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Springwatch Unsprung is back for 2012!

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Martin Hughes-Games Martin Hughes-Games | 14:17 UK time, Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Unsprung is back! To help us make some sizzling shows we'd love you to send us any weird and wonderful things you'd like to show us. Or perhaps mystery objects to test Chris and maybe find out what they are. We love stuff off your own nature table.

Sadly we can't send things back but if it's super-precious please send us a picture and perhaps we could arrange something? Just one more thing... please, nothing too smelly or rotten if you don't mind. And in the meantime, please keep adding your spring nature photos to the Springwatch Flickr group.

Here's the address:
Springwatch
BBC
Broadcasting House
Whiteladies Road
Bristol
BS8 2LR

Springwatch returns to BBC Two on Monday 28 May

Error: Too many requests have been made during a short time period so you have been blocked.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    "we'd love you to send us any weird and wonderful things you'd like to show us."

    Weird and wonderful....... I'll bring myself along to be in the audience on June 6th! ;-) Feeling excited and nervous at the same time!

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Martin. How do I upload a photo for you? It's of loads of cormorants sitting in trees at night time.

  • Comment number 3.

    I have been taking regular pictures of slime mould on a tree but dont use Flickr. Any good? Very wierd stuff!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Ooooh! Done it:)
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/1051403@N21/?added=3
    I didn't know that cormorants congregated at night in trees!

  • Comment number 5.

    How you manage that then Katherine ?? Green with envy!

    Springwatchers....have I missed something ? Obviously you know where you going to be but have you disclosed to the rest of us yet or is it still a deep dark secret ? :-)

    I'm going to be in West Wales for week 2.....hopefully visiting Skomer (weather permitting) is it too much to hope for a bit of Iolo ?

    Really looking forward to the series....sure it will tremendous hardwork for all of you but believe me we do appreciate it....big time !

  • Comment number 6.

    I got privately invited, Jojo - it's from Ynys-hir again this year, and in 2013 too. I visited Ynys-hir last September and was shown the shed by a volunteer! When everything was confirmed, I just sat back in my computer chair absolutely stunned!

  • Comment number 7.

    Nice one Katherine...lucky girl ! You'll have to give us all a wave :-)

    Thanks for info on whereabouts of "the team" !

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Martin/Unsprung, I wonder if you could explain some baffling behaviour of a few Long Tailed Tits up here in Puckeridge. I've uploaded a video to you tube and the strange tapping starts around 00:35 secs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTbwverQHM0

    This has happened a dozen or so times since February and last weekend while we were outside in the car watching one persistent little bird was having a go solo ! Note the infra red eye in the middle of the window sill which I've deliberately set up to automatically sense anyone at the door, because of the Tits frequent visits the battery is now well worn out !

    Terry & Chrissi
    Puckeridge

  • Comment number 9.

    Hi

    Thought I would share this video my Dad took at Newtown Creek on the Isle of Wight on Good Friday. Apparently it is Akera bullata and rarely seen like this in these parts. Would love any further info you have on this little creature, he/she was very endearing.

    Thanks, Lucy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXagxh1u_K4&feature=youtu.be

  • Comment number 10.

    Any possibility of seeing nesting Little Owls live this year, Springwatch Team?

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi Folks,
    We currently have two pairs of Serin ground feeding. Looks like two adult and two juvenile. We are 10 miles SW of Newcastle upon Tyne. Will let you know how long they stay.
    cheers john

  • Comment number 12.

    -Just one more thing... please, nothing too smelly or rotten if you don't mind.-

    Aaaaahhh, that's a pity..........

  • Comment number 13.

    I have a big bumble bee making a nest in my compost bin, what flowers do they like best? how long does a colony last? what time of year will it be ok to turn my compost without disturbing the nest?

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Martin!

    I'd be really grateful if somebody could tell me what's hitching a ride on this tiny waspy fly thing, which I saw in the garden a couple of weeks ago.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/claudecat/6922316692/

    Thanks!

    Barking Badger
    x

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi
    we have just moved to SW France, my husband put an owl box up 2 weeks ago in an oak tree and we have a little owl in there already!!
    Any tips on how to keep him there???

  • Comment number 16.

    I agree with littlejojo61, please can we have more of Iolo Williams?

  • Comment number 17.

    Knowing Chris' love of Sparrowhawks and birds in general I would really like Chris' opinion on some very interesting footage I caught by luck. I had just started filming a Grey Wagtail by the edge of a river, when just after I started filming a Sparrowhawk swooped out of nowhere at the Grey Wagtail. What is fascinating is that just as the Sparrowhawk was about to hit the Wagtail, the Wagtail dived completely under the water. Underwater it then reversed its direction exiting the water from the opposite direction. Incrediby the Sparrowhawk turned on a six-pence, but the change in direction of the Wagtail gave it just enough of a head start to outfly the Sparrowhawk.

    It was shot at 50 frames per second in full HD. So even though there is lots of blurring due to the speed you can see what happens. There is a link to the YouTube version below, in which there is a repeat in slow motion.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Z0UepbtVZ44

    I have taken frame by frame stills which allow you to see what happened clearly. I would be happy to send these and a copy of the original footage in. Below is an extract from one still, which shows how the Wagtail disappeared completely underwater at the split second the Sparrowhawk was about to hit it. As it's a bit blurred I have placed arrows and labels so you can see what is what.
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6744532729_6eb4ea3f5c_o.jpg

    I'm not sure if this behaviour has ever been recorded or is known about. Dave Culley from Sparrowhawk Island who Chris was featured visiting has seen it. I have not been able to find any reference to this behaviour on the internet. The Grey Wagtail was so unflustered that within a minute or so it was feeding about 100m downstream. This is what makes me think that this behaviour must be regular because the Wagtail knew exactly what to do. If you watch the video carefully the Wagtail only saw the Sparrowhawk a split second before reacting. However, it is the way it reversed itself underwater is what is incredible. If it had emerged the same direction it entered, the Sparrowhawk would have caught it when it turned around. Given the speed it was travelling at, it was incredible the Sparrowhawk turned so quickly. You can see its head turns almost immediately. I thought this would appeal to Chris' scientific mind.

  • Comment number 18.

    I took this footage recently of adders at Hatfield Moor........question.....do snakes yawn? Can anyone help http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFPP9Am0cXY&list=UUJhyKrynCo8L0gMSQARj4ww&index=1&feature=plcp

  • Comment number 19.

    I live an work down near dartmoor. we have some woods behind our building and in autumn we have alot of small black flies. I was quite surprised in autumn when a bat the size of my fist decided to fly into the building though an open window, and then proceeded to hunt any flies on the wing. Once these were gone it would then brush the ceiling with it's wings to dislodge any flies on the celing and when these were all gone calmly left through the same window. This happenned on a number of occassions. I have some ppoor quality phone footage if anyone is interested, be warned I'm not a cameraman!

  • Comment number 20.

    Agree would be great to see some Little Owl coverage....know Martin fond of them and we have had a brief glimpse in previous series but they're so beautiful..... would be wonderful to see a bit more.

  • Comment number 21.

    I've been observing the small bird population in an area of about 40m x 40m in the village here at Thornton Dale in Nth Yorks and over the past weeks it has been going down instead of up as migrants come in . This is , I have realised , owing to the presence of a pair of Sparrowhawks which are predating around peoples bird feeders . This is nothing new , but in a situation where farmland is depleted of feedstock and the birds are feeding instead at exposed feeding stations then the predators are decimating them . We must therefor STOP FEEDING THE BIRDS in Spring ie NOW so that the birds disperse into the areas which farmers are , with a lot of encouragement , setting aside for them . Only this will prevent an imbalance of predators to predated establishing .
    I hope someone on Springwatch will voice this concern
    Thanks and over to you Guys

  • Comment number 22.

    Can anyone advise how I can contact the Springwatch team without going public.....there is something cool happening in my city that i'd rather not share just at the moment....but it would make a great Springwatch story or feature...thanks.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hi Martin,
    I have a Blue Tit nest box with two cameras in it.
    Link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/the-bluetit-nestbox
    Or on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Blue-Tits/330914246943787
    It is streamed Live on Ustream 24hrs a day. I also record all footage to disk in HQ.
    You are welcome to any recordings.
    Mrs Blue Tit laid her first egg 12th April.
    Good luck with the new programme!

  • Comment number 24.

    Mal Jones (post 21). This subject of predators was dealt with, not very well in my opinion, in a recent Spring or Autumn watch programme. I am interested in genuine scientific contributions to this debate even though the SW producers probably won't be.

    Do you think the area you are studying is large enough to be representative both in terms of size and the range of different habitats of resident birds and the migrants, many of which are woodland or farmland birds and relatively rare visitors to garden feeders, which you expect to replace them? Have you taken into account the fact that the UK populations of some birds, particularly thrushes (including robins and blackbirds), are significantly boosted by winter migrants and that many of the apparently resident birds you have been seeing until recently will in fact have been winter migrants which will over the last few weeks have returned to their breeding grounds? How have you factored into your calculation the significant proportion of both resident and summer migrants which will now spend the majority of their time sitting on eggs? Do you intend to continue your study long enough to see whether the reduced competition for food results in larger broods and more young successfully fledged for the surviving birds or the presence of predators brings about natural dispersion to set aside land?

  • Comment number 25.

    I understand the Linnet has declined in numbers over the last few years so we are surprised to see them nesting in our garden. Hope this is a sign that their are increasing in number.

    Jo

  • Comment number 26.

    "we'd love you to send us any weird and wonderful things you'd like to show us"

    We keep finding small mystery poos in our toilet; the mystery being recently solved by discovering that two large slugs have set up home in our cistern; no mean feat as they must have climbed the 20 or so feet up our overflow pipe to get in(!) Luckily filming this nature spectacle would be fairly simple if you are interested, or is this "too smelly or rotten" (??)

    Loving your work
    Caffy 8 )

  • Comment number 27.

    I just tried to post a lengthy reply to Pen y bont Mike but the system swallowed it and I still saw we should stop feeding now because predation at feeders represents a mini population crash . Springwatch Chris please comment

    Mal Jones

  • Comment number 28.

    I have just heard a cuckoo! this first one this year for me. Sulehay woods Yarwell Road Northants

  • Comment number 29.

    I know my comments are slightly off topic, so mods feel free to remove my comment if you think it a serious digression. However, the messageboards are not open, so it is the only way of communicating with Springwatch, and my apologies for using Martin's article for this.

    I think that plants and wildflowers tend to be cinderalla subjects on Springwatch/Autumnwatch. This is understandable because the furry, feathered, scaly, slimy or many legged things are a bit more active. However, the vegetation matters.

    People are asking for a plant/wildflower identification thread on the Springwatch Flickr group.
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/bbcspringwatch/discuss/72157629794151991/

    So just a quick plea for things vegetational to get a look in. I realise that the Springwatch team are probably busy with preparations, but now's a good time to consider this.

  • Comment number 30.

    I think a Springwatch free of the usual "easy to film" mammals like seals, badgers otters and deer, would be an improvement. And less time devoted to cameramen and more to wildlife in general.

    Nesting Little Owls and nesting Nuthatches would be a pleasant change, if not too much of a challenge for cameramen who rely too much on technology and very little on skill.

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi - don't know if this is the right place, but we've just seen our first 2 swallows this morning - up at Catterick in North Yorkshire - in the stables with our horses - is this early for them???

  • Comment number 32.

    Dear Chris Packham,
    I have a tiny back garden and I have realised that a great tit is nesting in a large pot, 50 cms tall, leaning against my back wall. The trouble is that the pot is tall and narrow necked in the shape of an amphora – the bird flits in and out happily but how are the chicks going to get out when they fledge?
    Should I leave well alone or should I move the pot to a more horizontal angle.
    I have managed to take a tiny film clip of the pot and bird – blink and you will miss it – I can e-mail it to you if you want to see it but I need an e-mail address.
    I would appreciate your advice if this is possible.

  • Comment number 33.

    Angeads two Swallows are not alone at this ?early date . I spotted two on a wire near Pickering Nth Yorks on 13th April.

    And, this evening , on my neighbours empty bird feeder a beautiful male Sparrow hawk , not 10 ft away, looking at me questioningly about the absence of small birds to eat !
    Maybe he and his mate have scared them all off as Pen y bont Mike suggests happens , or he's just plain eaten them all ! I bow to Mikes train of thought on the need for a scientific evaluation , but this guy looked hungry and not a bird in sight worth eating

  • Comment number 34.

    Today, at our little pond, we noticed that Demelza and Ros (Mallards who have been visiting each year for six years since the pond was built) look as though they may be trying to ... NEST!!!

  • Comment number 35.

    +1 on the less commonly seen species (and indeed more on the plantlife, for what would spring be without it). More deer would be good but then I always want more deer (particularly roe)! Owls of any species would be very welcome too....

  • Comment number 36.

    I photographed a Bluetit with an elongated beak in my garden in Devon on 21/04/2012. Never seen one before. Could it be a bluetit/treecreeper cross?

    I would value observations and comments. I have placed images on youtube.com http://youtu.be/w3mp8jKW2-M

  • Comment number 37.

    Brian Meadows' Bluetit also seems to have big feet! Maybe good for tree creeping ? Maybe it is a cross . Or is it all a trick of the light - I see plenty of them being a mere Twitcher . Maybe there are also Tree Creepers in your garden with blue feathers and short beaks from the same clutch ?!

    Mal Jones

  • Comment number 38.

    OR Even a Bluetit cross Nuthatch
    Mal Jones

  • Comment number 39.

    Your bird is definitely a Blue tit not a cross or hybrid. Whist beak deformities are not particulary common they are not particularly rare either. I have never seen one myself but have seen several photos of them on the internet over the last few years. In fact there was a photo of one posted in a discussion on the Springwatch Flickr group quite recently and several people commented that they had seen similar and suggested possible causes
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/bbcspringwatch/discuss/72157629675269343/

  • Comment number 40.

    I was waking my dog at Waltham on the Wolds in Leicestershire and found field mushrooms today 24th April 2012. I have taken a photo. Has anyone else found field mushrooms and why are they appearing now instead of September? We also saw our first pair of swallows this morning, but I expect lots of people have seen them too, but the first mushrooms before the first cuckoo?
    Jenny

  • Comment number 41.

    There is a variety of Agaricus mushroom namely Agaricus Xanthoderma which could be mistaken for the edible Agaricus and which grows on forest fringes but also in parks and meadows . I don't know if this comes early. If the stem is cut and not plucked , this Agaricus stem will turnyellow within 15 second . A plateful will make you wish you hadn't gone out without a ( less than 3inch ) knife in your pocket.
    I don't recomend eating any fungus which you have not seen someone else consume and live .
    I do recall reading that one fungus which is 'poisonous ', actually contains no poison but our digestive system uses what it does contain to produce a deadly substance ! Possibly one of the Amanitus types some of which are edible . So be careful out there Jenny !
    Mal Jones

  • Comment number 42.

    Out walking last night in Shirebrook Woods, near Mansfield, Notts and heard a cuckoo. Wonderful to hear.

  • Comment number 43.

    Can we send in videos? i have filmed a very stupid blue tit and would like to know what it is doing?

  • Comment number 44.

    A few years ago when I was living in central Brittany I had a Cuckoo , roosting in a conifer at the corner of my very rural garden through Spring and long into Summer , which didn't say Cuck Coo but Cuck Rrrrrr . It was very elusive but eventually gave me a marvellous view as it flew low in front of me , only 3 metres away and into a bush by my gate and posed fro a while before disappearing never to be heard again. A female Cuckoo ! - with a sore throat. Not surprising as it called incessantly through those months !
    However, I have since put it around in England among the Birders , who are less likely to think me mad , that this must be the call a female Cuckoo makes to attract a mate . Only one responded positively . A Birder that is . He was quite firm in his agreement - but didn't actually say he had heard this call.
    Can anyone confirm that it is true .

    Mal Jones

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi, I have a blackbirds nest in my bay tree, which is being attended by two male birds, not a female in sight and they are feeding chicks. Is this usual?

  • Comment number 46.

    Hi Martin and all the Springwatch crew!

    Don't know if anyone is likely to see this post but just wanted to say that I would love to see some coverage of moles in the upcoming series...they never get a mention, and they are amazing and fascinating creatures - and sadly still persecuted. I worry that they are one of these species that we take for granted until it is too late and a catastrophic decline happens before we even realise. I'd like to know how mole numbers are holding out in the UK, and what part they play in our eco-systems.
    Can't wait for the new series! Keep up the great work guys!

    Meadowfoxtail xx

  • Comment number 47.

    Hi All, first Swift, just arrived back in my eves, 7 days earlier than last year. All alone so far, but hopefully the rest will be here soon.

  • Comment number 48.

    First Cuckoo in Thornton Dale Nth Yorks yesterday at 8am , but I'm sure it would be out and about before I was , and a pair of Swallows making eyes on a wire.

  • Comment number 49.

    Hi Springwatch team
    Just in case you are having difficulty in filming badgers this year we may be able to help as they visit our garden on a regular basis. We have plenty of video footage going back a number of years.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to this and a little excited to say the least!

    What's making me further excited is what I saw in a medium sized tree in my garden at 7:20 yesterday. What at first appeared to be a robin, turned out to have short red feathers running from the back of its head right down to its front and then broken black streaks stretching from half way down its front to the back of the bird. It had black primary wing feathers, and the rest were brown. Was it a de-formed robin? Was it a redpoll? I don't think so- it made a drawn out monosyllabic 'stweet' sound, almost like a young blue tit. I feel it may have been a rosefinch, after much scanning through my books and the web. Does this sound right- a lone common rosefinch straying into Eastern counties? Whatever it was, it was fairly tame and incredibly beautiful.

    By the way, I've now seen a fair few swallows this spring, too.

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi All,

    I live in Barnsley but in a quite a rural little village and for some magical reason this year my garden has been filled with Gold finches,Green finches,chaffinches but most strange of all is i have 4 Yellow Hammers that feed in the garden from early till late every day(2 male and 2 female).

    It has been such a change from all the other years?? Anyone else had the same???

  • Comment number 52.

    Hi Martin, I have just recently been to the Isle of Skye and saw what appeared to be some swimming moths? They moved quite rapidly and easily avoided the nearby feeding fish. They then easily broke the surface tension of the water at will and seemed to be jumping up and down on the water. What were they and what were they doing? This must of been an extremely dangerous thing for them to do. I have uploaded 3 pictures to Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/draagsa/

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi today in Hanley Town Centre in Stoke-on-Trent I have been watching a pair of peregrine falcons hunting. They have roosted on the top of the old post office building which is sighted next to the new Tesco which has been built in the town centre. They have been flying all day not going too far and offer fantastic photographic opportunities should anyone have a decent camera. Unfortunately I dont but could see them clearly through a pair of old binoculars.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi I would also like to add that a couple of swallows have landed in our village Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands is this early?

  • Comment number 55.

    Has all the recent rain affected the flying insects, I haven't seen any bats or swifts this year.

  • Comment number 56.

    Just a quick reply to meadow foxtail's mole request....just seen release from BBC Press Office regarding the up and coming Springwatch series.....and good news....there will be moles !!
    Also there will be Iolo...and that makes me very happy too !!

    Can't wait.... good wishes to all the presenters, camera crew and back stagers for making it such a treat to look forward to.....thanks all :-)

  • Comment number 57.

    Hello again,

    I quite agree with you Steve Garner. Finches are notoriously scarce around where I live, but lately I've seen goldfinches frequently, as well as bullfinches and chaffinches. The greenfinches, who've had a difficult time over the last few years (probably because of a parasite spreading through bird feeders) have been fairly common. Even a siskin put in an appearance the other day!

    I think it's because finches are usually seed and berry eating birds, and while there was a rich berry harvest with a delayed Summer, our wheat crops struggled more, which forced the finches to rely more on food we put out for them.

  • Comment number 58.

    I'm just reading an article in the BBc Wildlife Mag which says that Noenicotinoid systemic pesticides spread to every part of the plant they are sprayed on, and it is thought that they may be implicated in ' colony collapse disorder ' in Bees across America and Europe.
    Take a close look at the Bees in any flowering bush you pass and see how many are European Honey Bees and what the wild ones are if you can identify them as colony types . I am seeing far fewer Honey Bees and not in gardens but in the wild.
    This takes me back to an advertisement not long ago on TV for a garden pesticide . The camera ,at the very end of the idyllic portrayal of how your garden can look, zoomed in on the very small print on the can , the last line of which said " contains liquid Paraquat".
    It should have continued to say ' banned on farms in the UK for the past 30 years !'
    How long will it be before these Neonicotinoid Pesticides are labelled on garden pesticide cans and continue to profit the manufacturers while destroying the refugee insects from the barren countryside.

  • Comment number 59.

    Here we are again,another year.Our first sighting of swifts this year,was at 7:45 this evening,a group of four seven days later than last year.Much welcome visitors for the last thirty one years in Cheshire.
    Two nests of robins so far,one pair in a clump of thick ivy just over the garage door. Both parents extremely busy feeding, should be fledging any day now.They have been a joy to watch and they have been watching us watching them through the window.

  • Comment number 60.

    i had blue tits nesting in my bird box. 8 eggs laid 7 hatched but within a week all 7 died. on inspecting the nest afterwards there was no sign of the dead chicks. what would have caused this. where would the chicks have gone.

  • Comment number 61.

    This springtime 2 Morel fungi appeared on the edge of blackcurrant bushes in our garden. The bushes have now been there for 7 years, and we have never seen any in our locale before, so how did the Morels get here?

  • Comment number 62.

    This isn't weird at all, just a note to say my garden's been deluged with starlings & their offspring. It's rather lovely and the cat is stuck indoors :( I threw out some pellets & mealworms this morning and managed to film them and here is the Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVK99pfSKY0

  • Comment number 63.

    A small note from Holland. I love Springwatch and I'm glad to learn that it will return on Monday 28 May. This week a Winter Wren has been building a nest opposite our kitchen-window, a distance of 2 meters, in an old autumn-wreath. I'm not quite sure he found a female yet for this nest, but as soon as we have babybirds I will post a note again. I do not use flickr, so I cannot sent you a photo of it.

  • Comment number 64.

    I woke up at 2am today to see a badger sitting on my rabbit's hutch. I have had a fox doing this before but I didn't know badgers would try to get poor Murray!! Any ideas for persuading said badger to leave the rabbit alone please?

  • Comment number 65.

    been following a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers - http://www.flickr.com/photos/wendycoops224/sets/72157629426651532/ from when they built the hole. hoping to see the youngsters soon to complete the set.

    Also do Buzzards disappera for a while around breeding time & that may be why I've not seen any of our locals for a few weeks?

  • Comment number 66.

    Last year we heard knocking in the roof above our kitchen, which after a while stopped. Some time later we heard the distinctive noise of chicks calling from the same location, it was starling nesting under our tiles! After a few weeks of hearing the regular calls of hungry young there was silence. Until my partner heard a chirping noise, which after investigation turned out to be coming from the loft. Sure enough there he found a young starling which has obviously fledged the wrong way into our loft! We christened it 'lofty' & put him/her in an old bird cage & fed him/her dried meal worms which we soaked in warm water. The following day we took 'lofty' to a sanctuary to be rehabilitated & released into the wild with other young starlings. The starlings have nested in our roof again this year and we think they've fledged, but this time they appear to have all gone the right way!

  • Comment number 67.

    Talking about roofline nesting birds, our roofline is the nesting site of some blue tits. I say 'some' because what I suspect is happening is that there could be two male birds, as unlikely as it sounds. A bird is in there (I presume this is a female, possibly incubating eggs) pretty much all the time, but then a further two birds (which I presume are both males) arrived into the nest- both carrying food- and I am certain there were three birds in the nesting site on numerous occasions and unlike house-sparrows, blue tits don't habitually nest in colonies. However, I'm starting to question whether it is a nest- although twigs and dead grass have been going in, the birds could be using it almost a 'resting post.' I noticed a similar thing with a family of about five great tits who frequently sought shelter in a nest box but never raised a brood. Do either of these incidents sound familiar to anyone or is my roof playing host to some very quirky blue tits?!

  • Comment number 68.

    Wendycooper224 's lack of Buzzards may be in part because one will be on the nest and the other out hunting early or late in an area nearer to the nest site. There is also here in North Yks a sudden shortage of Buzzards where I normally see them. However I did observe over 5 years ina rural location in Brittany that the parents clear off in the winter and leave the hunting area to the immature birds then come back in Spring and chase them away and resume nesting. So, this will account for some reduction in sighting opportunity if you have been seeing parent birds in winter location.

    On the Cuckoo call subject , I have been told by an Oxfordshire birder that he often hears a Cuckoo which says ' cuckRrrrrr ' . They, as I am told and have been given recordings , do a variety of calls one of which is 'Rrrrrr', ish and called a gowk.
    I may have in fact mistaken , by colour , a Cuckoo in Brittany which said 'cuckRrrrrr' for a female rufous variant when it might have been a grey/brown immature , so maybe it is the immature which says 'cuckRrrrr' ?
    Boring isn't it?!

  • Comment number 69.

    Saw some lovely fresh St George's Mushrooms actually growing IN one of the natural sculptures at Witley Court in Worcestershire yesterday. Got a lovely pic if I only knew how to post it!

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi, is anything being done to monitor the spread of 'false widow' spiders? I think they are seriously underestimated in numbers in this country, I had around 100 in my garden alone that we found this week. I have had 2 adults and 2 babies in my house (that I know of!) and this makes me wonder how fast they are spreading. Interestingly enough, I don't know whether it's time for the common garden spider to appear yet, but I haven't had a single one in my garden this year so far. I normally have lots. Obviously if it isn't time for them yet, that could be why! I do still have wolf spiders, but they are mostly around my pond and the 'false widows' are mainly on my fence where the garden spiders used to be ...

  • Comment number 71.

    Today I finally found out what our Magpie keeps burying in our garden . Throughout the winter it appeared he was carrying pieces of polystyrene ,putting it down making a hole and then poking the white material in.
    Today I was preparing a vegetable bed with compost and while I was in the kitchen he hopped over and carried out his ingenious act. This allowed me to investigate what it was and it turned out to be a chunk of seed cake from the next doors garden . I'm presuming he's saving it for later.. I would like to capture it on video , If you deam it interesting enough I shall invest max energy into it. I may even set up my own hide in the garden ....lol..

  • Comment number 72.

    We wondered why our chicken eggs were going missing so we we set up cameras to catch the culprit. A video of the crime taking place can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/41178387

  • Comment number 73.

    I'd never heard of this before ... but why is it that only male birds sing?? Don't female birds have a voice, and do they ever use it!??

  • Comment number 74.

    a greenwoodpecker came into our garden and lay flat on its stomach with its wings spread out for a few minutes then rolled over to its other side for a few minutes again back over before taking of to the woods, any ideas why?

  • Comment number 75.

    Thanks for all your comments everyone. We'll be selecting some of your questions to use in Unsprung.

    Sam :)

  • Comment number 76.

    That video, Richard, really got me thinking- what would it do with the eggs? Crows would be able to manage to eat an egg such as that with minimal difficulty (I've seen them swallow frogs whole), but I wonder if the bird was taking the eggs to a brood. Young chicks would lap up the protein from an egg, but there is rather a lot there considering that corvid broods are typically very small. Then again, they do nest in vast groups- if you ever travel through the village of Lower Shelton there are loads of crows (or possibly jackdaws) nesting there and it may be possible that food could be shared between nests. I wonder.....

  • Comment number 77.

    Hi Springwatch team,
    At my lovely rural school in the cotswolds we have some returning visitors- Swallows! They have come back to the same nest as last year and we even have our own web cam set up! The chirping I can hear through the door into my classroom is getting quite loud now so something exciting must be happening. The children would love it to feature somehow on your show- interested?
    Dawn

  • Comment number 78.

    Why are the woodmice bouncing around bold as brass in broad daylight? Walking along Smardale Ghyll old railway track nature reserve here in Cumbria we kept meeting people who said Have you seen all the mice?! There were loads of them! http://www.flickr.com/photos/13410825@N02/7217014316/in/pool-1051403@N21/

  • Comment number 79.

    Hi, why do you generally never see young Crows out of the nest? Or any other member of the Corvid family for that matter.
    Do they stay in the nest till they're fully mature, or is it just that the young look much like the adults?
    Or do I just keep missing them?!
    Thanks

  • Comment number 80.

    Why do foxes have seem to have so much hair inside their ears? Does it not muffle sound?

  • Comment number 81.

    Hello Springwatch (and springwatchers) -
    I've observed pigeons "washing" in heavy rain by sitting on the fence or in a tree and preening during the rain, even lifting one wing then another almost as if showering (half expected them to wash underneath). But last week we had a very heavy hail shower & there were piles and patches of icy hail all over the garden - and we saw two rooks actually lying in the hail, preening and spreading wings out etc almost like a blackbird "anting". Is this unusual behaviour, and wouldn't they feel chilly?

  • Comment number 82.

    I have a camera in my nest box and it looks like all my six blue tit chicks have died today at about 5 days old. They were all fine yesterday so I don't know what happended this morning. The adults have been feeding them bird cake - suet with insects - alongside the usual things which they were still looking for. Was I right in putting this out for them to you think? I hope I didn't cause the chick mortality. Wild food seemed a bit thin on the ground. Just checked on the RSPB website and it says do not feed fat in the spring. It said nothing on the packet though. Can't believe we lost all of them so fast! What do you think?

  • Comment number 83.

    Hi Martin, last night I saw an otter in my front pond. I heard splashing and decided to investigate. I live in Taverham Road, Norwich, Norfolk. We are fairly close to the river Wensun but the otter would have had to cross two busy roads to get to my garden. We have an amazing lot of wildlife in our garden but seeing an otter was quite a treat! Today is May 19th 2012.

  • Comment number 84.

    Since pigeon feeding was banned in our town centre, we have seen sometimes 30 or more at a time in our garden when we put food out. I don't mind feeding the sparrows, starlings and blackbirds that are regulars along with the blue tits, collared doves and thrush that are occassional visitors but the pigeons just clear the food. I don't want to start using feeders that only let small birds in, as we're happy to feed the blackbirds and collared doves as there's only a few of those. There's a limit to how much time I can spend trying to chase the pigeons away (and getting strange looks from the neighbours) - any ideas how to keep the pigeons away?

  • Comment number 85.

    Whilst not really a question I've had a private project for making macro photography more accessible to people by developing methods that make it easier to overcome the steep learning curve of macro photography and to get good results. I believe macro photography is a great way of involving people in the natural world, and it is something people do not need to travel to do. Gardens and urban green spaces provide a wealth of opportunities. But most of all it opens up a personal awareness and direct experience on an important part of the natural world that tends to get overlooked.

    I developed a type of macro flash diffusion which gives soft light that looks more like soft daylight than flash. However, this was for my expensive Canon MT24EX twin macro flash unit. However these macro flash units are expensive. I've long known that this approach would also work with a cheap small flash unit. So I set about creating a simple set up using the cheapest flash with TTL flash metering I could find (just under £40). All the bits only cost just over £60 and it can be adapted to any camera system.

    btw. I have no financial interest in this and the parts can be got from wherever someone chooses.

    Maybe it's a bit late for Springwatch as it's still at the prototype stage. Nevertheless in its present form it works. Unfortunately the terrible weather means that it will probably be a few days until I get some good images from it.

    You can find the details on the Springwatch Flickr group here.
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/bbcspringwatch/discuss/72157629770992782/

    and here:
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1054&thread=41536632

    The overall aim is to make a cheap macro flash set-up that can be built from easily available parts - but which provides excellent light. The expense of macro flashes tends to put people off. Yet for photographing active invertebrates flash is essential to freeze motion.

    I'm hoping to produce a quick fact sheet on the parts, building and using the set-up. However, I want to do a bit more testing and tweaking before then. I will try to finish something before Springwatch finishes. One of the main difficulties with macro photography is that it is difficult to get off the peg equipment that does the job, and most of what is available is tends to be so expensive that it put of all but the most committed macro photographers.

  • Comment number 86.

    Would like to identify hawk which collided with our conservatory glass. (Bird books didn't help) Is it possible to send picture? Happy ending when he flew off after about 10 mins even although we think he was after our nesting Blue Tits. Chicks are now 5 days old and on web cam.

  • Comment number 87.

    For the past few months i have two badgers come in my garden every night..They enjoy the food i put down and go all round the garden searching for other treats,peanuts and various fruits which we scatter for them it is lovely to watch them and is so enjoyable.i would like to thank you for your wonderful programme.

  • Comment number 88.

    Hi there, for the last 5 evenings once it gets to dusk or just before and all night there has been a bird doing a continuos hoo hoo I don't think it's an owl I have tried to approach it but it's very flighty( if you excuse the pun)and I can't get near it, can I send a recording of its call i made for you to identify as I can not find anything on the Internet and its driving me mad
    Cheers houghta

  • Comment number 89.

    I'm bothered about my blue tit nest.
    On Friday there were seven healthy feeding chicks:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/coldrey/7223198988/

    Yet, first thing on Saturday there were only three:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/coldrey/7232172540/

    There are no corpses.
    Has the nest been raided? If so, by what?
    Or do the adults remove dead chicks from the nest?

    Best wishes

  • Comment number 90.

    Welcome back team, good to see you!

    I still have a famous robin in my garden - he has had his own 2012 calendar (sold well), His own feature in Wiggly Wrigglers gardeners supply company, he's published in several local newspapers & a wonderful article about him (& my photography) in the magazine Devon Life. He has a massive following online. His name is Little Larry. I've recorded his whole life from fledgling to adult, taken his photo every single day since last July - that's a lot of photos! He's now the proud father of three offspring (well, two, as one was taken by a sparrowhawk) & he looks set to have another nest with his Mrs who I've called 'Lila'. He comes to find me every day, he follows me around the garden & poses for pictures. This is a massive opportunity for you guys to take up on... the life of Little Larry... it really is not to be missed!

  • Comment number 91.

    Hi Martin ,Just been Birding In some reed beds Nr Ripon Race course watching reed and sedge warblers and a Kingfisher , and cant belive i have flushed an Osprey , it flew across the lake then back over the reed beds and flew over my head about 40 ft up totally awesome , then to finish day off been watching a grasshopper warbler. It doesnt get much better than that.

  • Comment number 92.

    Hi Martin, a tadpole problem maybe! We had some frog-spawn this year that got a good luck charm in the way of a Heron... To keep it short a Heron had a fine meal of 2 Koi-Carp and 2 Goldfish, now the Carp loved tadpoles, kept them thinned out a bit, anyway we have about 150, at least, tadpoles, little fatties now, that think they are in heaven. While it's good new for the Frogs involved in parenting these offspring it's a potential nightmare for us.. it's only a small pond and there is no way I'm going see these small guys get hurt. HELP Martin. What can we do?
    Thanks for any ideas, and can't wait for the show to start again.

  • Comment number 93.

    Hi it's becoming more and more noticeable that female mallard ducks are being out numbered by males here in west Essex. Any ideas please

  • Comment number 94.

    Hello Nature watch,
    I've got some photo's of a unusual coloured Robin I'd like you to see, which I took this spring. Is there an email address I can send them to. I'ts definitely a Robin as well.

  • Comment number 95.

    Hi team

    I was in my garden on Saturady 19 May and high in the sky I counted about 50 or 60 buzzards circling round, heading due south in largish groups. We have a family that nest in woods near us, so I am familiar with their flight pattrern and their distinctive cries. Is it unusuakl to see such a huge number of buzzards in the sky at once in the UK. I live in Surrey, just south of the North Downs.
    Thanks

    Simon Hill

  • Comment number 96.

    Hi
    I have cycled 68 miles today in the Lake Vyrnwy/ Lake Bala area of North Wales. I have heard SIX different cuckoo's. Some years I have only heard one all summer. Does this suggest cuckoo's are having a better year?- I hope so

  • Comment number 97.

    Hello,

    We have a camera inside a nest box and have had blue tits nesting in it for two years running. Last year all the chicks died, which we think was due to high temperatures. This year the box is shrouded from the sun.
    Initially there were nine eggs and six chicks hatched. Subsequently we noticed four chicks, then one. The final chick looked strong and to be growing well but has also died. The box is located on a west facing wall with the shroud on the southern side. It has not been hot and there has been very little sun.
    What do you think is going on?

    Thanks

  • Comment number 98.

    Why no Message Board this year? The Message Board was part of the magic of Spring and Autunwatch. We've lost Bill, Simon and Kate and now the Message Board.

    And what are we left with? Two first class pancake makers and an overaged Children's TV presenter.

    I remember the old days when Spring and Autumnwatch were good programmes.

  • Comment number 99.

    dear readers, Just to let you all know my mum has currently got a lovely nest with five robbin chicks and the mum and dad are very active and feeding them well, my mum has got a small camera fitted by the nest so we can watch all the fun, They are so cute!!!!!!!!! becky in shrewsbury.

  • Comment number 100.

    Plants have been held back by the recent cold weather. At least two weeks in our area. They should put growth on quickly if the warm spell continues. Why not feature plants on Springwatch? Do the presenters lack the knowledge to talk about plants? Come on springwatch (and autumnwatch for that matter). If you think plants are boring, see how many you can find. How about a plant race to see how many can be recorded in one day! Do you realise the effort and expertise required to find and photograph our native plants? Will springwatch take up the challenge to show the diversity of britains Flora?

 

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