent gardens is surely a reckless thing to do when these pellets are still used extensively?

    It's all very well Chris Packham wearing t-shirts in support of woodlice, cockroaches etc. Perhaps one condemning slug pellet use would have been more appropriate.

    Is this another case of 'BBC compliance rules' and the desire not to offend 'middle England'?

  • Comment number 73.

    I saw a red kite flying over the Lower Bruckland nature area near Seaton in East Devon. Have never seen them in this area before. Is this unusual?

  • Comment number 74.

    You might be interested in this behaviour of a family of Great Crested Grebes I caught at Hatfield Forest a couple of weeks ago.

    One of the parents caught or found a very large Crayfish, and tried to feed it to it's chick...

    http://marklcaton-images.co.uk/nature/a-grebes-diet

    Mark

  • Comment number 75.

    I would like to say what a breath of fresh air Liz Bonning represents on Springwatch. She is clearly not the normal wildlife presenter but someone who seems to have a keen scientific knowledge that she can use to explain things with utmost clarity and an obvious enjoyment of her subject which is very infectious. More please.

  • Comment number 76.

    On Tuesday while visiting my sister in Worcester I was surprised to see what from a distance I thought was a hoverfly but when I got closer saw it was a moth which I now believe to be a "Hummingbird Hawkmoth" It was feeding on flowers at the side of the drive was the first time I had ever seen one. The wings seemed to be transparent which was all due to the speed of them. Was quite amazing. Hope I have the correct name.

  • Comment number 77.

    Thank you for an intersting Springwatch but thought you should know that our local Crow beat your Raven by 3 years to the catch-it-on-a-string trick! I could not understand why the fat balls that I hung on the apple tree always disappeared before any of the other birds had a chance. Naturally I blamed the grey squirrels but then I caught the crow in action. It had a lot more practice than the Raven and its execution of the trick was very slick. The pair of crows are now outnumbered by Jackdaws, Magpies and the odd Jay but still visit regularly having observed our garden for suitable food from the top of a douglas fir. They use the water dishes to soften their food and amused us by stealing(?) a sandwich from a nearby building site and separating it into its constituent parts by floating it on the water and removing it bit by bit. Re: The question regarding can birds smell or taste their food I have noticed that they do not seem to be adversly affected by the Lawn Food (in pellet form) even though it can easily be mistaken by the birds for food - the lack of casualties seems to indicate they know the difference. Am I right to continue uing this form of food Please?

  • Comment number 78.

    Re #33 above which I posted on 14th June - Just an update to say that the sharp nip which this ladybird gave me has come up in a small red rather itchy mark - with the bite mark clearly visible in the centre! - so I'd be really interested to know if ladybird bites are common and what causes these now threatened bugs to behave this way. Maybe they just don't like the way I smell ..?! Thanks, and good luck for the last of this season's shows tonight ... soon be autumn!! (Hope that both the Welsh wildlife and whole SW team are all managing OK in the current downpours ..!) Rgds, TB/EB.

    PS - We have really enjoyed Liz Bonnin's reports from Pitsea (what a lovely shot of her sheer delight whilst watching those ingenious, adaptable bees emerging from their new (oh-so-appropriate and site-specific road-sweeper-brush!!) home ... trust nature to so amusingly re-balance humans' discarded mess!

  • Comment number 79.

    I think the Oystercatcher is just hormonal ..! We were "mobbed" at the w/e by an extremely hungry and oddly-behaving pregnant female mallard, who - having stuffed her gizzard till it bulged hideously - finally flew off with her ever-present mate, to - we feel sure - give birth to a giant family on a nearby nest! All the best, TB.

  • Comment number 80.

    What is the purpose of the stripes on the natterjack toads' backs plse? Thks, TB.

    PS - Our blackbirds here in Wapping, London seem to be thriving, and continuing to successfully breed (two separate fledglings feeding even on our own balcony - where we also have different types of woodlice, millipedes, spiders, moths, flies, ladybirds, green and black fly, etc, etc, et al ...). Sparrows and starlings are also increasingly spreading eastwards!

    PPS - The incidental music has actually fitted the footage brilliantly this spring (not the usual constantly intrusive offerings on every other single programme ...). But now ... what?! Snails?? What about tests on base speaker v non-adaptive humans!?? Totally TOP Nests tho' ... (extreme sports, high-flying crow - bizarre!!!) And Ho-Down, get-it-down Bob Wol - wonderful! (Oh dear, more PS's far longer than initial msg. ... oops, sorry!) Thks.all, TB.
    WOW - fantastic send-off ... very clever all (Chris again me-thinks! - 'tho' we didn't manage to spot ALL the "drops" during the three weeks ...) A big thank you again to all involved and gdbye SW team and wildlife!

  • Comment number 81.

    How is it that they have bovine TB on the Isle of Man without having badgers? Also, in our area - Kent - Bovine TB is rare but there are plenty of badgers. Does the soil type have anything to do with this?
    Pat

 

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