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Springwatch 2009 - new presenter team announced

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Tim Scoones Tim Scoones | 11:07 UK time, Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Welcome back to Springwatch in 2009 ! We are full steam ahead with preparations for this year's Springwatch, due out in late May, and - boy! - didn't spring arrive in a hurry this year after a "proper" winter for all of us?!

Today we have announced the new presenter line-up for the series. We are all really excited to welcome Chris Packham into the Springwatch family, and to see our producer colleague Martin Hughes Games, step out from behind the camera into the on screen team. This is what we have released to the press today :

This Spring Chris Packham joins Simon King and Kate Humble as co-presenter of BBC Two's popular natural history series Springwatch and Autumnwatch. Find out more about Chris in the video below.

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And former Springwatch producer Martin Hughes-Games makes his debut in front of the camera as he joins the presenting team.

Martin Hughes-Games

Chris and Martin join the existing presenters Simon King, Kate Humble and Gordon Buchanan when Springwatch returns to BBC Two in late May this year. The moves follow Bill Oddie's decision to take a break from the programme earlier this year.

Zoology graduate Chris began his career at the BBC in 1985 as a presenter of The Really Wild Show. He has worked in television as a natural history broadcaster for 22 years, on 75 series and over 500 programmes, being most recently seen in Nature's Calendar and Nature's Top 40 (BBC Two). Chris is active in many wildlife conservation bodies, he is Vice President of the RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts, Butterfly Conservation Trust and The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, and is President of the Bat Conservation Trust, The London Wildlife Trust, and The Hampshire Ornithological Society.

Martin is also a Zoology graduate and has over 30 years' experience working on the BBC's natural history programmes. Most recently he has been a producer on Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Shetland Diaries With Simon King (BBC Two).
Emma Swain, Head of Knowledge Commissioning, says:
"I'm delighted Chris is bringing his in-depth knowledge and presenting skills to the team. And it's great that having made such and important contribution to these programmes behind the scenes we're able to share Martin's experience with the viewers."

Chris Packham says: "To be asked to be the new presenter of Springwatch and Autumnwatch was a dream come true and I hope to make a real contribution to the team."

Martin Hughes-Games says: "It will be a real challenge swapping life behind the camera to life in front of it, but I am really looking forward to it."

Kate Humble says:"Chris and Martin are both great communicators and real experts on wildlife. I am looking forward to working with them immensely."

Tim Scoones, Executive Producer, Springwatch and Autumnwatch, says: With a new presenter team in place we're raring to go for the new series of Springwatch."

Chris Packham - Biography
Born in 1961 Chris Packham studied Zoology at Southampton University. On graduating he met wildlife filmmaker Stephen Bullwell and trained with him as a camera man. Chris's big break came in 1985 when he began working as a presenter on the BBC's children's TV series The Really Wild Show. After seven years presenting the show Chris set-up his own TV company - Head Over Heels TV - where he worked on many wildlife shows for ITV, CH4, Animal Planet, National Geographic and the BBC. More recently Chris has returned to his first love, working on and presenting wildlife TV shows, and he has recently been seen on BBC Two presenting Nature's Calendar and Nature's Top 40. One of Chris's principle aims is to enthuse new audiences (particularly the younger audience) about wildlife.

Martin Hughes-Games - Biography
Martin (52) graduated in Zoology in 1978 with a 1st Class honours from Reading University, and has worked in television for 30 years. He is passionate about wildlife and an active conservationist - even going so far as planting his own wood. He has been a member of the Springwatch family since 2006 and his most recent Series Producer credits include: Shetland Diaries with Simon King (BBC Two) and Incredible Animal Journeys (BBC One, 2006).

The story is already being reported in the Daily Mirror and on the BBC Norfolk website

No doubt you have all heard that our dear friend Bill Oddie is suffering a bout of depression at the moment. I am sure you will join the whole Springwatch team in wishing Bill a full and speedy recovery.

Watch this space for a new look website (in production now) as well as our new look TV show! We have lots of exciting plans for new themes and stories, but being Springwatch, even we ourselves are not exactly sure what's going to be in it because nature writes the script and two months is a long time in the Natural World, especially at this time of year !

I hope you take full advantage of the spring over the coming weeks - get out there and enjoy our glorious wildlife. Nothing quite beats the UK in the spring, does it ?

More soon.

Tim

Comments

  • 1. At 12:11pm on 18 Mar 2009, Navpi11 wrote:

    No disrespect but Springwatch without Bill Oddie is just not the same.......

    I watched my 1st show 5 years ago but to be honest it was only Bills quirky behaviour that actually got me interested.

    Sadly without Bill Springwatch 2009 will not be the same and I wont be bothering.

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  • 2. At 12:25pm on 18 Mar 2009, MadStader wrote:

    Great choice!

    It's sad to hear Bill's taking time off but I immediately thought Chris would be a great replacement. i think his natural style will help to retain existing viewers and attract a few more younger ones as well.

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  • 3. At 1:29pm on 18 Mar 2009, cooperkeen wrote:

    Would have been good to see Nick Baker, but Chris is a very good choice. Looking forward to it.

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  • 4. At 1:30pm on 18 Mar 2009, 606pete wrote:

    Brilliant choice!

    Although I am a fan of Bill [and I hope he is soon back to his chipper self], it wasn't 'Bill Oddie's Springwatch'. Lots of other people were, and still are, involved. It would be harsh to stop production just because one member of a 'team' has left. When all is said and done, the wildlife is the real star of the show.

    Chris has been around as long as I have been watching nature shows and I think he has a great personality that comes across to camera very well.

    Good luck to both him and Martin! Can't wait for May.

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  • 5. At 1:33pm on 18 Mar 2009, Portybelle wrote:

    Looking forward to the return of Springwatch. The BBC doing what it does best - quality, educational natural history programmes. It is a shame that Bill Oddie isn't going to be on it: the banter between him and Kate was a highlight - but the real stars are the animals. I'm sure Chris and Martin will be excellent additions to the team. Pity we can't have a version of Springwatch all year, maybe weekly instead of nightly. Naturewatch anyone?!

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  • 6. At 3:12pm on 18 Mar 2009, raptorsaregreat wrote:

    Navpi11, get a grip!
    Clearly, your glass is always half empty. There is no reason whatsoever why Springwatch will be any less a program than in the past. It's about the wildlife, not the presenter.

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  • 7. At 5:54pm on 18 Mar 2009, Copper_Beech wrote:

    What? I hadn't heard that Bill was leaving! Poor old Bill. Springwatch just will NOT be the same with out him - I really hope that he recovers soon. And as far as I am concerned, it is the wildlife AND the presenters that have made Springwatch such a triumph - Bill's natural style of presenting and jokes have made it a joy to watch. However, Chris Packham is definately a good choice for a 'replacemet' - as if anyone could replace bill!

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  • 8. At 7:07pm on 18 Mar 2009, SUNNYLITTLEBEAR wrote:

    This is the first time i have ever joined in one of these post, I just felt I had to say how disappointed I am to learn that Bill will be missing from Springwatch. It was because of Bill that I became interested in wildlife, his love & enthusiasm of the subject is a delight to see & through that he has given me a reason to get out & enjoy nature in all it's glory. Although I welcome the new presenters & I am sure they will do a grand job, for me springwatch will have lost it's charm.
    I hope Bill will realise how much he will be missed by those of us who have spent many years in awe of his knowledge & been swept along by his passion of the subject & of course his lovely smile!
    I would like to send Bill my very best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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  • 9. At 7:42pm on 18 Mar 2009, grebelet wrote:

    I'd like to wish all the best to the new presenters, but especially to Bill. I hope his darkness lifts soon, maybe the coming equinox will allow the sun to creep into his world. Winter can seem a long hard slog and it's easy to slide down into the darkness.

    take care, Bill. i hope you pick up the binoculars soon. mine are what keep me going sometimes.

    Laurence

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  • 10. At 10:26am on 19 Mar 2009, woolly1949 wrote:

    Sad to hear that Bill's illness has returned and I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.
    I do hope you will return to the series Bill as Springwatch will not be the same without you.

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  • 11. At 1:00pm on 19 Mar 2009, Kidsloveearth wrote:

    So delighted to hear about a new presenter for Springwatch 09 - loved Bill Oddie but new faces always bring a fresh inspiration and in our little shop children just adore the programme so much they come in to buy things to help explore nature , it really does encourage children so let's just celebrate how wonderful springwatch is!

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  • 12. At 5:00pm on 19 Mar 2009, sjohntaylor wrote:

    Please pass on the sincerest wishes of myself and my family that Bill makes a speedy recovery, and soon returns to our screens. Whilst I wish all the best to the new presenters, the programme will just not be the same without Bill. He has made a major and unique contribution to the vast increase in appreciation of all things wild in this country, and of its ongoing viability and conservation.

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  • 13. At 10:29pm on 19 Mar 2009, cabernet02 wrote:

    I agree with 606pete, bring on May please.

    I have just also watched Kate in the hottest place in the world which will be a long way away from Spring watch and a lot cooler too?
    I will miss Bill this year and hope he will return next year to our screen as he just adds that smile factor?
    My wife and I are very eager to see this years program and its new lineup but Bill wont be there but our house as she says I look like Bill?
    We live on the coast near Liverpool and can say without a doubt Spring is here for us with double doses of frogspawn and what looks to be very a very busy Bird Life at our works in Knowsley all very eager to give us hope for the summer we lost last year.

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  • 14. At 4:41pm on 20 Mar 2009, kisilvan wrote:

    I am sorry to see Bill leave but wish the best of luck to the 2 new additions. I was hoping it would be Chris Packham as I have watched him for years and see him as a great ambassador for wildlife. Good luck with the new series.

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  • 15. At 5:02pm on 20 Mar 2009, canon50d wrote:

    Ok so its a good choice that chris is the new presenter but will miss bill as he made the program humourous with education factor in mind.

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  • 16. At 5:07pm on 20 Mar 2009, canon50d wrote:

    Can we have more badger watch this year please

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  • 17. At 3:06pm on 21 Mar 2009, waterOldDutch wrote:

    I am watching Springwatch for a long time in Holland. I am sorry to learn Bill Oddie is not in the team this year,the show will not be the same.

    All the best Bill, hope to see you again next year.

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  • 18. At 3:27pm on 21 Mar 2009, tinypenny1 wrote:

    Looking forward to the new series.
    Sounds like a great team of presenters, with an abundance of knowledge between them.
    Will miss Bill Oddie being there and hope he is soon feeling better again.

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  • 19. At 7:47pm on 22 Mar 2009, cooperman43 wrote:

    Great choice in Chris Packham! I loved Nature's Calendar, & I think Springwatch will be even better than before. I like Bill, but maybe it's time for a change.
    I would like to see a similar programme all year round, maybe rotating presenters, & locations.

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  • 20. At 7:49pm on 22 Mar 2009, settlemaisey wrote:

    Brilliant news - Chris Packham is great. Naturally I hope Bill O gets better soon but actually I felt he was getting a bit bored with the whole Spring/Autumnwatch thing and a fresh presenter will make all the difference. Excellent choice BBC.

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  • 21. At 9:31pm on 22 Mar 2009, tinypetal4 wrote:

    Really looking forward to Springwatch.
    Good to see a new line up, change should be welcome, brings new life into things and both these guy's are experts, hope they stay for Autumn Watch too.

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  • 22. At 7:15pm on 23 Mar 2009, Moley2009 wrote:

    It will not be the same without Bill Odie but at least there won't be the not funny jokes (no offence but it's like listening to jokes from crackers) and no grumpyness or bad puns. Really looking forward to the new series.

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  • 23. At 9:11pm on 24 Mar 2009, Osprey wrote:

    I wish Bill well and hope he makes a speedy recovery. As for bringing in Chris Packham, I would have picked him myself had it been up to me. Well done BBC on a super choice. Also welcome on screen to Martin. It often works out wonderfully well when previously behind-the-scenes people step into the frame. Spring has sprung with a vengeance in my neck of the woods and I look forward to this years Springwatch with relish. Until May then team.....................

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  • 24. At 6:02pm on 25 Mar 2009, foxysquirrel wrote:

    Chris and Martin will be welcomed with open arms! They bring with them a wealth of experience and fresh ideas! I wish all the very best for Bill and hope he recovers soon. Yes, it will be strange to watch Springwatch without him but it is such a fantastic programme and lets face it - the animals, birds, insects etc are the real stars of the show! Roll on May!

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  • 25. At 11:40am on 26 Mar 2009, Wildlife Filmer Adam wrote:

    I have always watched Springwatch and Autumnwatch ever since it started.

    It will not be the same without Bill, I will miss him. But I welcome Chris and Martin with open arms.

    If Martin give up his space, I'll take it... search Wildlife Filmer Adam or NatureonScreen on YouTube and it'll come up with my Wildlife/Nature videos/documentaries.


    Wildlife Filmer Adam

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  • 26. At 1:28pm on 26 Mar 2009, lightfletch69 wrote:

    Excellent choice of presenters well done all.

    I will miss Bill greatly and hope he is back on our screens with Simon, Kate and the team next year.

    Can't wait for the series to start

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  • 27. At 6:29pm on 26 Mar 2009, excellentmikebull wrote:

    To BBC Springwatch. I saw a pair of swallows today at about 1115, sitting on a phone wire. As I passed they briefly left, but returned soon. Probably exhausted from their flight. I live in Woodbury, near Exeter. This is the earliest I can remember seeing them. Is it a record?

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  • 28. At 9:12pm on 26 Mar 2009, pawclaw1 wrote:

    Much as I admire Chris Packham - can't think that he actually has the personality interact with Kate and to carry the programme forward in the same way that Bill Oddie did. Obviously have no experience of Martin and just maybe he might be the dark horse.

    Have always enjoyed this programme - hope the change doesn't destroy my previous enjoyment.

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  • 29. At 10:05pm on 26 Mar 2009, AnnieTJ wrote:

    I am so sad to hear about Bill's depression, I know so well how he feels. However I hope that his, hopefully short absence will be filled admirably by Chris. He is a more than capable presenter and has a wonderful grasp on how to engage young people. My 10 year old son may take some convincing that his beloved 'Bill Oddddieee' can be replaced but I am sure he will cope for a while! Keep your chin up Bill, we love ya.

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  • 30. At 10:30pm on 26 Mar 2009, AnnieTJ wrote:

    To excellentmikebull - just read your comment. Also to Springwatch - I saw a flock of about 7 swallows from my kitchen window today and they looked to be riding thermals, repeatedly rising and falling, seeming to play about like I see seagulls do but much much faster. They were mesmerising. So far north (Washington Tyne & Wear) seems very early, any thoughts?

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  • 31. At 2:19pm on 27 Mar 2009, Wolf-friend wrote:

    Sending heartfelt wishes to Bill and hoping the sun will come out for you soon! Springwatch just won't be the same without your wonderful enthusiasm for and knowledge of wildlife,not to mention that great sense of fun and just pure enjoyment that manages to draw us in so effortlessly. Come back to us soon!
    Until Bill returns, wishing Kate,Simon,Chris,Martin and all of the team goodluck for Springwatch 2009,hope the wildlife and weather continue to be as unpredictable and surprising as always.

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  • 32. At 8:49pm on 28 Mar 2009, jacquij1 wrote:

    Hi all...
    LIVE BADGER CAM...
    At our school - Eureka Primary school - we have a live badger cam, swhere we can see our badger Boris and his friends - we would love you to come and see it/them...

    Jacqui johnson and Ecologists (year 5 and 6 at Eureka)

    www.lea.derbyshire.sch.uk/birdcam

    you will see all the derbyshire school birdcams too.

    www.eureka.derbyshire.sc.uk

    Jacqui

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  • 33. At 12:53pm on 30 Mar 2009, whatdudetooksquacco wrote:

    I am very disappointed with the appointment of Chris Packham. Bill oddie was a field naturalist first who became a presenter. I have a feeling that Chris Packham is a career TV presenter feigning an interest in wildlife to further his career.

    More alarming to me is the fact that he, like Kate, is a dog walker/lover. The anithesis of wildlife watchers/lovers.
    It would be good to hear the BBC confirm that Springwatch which is watched and loved by millions will not move from the wonderful wildlife programme that it is to a "walks with your dogs" vehicle and that there will be no items of that nature featured. Dogs should be discouraged from the countryside.

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  • 34. At 9:39pm on 31 Mar 2009, DotaBattlecat wrote:

    Hi Everyone
    So Springwatch will return in may and there will be no Bill, This will surely make a lot of the regular contributers to the blog very happy no doubt, Chris Packham will have his Knockers as did Bill even though they are both brilliant Naturlists, But that I am afraid comes with the Job. I wish Chris Success in this new venture and I wish Bill Well, He will in my opinion be sadly missed and I for one look forward to his speedy return. Good Luck Bill and make it a quick and strong return..
    Dota

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  • 35. At 08:17am on 02 Apr 2009, 606pete wrote:

    RE: whatdudetooksquacco's comments.

    Your comments are very wide of the mark. Chris has been a wildlife presents for many, many years. To 'pretend' for as long as that, just further one's career, just wouldn't work.

    As for the dog comments, I think that's a little harsh to be honest. I'm pretty sure that Kate & Chris aren't the only dog lovers on the team [both presenting and production side]. Springwatch is a celebration of our wildlife and countryside and I don't think that the introduction of a new presenter will skew the focus.

    What's next, chastising cats for killing birds just for fun?

    Lets just enjoy something on TV that isn't about 'financial down-turn', War, or ASBOs.

    I'll reiterate my comments from the 18th March - Can't wait for May!

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  • 36. At 09:09am on 04 Apr 2009, essexlinden wrote:

    It wont be the same without Bill as he has such a scatty take on things -but of course the programme will still be great.
    Get well soon Bill, we love you!

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  • 37. At 10:09am on 05 Apr 2009, Elizabeth B wrote:

    whatdudetooksquacco should get his facts correct!

    He can start by reading about Chris's career here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/springwatch/2009/03/springwatch_2009_new_presenter.html

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  • 38. At 12:38pm on 05 Apr 2009, robftaylor wrote:

    it will be very sad to know that bill won't be there for the shows. i just hope that this won't mean that he's given up on the shows altogether. it would be nice to know that he's still there in the back ground. maybe you could do a special show from his patch. i hope the rest of the viewers will agree with me. the show must go on, & and so must bill. good luck this year & i hope we will see lots of birds in there nests.
    ROB in Nottingham

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  • 39. At 5:54pm on 05 Apr 2009, JillofWym wrote:

    I remember watching Chris on Really Wild Show years ago and being impressed by his knowledge and enthusiasm - it will be great to see what he brings to the SW/AW team.

    That said, I love Bill and am sad to hear he's unwell at present - hope there is soon a light at the end of the tunnel Bill and you feel well enough to return to our screens soon x

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  • 40. At 10:18am on 06 Apr 2009, Mike J Charles wrote:

    Bring back Bill Oddie, my wife and are so very disappointed to hear of his replacement. Is this ageism?
    Bill lightened the programme and gave it life, Kate is a good foil for Bill.
    Please bring him back, he has a wealth of experience to share.
    MJ and LJ charles

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  • 41. At 6:43pm on 07 Apr 2009, megagingercat1 wrote:

    i had no idea that there was going to be a change of presenters until i saw an announcement on the website

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  • 42. At 10:16pm on 08 Apr 2009, coolpatrician wrote:

    I am looking forward to Springwatch with new presenters. It should give the programme a new dimension. By the way we replaced our blue tit nest box with a new box with a camera in it. This year the blue tits removed every scrap of nesting material they had put in the previous week and now a great tit is roosting in the empty box every night.
    Is this a male which has a female nesting elsewhere or might it bring a mate & build a nest at some time in the future?
    Does anyone have any ideas?

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  • 43. At 4:05pm on 09 Apr 2009, rainbowleslier wrote:

    im going to miss bill oddie i know he had his quirks,but that is what made springwatch so much fun since watching bill and kate on spring watch and autom watch,and taking in about how to atract birds into my garden,considering i live behind a demolished car works,i have had to buy a bird book just so i can identify them.please have bill back.

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  • 44. At 4:10pm on 09 Apr 2009, zoffica wrote:

    I was disappointed to hear Bill Oddie was leaving springwatch as his love for wildlife is always so infectious.When thinking of Bill's replacement, my first thought was 'The bloke who used to do The really wild show',so i was thrilled when I saw the article above. Chris has a tough job as there has always been negative criticism aimed at all of the Springwatch presenters (totally unjustified in my opinion,but I guess some people just like to complain).I for one will be backing Chris and Kate to do a great job, and Can't wait for the new series to begin.

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  • 45. At 7:09pm on 09 Apr 2009, springwatchsue wrote:

    hurrah! the drought is over! but - without bill? - oh well, i suppose he deserves a bit of a rest! very excited to hear that chris packham has joined the team, though because i remember watching him on the really wild show. looking forward to seeing springwatch in may - where is it based? anyone know?

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  • 46. At 08:23am on 10 Apr 2009, Navpi11 wrote:

    Make sure there is a barber and a bath ready !!!!!

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  • 47. At 08:34am on 10 Apr 2009, Navpi11 wrote:

    Just out of curiosity, did Bill get wind that he was going to be replaced and THEN as a consequence suffer depression and hospitalisation.....

    We are being fed the line that Bill bowed out after his depression returned, but there was a suggestion that Bill was going to be replaced by a "younger presenter" anyway after the 2008 series, is THAT possibly the real reason why he became ill......

    Springwatch was his life !

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  • 48. At 4:17pm on 10 Apr 2009, anivw21 wrote:

    What a shame that Navpi11 wrote - 18th March - that the programme would not be the same without Bill and that he/she would not be watching again. I agree absolutely, but whilst I love to watch Bill and his quirky ways and comments, it is the programme and its content that is so wonderful and Kate is such a knowledgeable and SO watchable presenter that surely those are the important issues, despite Bill's absence. I wish him all the best and, if I know Bill, even if he's not actively involved in the making of the series, and of course if his health allows, he will put in an appearance or two, here and there - guesting!!!!
    Apart from that, I CANNOT WAIT for the series to start. My own Springwatch has already started as I have - for the first time in 10 years - have a nest being built, as I speak, in my garden. I have no details of the bird as yet, except that it's lightish brown, with a lighter chest feathers. She's VERY industrious in the building process and I'm fairly certain that no eggs have been laid yet. More details when they arise. It is just SO exciting.

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  • 49. At 10:06pm on 10 Apr 2009, anthus wrote:

    Hi Springwatch
    We have a pair of Little Owls in the old orchard next to our house. Usually only one resident, but now has a mate ... and yes, they've mated!! We have some good pics - camera attached to telescope. Thought you might be interested.

    Really looking forward to the next series, will be good to have new presenters.
    Best wishes.

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  • 50. At 09:45am on 11 Apr 2009, sea eagle wrote:

    Get well soon Bill

    Good luck Chris and Nick looking forward to the new series

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  • 51. At 6:56pm on 11 Apr 2009, nettieofnine wrote:

    I shall miss Bill!! I hope all the 'Bloggers' who have been so cruel in their comments about Bill feel ashamed. It has long been known that Bill suffers from depression and their hurtful comments will not have helped this dear man. Bill Oddie made Springwatch what it is today and although I greatly admire all the other presenters, it will just not be the same without him.

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  • 52. At 8:46pm on 11 Apr 2009, Elizabeth B wrote:

    Message for - coolpatrician

    Our bluetit website describes everything that's happened in our camera-equipped box(es) since 2001! www.biggonline.co.uk

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  • 53. At 12:25pm on 12 Apr 2009, ladyR2PKS wrote:

    My housemartins arrived on the first weekend in April, which is a month earlier than usual. Do they know something that I don't?? Does this mean that we will have a good summer?

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  • 54. At 4:29pm on 12 Apr 2009, colourfulShirley wrote:

    I's Easter Sunday and despite living up North (only 12 miles from Mancheser) and on a busy main road, our very small garden has just been visited by some baby Goldfinches. Spring is here!

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  • 55. At 10:51pm on 13 Apr 2009, wudluvahog63 wrote:

    The moment I heard Bill was bowing out of Springwatch this year to recuperate,(please get well soon!) I prayed it was just a rumour. Kate, Simon, and cameramen Gordon and John are wonderful presenters, Bill has a natural extra "something special" that portrays nature as it's meant to be; delightful, sad, passionate, charming, breathtaking, seriously captivating, and most definitely fun!
    Good luck to the new presenters joining the team, I wish you well, but it has to be said, Bill, you will be a really hard act to follow!
    Love you Bill! Xxxxxx


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  • 56. At 5:56pm on 14 Apr 2009, anivw21 wrote:

    Hi there Springwatch, following my message of 10 April, I am pretty certain that the bird nesting in my garden tree is a Mistle Thrush. I have examined bird recognition sites and it's the only similar bird to the one in my tree. I believe that eggs have been laid, as today, the one parent was sitting on the nest, though not for too long, and anoither similar bird was on a nearby branch - keeping watch, it seems. They are quite large birds, though not as big as the local magpies, but certainly larger than most birds that visit the garden. It is so exciting at the moment as the leaves of the tree are not fully out as yet and I can see the nest quite clearly, though it is quite high in a fork of branches. More soon.

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  • 57. At 12:40pm on 16 Apr 2009, Izzie-s- wrote:

    Hi All
    What an excellent new line up, good luck to one and all. However I am really sorry to hear that Bill is Suffering with depression. Having read his book (one flew into the cuckoos nest)and worked in mental health for over 30 years I understand what a difficult decision this must have been for him. Bill I wish you well and hope that the spring will breath new life into your outlook and that the sunshine will return soon. Take care and remember that you, your family and your health are the most important things you have, cherish them and all will be right again. you only have to look back to see how far you have come. Izzie x

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  • 58. At 3:01pm on 16 Apr 2009, supadoomazzamoo wrote:

    I never write on these things, but on hearing about Bill I felt I had to.

    Dear Bill.....you are wonderful!!! Come back to us!!

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  • 59. At 3:46pm on 16 Apr 2009, weaziltree wrote:

    I am eagerly awaiting the return of Springwatch but must admit to a twinge of aprehension about the absence of the wonderful Mr Oddie. The partnership between Bill & Kate has been one of the things which has made Springwatch and indeed Autumnwatch so very enjoyable. Bill's unpredictable and excitable nature coupled with Kate's unfaultering patience has just been a joy to watch, and is part of what made the programmes not only informative and stunning to look at but also hugely entertaining. I do hope that Bill will return to us very soon, and I am sure Chris Packham will be wonderful but to some of us Springwatch without Bill will just never be quite the same.
    Rest up Bill and return to us soon, we'll miss you.

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  • 60. At 8:54pm on 17 Apr 2009, newsjock wrote:

    I'm pleased to see some new blood entering the team.

    Perhaps some of the best presenters will be given more opportunity to cover things in their own quiet, knowledgeable and unsensational style. They allow nature to speak for itself.

    Then there's Kate H. She has a gift for trivialising any topic, using the word "absolutely" ad nauseam, and speaking to an audience with a mental age of less than four !

    If Kate were to be sent on a 20 year holiday, we could enjoy an informative programme devoid of inanity.

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  • 61. At 6:49pm on 18 Apr 2009, anivw21 wrote:

    Just an update on my mistle thrush. She is sitting on the nest more often, now, but I am not sure as to how long before the eggs hatch. I am sure, however, that it is a mistle thrush because I have heard its alarm call - SO like a football rattle!!! I am hoping that the leaves on my tree do not fan out too quickly and obscure my view of the nest completely before all the feeding activity and so on.
    I am getting quite impatient now and, while I do not usually 'wish my life away', I just want May to come, so that I can get my 'fix' of Springwatch!!!
    I sincerely hope that Bill is feeling better and that possibly, hopefully, please, please, he will make SOME contribution to the programme at some point, even only briefly. His witticisms and general comments are SO entertaining. I must say I love Kate too and look forward to seeing Chris, also. Roll on!!
    I hope that Bill will read these tributes to him or if one of the others do, they will pass on all messages.

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  • 62. At 6:20pm on 20 Apr 2009, nualaraftery wrote:

    I'm so sorry that Bill is not coming back this year. Hope Chris isn't the creep he looks in his photo. Who chose it? Looking forward to the new season nonetheless.

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  • 63. At 5:08pm on 21 Apr 2009, earthMummymoo wrote:

    I am absolutely mortified to hear about the departure of Bill Oddie! I completely understand about the fact that it was not "Bill Oddie's Springwatch" but he really made it feel like we were all part of one family.It just will not be the same

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  • 64. At 4:00pm on 22 Apr 2009, paul wrote:

    Its a shame Bill Oddie isn't on this year, I hope he comes back next year.

    Chris Packham has a great knowledge of birds as well so he is a good sit-in.

    I wish Bill well and hope he is back for autumnwatch

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  • 65. At 4:15pm on 22 Apr 2009, freethought wrote:

    I’ve only just found out where Bill is. I know it’s bad of me. I hope he’s on the mend.
    Now he’s off the ‘spring watch’ team and if he feels like doing it, can we have some more of ‘Bill oddie’s nature programmes please? Just him and his knowledge and enthusiasm. Best combination ever!

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  • 66. At 9:02pm on 22 Apr 2009, supasquirrelgirl wrote:

    reply to ladyR2PKS

    i too have seen house martins and thought they were early too. i think its a sign we are in for a good summer! we always get them nesting above our bedroom window and i love seeing them darting in and out to feed their babies.

    sorry to hear about Bill, im sure Chris will be great too.

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  • 67. At 5:06pm on 23 Apr 2009, Val wrote:

    I was sorry to hear Bill wasn't presenting this Springwatch, but I'm sure he needs a break. Get well soon Bill.
    The new presenter Chris is someone I think everyone has seen before in other programmes & he'll bring some new ideas to the programme I'm sure. Good luck to him & Martin. I'm looking forward to Springwatch 2009.
    Val.

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  • 68. At 6:51pm on 23 Apr 2009, squirrellover wrote:

    I hope that there's a feature about the new RSPB reserve at Saltholme, up in the NE... I went there on Monday - what a glorious place! If nobody has been yet thats strangely curious, GO!
    I would never have thought to have seen such an establishment where it is... right at the heart of heavy industry - you'd have thought it would put birds off, but no... it hasn't! And I'm sure that over time, many many more species decide to make Saltholme THEIR home!
    I didn't know about it until I saw it on the news and had to follow it up with a personal visit.. (anyone thinking of going - take note: it all starts from the entrance!)
    There's ample parking and the bus service to get there (either from Hartlepool or Middlesbrough) is the #1 service - which takes you right outside... there's a firestation just next door!)
    Had it not been for Kates involvement, I probably wouldn't have known about it, So kudos to Kate and Saltholme :-D

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  • 69. At 10:48pm on 23 Apr 2009, spaceboy1969 wrote:

    Yes, it is a shame that Bill is suffering from depression but his absence from the 2009 Springwatch series is not the be all and end all... Yes, Bill is humorous, witty and sarcastic, with an alternative twist on subject matter usually reserved for more serious presenters and I certainly wish him all the very best for a speedy and full recovery.

    However, some of the commentators have missed the point entirely, Springwatch is NOT about the presenters and their rapport, it IS about the animals featured!

    Chris Packham is a fabulous choice for the team, knowledgeable, witty and charming.

    Fans of Badgers please note that Secret World's Wildlife Rescue website http://www.secretworld.org has exclusively revealed extensive filming with the badgers in their care.

    I am looking forward to the varied and fascinating footage!

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  • 70. At 12:12pm on 24 Apr 2009, andystomp wrote:

    I'm absalutly gutted to see bill oddie not presenting springwatch this year .Bill is the reason i watched spring watch when it started and it pulled me out of deppresion a condition i share with bill as I discovered while reading his biography .I do hope his dark clouds clear soon and he comes back to us .I will try springwatch without bill but it will be with a heavy hart .I hope bill see's my comment so he can see how important he is too us all .I realy don't think springwatch will survive without his upbeat charm and witt'love ya bill

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  • 71. At 9:01pm on 24 Apr 2009, littleAnnieP wrote:

    Really looking forward to Springwatch! Nice to have a change of presenters too.

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  • 72. At 4:46pm on 26 Apr 2009, Snowdon Lily wrote:

    I do love Bill Oddie, and hope he's ok and will be fit and well to return in Autumnwatch. However - Chris Packham is a brilliant replacement, so am looking forward very much to May.

    What a Spring it is so far! Lovely weather for most of March and now April. everything is bursting into life.

    In our small woodland and garden we have so many birds, at least 4 pied flycatchers trying desperately to attract females to their chosen nest boxes, greater spotted woodpeckers, greenfinches, goldfinches, chaffinches, long tailed tits and every other species of tits you can think of, willow warblers, thrushes, blackbirds, wrens etc etc and at last swallows. The air is just full of bird song, lovely.

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  • 73. At 7:56pm on 26 Apr 2009, spuggyluv wrote:

    I can't wait for Springwatch 2009. Sorry to hear about Bill but looking forward to Chris joining the team. I love every minute of this programme, please let me know the next time there is a vacancy!

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  • 74. At 9:46pm on 26 Apr 2009, amateurtwitch wrote:

    Its a shame Bill will not be on the show this spring as he was why I got into birdwatching and viewing the countryside for the wildlife. Get well soon and I look foward to the new line up.

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  • 75. At 6:27pm on 28 Apr 2009, avallen wrote:

    Chris Packham will be absolutely brilliant as new Springwatch presenter! Have watched every series he has presented, and read all the books and think he is an incredibly talented guy. Am so glad the BBC chose him!

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  • 76. At 11:50pm on 28 Apr 2009, GabbyLeeson wrote:

    I totally agree that Spring Watch without bill is like Morecome without Wise, I am 20years old and love Spring Watch, however the program will not be the same without Bill and Kate presenting together, their on screen relationship is what makes the program infectious... Hope Bill gets well soon and is back in time for Autumn Watch! Good Luck to the new Team though!

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  • 77. At 10:16pm on 30 Apr 2009, Terencecoyle wrote:

    Springwatch is truly magical and, will be every bit as magical this time round. Kate is a great presenter and will handle the shift in circumstances in the best way possible.
    Diversity will help keep the show fresh and alive, the longer Bill is away, the bigger his triumphant return. Good luck to the new boys.

    Bill is a Goody

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  • 78. At 07:24am on 02 May 2009, patandrea wrote:

    I am looking forward the new line up and think they will do a great job...Kate is so dedicated to this type of thing she makes it worth watching and has a good team with her this year....Good Luck to them all

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  • 79. At 10:43am on 02 May 2009, Matty-2468 wrote:

    Springwatch won't be the same without Bill, but that won't put me off watching it.
    Lets hope Chris Packham is just as good.
    I really hope Bill does come back!! :)

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  • 80. At 4:25pm on 03 May 2009, langholady wrote:


    Sorry to hear that Bill will not be on the programme, he has such enthusiasm. Still, looking forward to this springs edition with the new crew.

    On some spare ground next to our house an oyster catcher has laid 3 eggs on the compacted gravel. We are about 30 miles from the coast!!

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  • 81. At 2:16pm on 04 May 2009, Matt2000 wrote:

    Oh dear, Bill going was bad enough, but Chris is no where near as enthusiastic... I'd even go as far as calling him dull. Still undecided about watching this year, I wonder how many thousands of people feel the same.

    Any chance of Nightshift this year, or is the BBC going to ignore the viewers on that one yet again?

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  • 82. At 4:05pm on 04 May 2009, goldfishnot wrote:

    Whilst I'm sorry to hear that Bill is unwell every cloud has a silver lining and it's great to see that Chris Packham is part of the new line up of presenters. Maybe they should have had a totally clean sweep and given another female presenter a chance, as Kate Humble does seem to have appeared on several programmes recently.

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  • 83. At 11:47pm on 04 May 2009, AnnieTJ wrote:

    I am so looking forward to the new series, as I have said already, Bill will be sorely missed. He had such a wicked sense of humour and such an electric relationship with Kate that we are all feeling doubtful that anyone could fill his very capable and knowledgeable shoes. Come on guys, lets give the new guys a chance, Bill is away (hopefully not forever) and Kate needs some help so lets give it a whirl - the programme is such a gem regardless who presents it. For me, it is about enjoying the seasons, the wildlife and just being alive for another year, we need to realise the beauty of nature and be thankful we are enjoying it, yet again.

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  • 84. At 2:31pm on 05 May 2009, sue wrote:

    i cant wait for springwatch ! my local reserve is buzzing with wildlife especially birds and in one nestbox which has camera so you can inside has 6 blue tit eggs in it and 5 great tit eggs in it!
    i do wish springwatch trackers were coming back as i loved it and still have all my stuff . sue

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  • 85. At 2:33pm on 05 May 2009, sue wrote:

    i think chris packham will be great on springwatch . how about iolo williams --he`d be great too! and michaela strachan. sue

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  • 86. At 3:01pm on 05 May 2009, munday1984 wrote:

    I would like to give my best wishes to Bill and his family as I know how hard depression can be on those affected and their loved ones. However every cloud has a silver lining, Bill being required to take a break has left a space for an extremely good presenter in Chris, who fully deserves this opportunity. I am sure that he will make as good a presenter for Springwatch as Bill did, although his presenting style is different from Bill's I think he will be just as loved by the end of this Springwatch. Top marks to the BBC, they have managed to produce a brilliant team for this years Springwatch and although Bill will be sadly missed, this spring would not have been the same without Springwatch.
    On another note to those of you that were saying spring and autumn watch should be cancelled because Bill is not there, what is your point? This is like saying that when (God forbid it happens any time soon) Sir David Attenbourgh passes on they can never make any nature films again. It is absurd to think that however good a wildlife presenter is they make the entire program, every true lover of nature realises that the overall drama and passion comes from nature herself and not the person telling you about it.
    Good luck to the whole springwatch team hope this years show go's smoothly for you all.

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  • 87. At 6:51pm on 05 May 2009, juma58 wrote:

    So sorry Bill won't be presenting Springwatch this year - he will be missed. I wish he could have heard the cuckoo like I did this morning - it really lifts the spirits.
    Good Luck to the new team

    Julie x

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  • 88. At 6:17pm on 06 May 2009, leafygran wrote:

    A warm welcome to Chris and Martin and love and good wishes to Bill.

    My garden is full of Springwatch interest at the moment ----- can't

    wait for the programme!

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  • 89. At 7:21pm on 06 May 2009, kittiwake3 wrote:

    I am absolutely thrilled to hear that Chris Packham has joined Springwatch. I have enjoyed his wildlife programmes since he started broadcasting. I read his current interview in 'The Lady' with great interest. He is very personable and knowledgeable. While I am sorry to hear that Bill is unwell, some people have rightly pointed out already that the programme is much more than the 'Bill Oddie Show' and I think it is insulting to the other excellent presenters and the producers and camera people (and the WILDLIFE!!!!) to suggest it is just about him. I am looking forward to the new season very much indeed.

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  • 90. At 11:21pm on 06 May 2009, neilll888 wrote:

    I wonder was he pushed 'cause he's old!!!

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  • 91. At 11:35pm on 06 May 2009, sirRobinbluebreast wrote:

    REALLY loking forward to our favourite programme of the year once more.

    Canyou tell me if you will be filming any of the seals on the North Norfolk coast as a friend said he thought he saw you up there last week near Holkham?

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  • 92. At 3:30pm on 07 May 2009, daisybugs wrote:

    Get well soon Bill, you'll be missed this time around.

    I'm really pleased Chris is joining the team though, used to love him in The Really Wild Show!

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  • 93. At 9:04pm on 07 May 2009, Wendyjh wrote:

    I was devastated to go into the website tonight and read the news that Bill Oddie is unwell. The same as many others I know what it it like to be in the dark place and usually find Autumn and Spring the worst times. I do hope he soon returns to his normal self and send my best wishes for his quick recovery (while knowing it may take a long while.
    Spring Watch will not be the same without him but I also know that life has to go on and I wish Chris and Martin all the best for the coming series.
    Also like most I can't wait for it to start either.

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  • 94. At 10:22pm on 07 May 2009, fantasticdarwinist wrote:

    very excited about the new presenters. have been fans of them for years. looking forward cannot wait

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  • 95. At 4:17pm on 08 May 2009, grumpylucy wrote:

    Sorry all those who love Bill Oddie. I won't miss him. He can be even grumpier than me, and often I have felt extremely sorry for Kate Humble having to humour him and curb all that long-windedness.
    But I hope the new team won't be too bland. We don't want blandness on springwatch. It needs to be quirky and there needs to be a bit of sparring between Kate and the chaps. I know the birds are the real excitement, but the people have to be interesting too, don't they?

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  • 96. At 4:40pm on 08 May 2009, neilll888 wrote:

    Actually,did I hear Bill acknowledge chris's contribution on last years show!
    I seem to remember he did a segment for the show!

    Rory Mcgrath would be a good presenter he likes birding,and boating and drinking!!!!

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  • 97. At 5:12pm on 08 May 2009, ruralidyll wrote:

    Definitely time for a change in my opinion. I'm a great fan of Bill and wish him a speedy recovery, but I have not felt he contributed much to Spring/Autumn Watch for the last couple of years. Looking forward to seeing how the new team works out!

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  • 98. At 1:05pm on 09 May 2009, kittiwake3 wrote:

    I appreciate that people like a bit of humour, but I for one will not miss the cringeworthy, smutty comments offered whenever wildlife is doing 'what comes naturally'. Attributing human emotions to animal behaviour can be very embarrassing.

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  • 99. At 04:03am on 10 May 2009, U13525413 wrote:

    It wont be the same not to see Bill this year, but I'm sure he will be back later this year or next Spring Watch 2010.

    Looking forward to this years SW09, love the show to bits and the web-cams, love animals and birds, love Bill's programmes on Bird watching, it was him who got me into all this, Thanks bill, get well soon, much love to you and all your family.

    Kevin Dwyer, Liverpool.

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  • 100. At 7:02pm on 10 May 2009, jambug wrote:

    I just thought I'd have a look to see when SP09 was due to start and saw the news about Bill. How did I miss that? I am sure the messages of good will on here will get back to Bill and I'd like to add my best wishes to all the others. Get well soon Bill, see you next year!!!

    As for this year I'm sure the new team will do a wonderful job. I can't wait to see all the beauty and drama unfold. Might even see a Badger!!

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  • 101. At 8:06pm on 10 May 2009, T9Greyhound wrote:

    I'm really pleased that Chris Packham is joining the team - he's the best choice. I recall someone saying that he's the next David Attenborough! Poor old Bill Oddie was really loosing it at the end of the last series, especially that early morning film clip of him and Kate in a boat doing a piece about ducks - there's no doubting his knowledge but he was really becoming a little too flipant and trying to make the show into comedy. I really hope that he gets well soon but as we all know depression sadly makes a real mess of one's life and affects those close to you as well. I wish him a speedy recovery. I'm really looking forward to Springwatch '09'!

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  • 102. At 08:25am on 11 May 2009, gardenbirdfan wrote:

    i have been an avid fan of both the programmes ..i love bill oddie and am sad he is not on this years prograames but wish the new presenter chris all the best and i am sure he will be great.. hope the tits havn't nested too early just love them good luck to all on springwatch

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  • 103. At 11:09am on 11 May 2009, sweetleighton wrote:

    what a big loss will miss bill oddy will he be back. it wront be the same but it will be still worth watching good luck new team

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  • 104. At 7:10pm on 11 May 2009, poshpattykins wrote:

    had to join this site, just say it will not be the same without bill dont think I can watch without him, get well soon

    will look forward to seeing him back soon

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  • 105. At 10:19pm on 11 May 2009, KristinaBrooker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 106. At 12:10pm on 12 May 2009, TerryWortham wrote:

    How about this for something different. I have at least five robins visiting to take the mealworms I supply. One of them comes to my hand when I ring a bell and I fully expect to have some of the others do likewise later to feed a hungry brood. The tame robin has been coming for three years but I have never had more than two robins at once. I suspect I am at the intersection of three of more territorial ranges so they tolerate each other to take advantage of the regular food supply.
    I also have kestrels in a loft box and she is currently sitting on four eggs. The kestrels also have been coming for several years. I have a mini camera in the box and on one occasion saw an egg being laid.

    Looking forward to the start of Springwatch.

    Terry

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  • 107. At 2:26pm on 12 May 2009, moffynuff wrote:

    I've been looking forward to Springwatch and am stunned and saddened to discover that Bill Oddie won't be presenting. Best wishes to him and thanks for his contribution to past series - and is it too much to hope that he might be back another year?

    Good luck to the new presenters too, though I have real reservations about Chris Packham. I hope he'll be advised not to launch into diatribes against domestic cats or condone the use of air rifles against them as he's reported to have done in the past. It would sour the atmosphere of the programme and could encourage unnecessary cruelty. As with all badly kept pets the problem is the humans, not the animals...

    PS - one of my greatest joys in the last series was the entrancing Scottish wild cat. Such fun to see wildlife presenters get excited about a cat!

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  • 108. At 09:30am on 13 May 2009, carolelove wrote:

    We have only just heard about Bill and were really looking forward to seeing him and Kate on Spring watch this year - best wishes Bill and here's to a swift recovery - you must realise how much joy and pleasure you have brought to people over the past four years particularly, but generally in your whole career too.
    in the meanwhile we are all looking forward to seeing Chris on screen what a good choice.....

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  • 109. At 11:56am on 13 May 2009, StarClusters wrote:

    I'm probably the last Springwatch enthusiast to have heard about Bill Oddie's break. I am a bit disappointed he is not presenting the show this year and wish him well in his recovery. The show definitely won't be the same without him. Will miss is chaotic, fun, 'edgy', and passionate presenting style. As much as I like watching Bill Oddie on TV and the passion he exudes, I won't miss him talking over Kate, lol.

    But, Chris Packham is an excellent choice, probably the only sensible fit imo. I'm sure the show will take an equally enjoyable new direction under his, calmer, sensitive, but just as passionate presentation.

    Can't wait to see Springwatch 2009!

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  • 110. At 4:30pm on 14 May 2009, outofthewest wrote:

    Middle of May and still no Springwatch???? Why not just call it Summerwatch? Surely most of our amazing spring events are coming to an end.

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  • 111. At 6:28pm on 15 May 2009, Beth_Syn_Bod wrote:

    We seem to have been waaiting for the start of this series for months while lots has been happening in the natural world outside.

    Why do we have to wait until less than a week before the start of summer for ther first in a series of a programme called "Springwatch"????

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  • 112. At 5:36pm on 16 May 2009, sampennysam wrote:

    Although I am sorry to hear that Bill is unwell I am pleased to welcome Chris and Martin to the show ........ it is the animals and birds that are the stars of the show and I am looking forward to seeing it again this year.

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  • 113. At 11:39am on 17 May 2009, chalkysaltyseadog2 wrote:

    Get well soon Bill - we'll miss your jokes this year!

    Welcome to Chris - I too remember the really wild show days and was a huge fan! Don't forget Kate and Simon though - we love you too!


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  • 114. At 08:52am on 18 May 2009, blank wrote:

    Is it true that Bill Oddie had to step down after stories of his inappropriate treatment of gibbons in the 1970's came to light?

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  • 115. At 9:46pm on 21 May 2009, deniserosemarie wrote:

    Love the new 'line up' but will miss dear old Bill

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  • 116. At 9:48pm on 21 May 2009, deniserosemarie wrote:

    Hi Chris, just to say that my son was live in the studio on one of your shows when he was about 8years old, said he loved your wicked hairstyle then!

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  • 117. At 11:46am on 22 May 2009, KobusKint wrote:

    Bill was ok, but this is the "nu-skool". The team looks good, but who is the mystery "Mole". Why the secrecy? Is there going to be a marvellous unveilling? Is he a 'celebrity' in disguise? does he actually live in a hole? Is there any point in writing this diatribe - is anyone going to read it?

    I am going to get the News of the World onto the unvielling of this sinster character that is "the so-called Mole". Out them , out them now!
    KK

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  • 118. At 10:44am on 23 May 2009, Clio1326 wrote:

    Last year it was widely floated by online bloggers that Bill Oddie was to be ditched from Springwatch. I did not believe the rumours but they were obviously true
    His replacement will doubtless be very middle class and very safe.

    Been watching it for years but no longer. Bye Bye
    PS watch what happens to your viewing figures...

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  • 119. At 01:54am on 24 May 2009, LGNutter wrote:

    I suffer from depression and I wish Bill all the best for his journey to health. We'll miss him and his banter with Kate, but there's always the banter between Kate and Simon.

    I am in total agreement with raptorsaregreat. Navpi11, perhaps you are a young viewer, in which case I guess it's understandable. Why not give the new guys a chance? If you don't like them after a couple of shows, at least you've not been prejudiced, and that would be a better tribute to Bill than to assume that you're not going to enjoy it. You may be missing something great. Of course it will be different, any change to a team will make a difference, but it doesn't have to be for the worse. I didn't stop watching 'Monkey Business' just because Jim Cronin died, and yes, it is different, but it's just as enjoyable.

    Give it a chance.

    Clio1326 - do you know the facts? I wonder. For example, Bill wasn't ditched he is taking a break for health reasons. Is Chris middle class and very safe? I think he's personable and knowledgable - from other stuff he's been in. Obviously he's not Bill, but like I said to Navpi11, give him, and Martin a chance.

    To Navpi11, Cleo1326 and anyone else choosing to take the predjudiced road, we won't miss you.

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  • 120. At 02:08am on 24 May 2009, LGNutter wrote:

    On a different note, starlings are said to be on the decline, or have I got that wrong? Anyway, in my garden, they are definitely in good shape, I call them 'the gang'. There are at least 20 adults and about 4 days ago they arrived with a whole bunch of juveniles. They are costing me a fortune in fat cakes and fat balls! They get through a fat cake in a matter of a couple of hours! However, they only get one fat cake a day because I can't afford more.

    We have also had a great tit, hedge sparrows, a pair of chaffinches (may be bullfinches), collared doves, wood pigeons, magpies, jackdaws and crows. Last but not least we've had rooks. They like the fat balls that I take out of the netting and put on the floor and I saw one slash away at it until it had eaten enough to pick up the remainder and fly off with it.

    Also seen a squirrel run off with a fat ball in it's mouth, didn't know they could open their mouths that wide! lol

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  • 121. At 10:43am on 25 May 2009, mesmerizingingrid wrote:

    I will miss Bill Oddie!
    Will he be back for Autumnwatch?
    Or another wildlife program? Please?

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  • 122. At 11:28am on 25 May 2009, Did you know I'm retired? wrote:

    I have only just caught up with the fact that Bill Odie is not on Springwatch 2009 and has been replaced by Chris Packham who is without doubt very knowledgeable but for me lacks presence and humour. Bill engaged you in the subject, Chris seems bent on showing how much he knows and that is not the same thing. Just IMHO.

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  • 123. At 8:24pm on 25 May 2009, hypergooner71 wrote:

    Chris will be fine, he's got alot of knowledge and is a funny lad.
    Best wishes to Bill, and lets hope for a great springwatch

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  • 124. At 8:30pm on 25 May 2009, mazzahilly wrote:

    I've only watched springwatch since last year and found that Bill Oddie really made the program fun to watch. No offence to everyone else involved in the program, it's still very well put together, it's just missing Bill's sense of fun and humour for me so I won't be tuning in. Wishing Bill a speedy recovery.

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  • 125. At 8:36pm on 25 May 2009, GuessHoo wrote:

    Great presenter line-up this year!

    SpringWatch just got better!

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  • 126. At 9:19pm on 25 May 2009, teddystannard wrote:

    Congratulations Chris, a hard position to follow but what a worthy successor to Bill. Once again thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
    Regards to the whole team.

    Ted and Mandy Stannard.

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  • 127. At 9:25pm on 25 May 2009, JohnMux wrote:

    Welsh Polecats - interesting use of technology BUT go to College Lake BBOWT reserve (Tring) Window on the Wood hide - no technology necessary - 4 kits falling in pond - hilarious - why Wales?! Cute unless you're a rabbit.

    Ravens within M25 outside of The Tower of London - Ravenettes singing and about to fledge - film crew for these stars (the biggest crows in the world)?

    Newts see off grass snake - hissing sid (protected) has left. Frog not seen recently potentially lurking as frogs do.

    JohnMux

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  • 128. At 9:47pm on 25 May 2009, phoenix380 wrote:

    Chris has started very well ,and a great presenter,has to be to fill Bill shoes ,and hope Bill gets well soon and back on the telly ,but nature does not wait for Bill and they had to find some one and Chris will do a great job --hope Bill will agree !!!!so lets see what Chris and Kate& the TEAM find in this Springwatch .
    Great to have it back on the telly

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  • 129. At 9:55pm on 25 May 2009, littleplainjane wrote:

    I love springwatch, Goodluck to Chris and I hope Bill makes a full recovery, for those folk comparing the presenters, surely they are secondary to the wildlife which are the stars of the show??

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  • 130. At 10:43pm on 25 May 2009, youngHaribo wrote:

    Grrr. I've been eagerly awaiting the start of Springwatch and i knew the first programme would be shown this evening, but then i forgot all about it. Even more sad when i looked on BBC iPlayer and found it's not available to watch again. I must set lots of alarm clocks for tomorrow evening so i don't miss the second programme too!

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  • 131. At 09:28am on 26 May 2009, Ginkie wrote:

    I 'sky-plussed' Springwatch last night, as I went out for dinner. Just watched it this morning and was very disappointed not to see Bill Oddie. Nothing against Chris Packham, they probably match for enthusiasm, I just love Bill Oddie, he and Kate are great together. I wish him well, and hope he is back on our screens presenting any kind of 'watch' as soon as possible! Get better soon Bill, lots of people love you, more than you probably realise. xx

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  • 132. At 10:08am on 26 May 2009, falconer2406 wrote:

    Hi Everyone i very rarely post on these types of forums but just felt i neede to offer my opinion. I am somewhat confused by post's making comments along the lines of "we tuned in for springwatch and didn'tt realise that Bill was not on" Surely anyone that's a fan of Springwatch new months ago that Bill wouldnt be on, do we know why? i have read various reports from him being asked to stand down and him leaving. I understand he is ill and like others wish him all the best. However! everything needs to evolve and fresh presenters offer a fresh take on things, new opinions and ideas are surley most welcome? I watched last night's show (havent missed one in any series yet!)and thought it was superb, Chris has a hard job to follow in Bill's footsteps and i guess that he is wanting to put his own stamp and his own perspective on the show. I thought he did a great job and my personal opinion is that he has a more rounded knowledge of natural history than Bill. I also enjoyed the article presented by MArtin Hughes Games surely a natural in front of the camera's. All in all a great first show and remember "One presenter a programme doesn't make!!) Best wishes to all especially those behind the scenes a great job.

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  • 133. At 11:16am on 26 May 2009, BarbadosRum wrote:

    It is great to see a wildlife programme on TV that features British wildlife!
    The next three weeks will give us a chance to see nature do it's usual un-rehearsed and unpredictable best.
    Yes, it was big news in January when it was announced that Bill will take a break from the series and I sincerely wish Bill a speedy return to what he loves.
    Chris and Martin will, I'm sure, bring a wealth of experience and expertise to Springwatch and indeed Autumnwatch.
    As previously mentioned, it's the wildlife that 'star' but it's the team that successfully 'brings it to us' :-)
    I'm sure that there is room for Bill and all the current team to work together on future episodes when he does return.

    Paul King (no relation to Simon) ;-)

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  • 134. At 11:26am on 26 May 2009, artisticgardenlover wrote:

    Today, 26th May my garden was filled with butterflys/moths not sure which but there were at least 25/30. They were orange,brown, with black and white markings on tips of wings. I've never seen so many in one go.

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  • 135. At 11:34am on 26 May 2009, quickbennyboy wrote:

    The springwatch prog last night was great, nice to see it in wales. i came across a fledgling on the ground in my garden which had ventured from the nestbox,i put it back because our dogs would have found it.did i do the right thing.

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  • 136. At 11:59am on 26 May 2009, falconer2406 wrote:

    Difficult to decide what to do for the best, with the dog around i would have done the same and then kept an eye on it to see how the parents reacted. I came a cross a lesser spotted woodpecker fledgling last night on the ground but one of the parents was above it chipping like crazy. I hated seeing it looking so vunerable but we have to leave them and let mother nature take her course. I will take a look tonight on my way home!

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  • 137. At 12:02pm on 26 May 2009, falconer2406 wrote:

    re the Butterfly's or Moths these sound like painted lady's do they look like this (see link) http://www.cornwall-butterfly-conservation.org.uk/images/gallery/400/painted_lady_butterfly.jpg

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  • 138. At 12:04pm on 26 May 2009, siderealview wrote:

    Thank you Kate for returning; to 'newbie' Chris: good start; but BOO-HOO no Bill. Come back pleeeeze - we need alternative humour - don't be put off by p.c. producers. Do your thing - it will always have an audience.

    My main thrust in posting is to thank SIMON for mentioning Britain - that great place - twice in a couple of sentences - instead of that AWful acronym somebody in a past Cabinet suggested which has caught on woefully in the Media world: I can't even bring myself to write it. Britain not only describes our historic (& wildlife-filled) nation; it emphasizes our earliest connections: after all we are British, aren't we? Keep on speaking that way, Simon:
    & if you need another wildcat, I know where you can come & check him/her & babes out! Scotland, of course, but that hasn't fazed you in the past. And, oh yes, red squirrel, crossbill, goldfinch, bullfinch, goldcrest, peacock butterflies, heron, lapwing, rook, jackdaw, swallows-in-abundance (but not yet fledged), wren, blackbird, dunnock, all tits except long-tail - should I go on...?

    Thanks to all for a great programme.

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  • 139. At 12:51pm on 26 May 2009, jaspertravis wrote:

    I'm afraid Bill's style of presenting put our family off watching Springwatch so delighted to see Chris take his place. I still wish Bill a speedy recovery but hope he now retires gracefully.

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  • 140. At 1:06pm on 26 May 2009, carolelove wrote:

    well....what a great first show am totally hooked ...however am a bit non - plussed with you Kate ? Bill was a handful and i could see that reigning him in with your DR Who assistant type role was a good ploy [ still love you Bill] ...but surely you and chris could have relationship that is a bit more egalitarian, surely after the last five years you too could take the expert role once in while not just the glamourous assistant [ still love you too ...and am growing in affection for Chris - but not in that way too oxford street casual outfit he had on last night]...Ps the kids need to know if Hanibal has grand chicks?

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  • 141. At 3:17pm on 26 May 2009, TrishClawson wrote:

    A challenge for the team. Look out for turtles. They are certainly established in the Wensum as it flows through Norwich and have been for at least 10 years so may be ( though unlikely I imagine) they may have moved up to Pensthorpe and yes I have seen and photographed one
    I also miss Bill, but I am delighted with the knowledge Chris is bringing to the programme. May 'The Black Dog' leave Bill alone be very, very soon
    From Trish Clawson

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  • 142. At 5:28pm on 26 May 2009, hamary wrote:

    Talk about dumbing down - this has now become Springwatch for the under fives! Please, please can we see more of the animals/birds and a lot less of the presenters!! (The new presenters are truly ghastly.) If we MUST see them, please tell them to keep their hands still and stop waving them about, sit on them if necessary. The programme is about the animals and birds not the presenters! If it's not better tonight, I shall turn off.

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  • 143. At 7:13pm on 26 May 2009, walter1950 wrote:

    hope it might be of interest to you ,it is to us,
    we moved into this house last year and missed the house martins which nest below the roof every year, we spent the whole winter looking at the intricate structure of the nest they built only to see it fall down in the bad weather,
    but the good news is they have returned , but dont seem to be very fast builders they just seem to sit in last years debris every morning,
    do you think they will build in the same place or find a new nest site


    Walter

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  • 144. At 7:27pm on 26 May 2009, PETER MEREDITH wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 145. At 7:33pm on 26 May 2009, brownandyh wrote:

    I caught up with springwatch last night and did not know Bill was not part of team. I still enjoy the presentation as all the team have something to add to the programe in their own way. I hope Bill will have some input at a later stage.

    I am more concious of what appears in my garden and this year I am having more feathered visitors, even a couple of Robins that I have not seen for several years in this area as well as a heron in a local brook who has also been at my father in laws pond.

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  • 146. At 8:11pm on 26 May 2009, spidermantis wrote:

    I was very disappointed with the new look springwatch last night. The buzz has gone without Bill Oddie in the driving seat. There seemed to be very little content. The only content there seemed to be was on the presenters and how much they knew rather than the important subject, which was the wildlife. I do not need to know what goes on behind the scenes especially when it covers most of the programme. nobody can fill Bill's shoes, Bill is springwatch and his knowledge and eccentricites made the programme. I have nothing against Chris Packham but I am not in the classroom and I don't need a teacher, I left that twenty years ago. We wish Bill a speedy recovery and look forward to his return.

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  • 147. At 8:29pm on 26 May 2009, stedee64 wrote:

    Hi there we have house martins that come back every year and they did this year in late april.But having visited the nest they disappeared and have not come back.Is there any reason for this and also is it me but there seems to be very few house martins this year,are they holding back for some reason,many thanks Steve.

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  • 148. At 8:32pm on 26 May 2009, miketed wrote:

    I wrote to the BBC last year about the very juvenile way the presenters are projecting the show, Bill and Kate use to talk over each other, now I notice that Chris and kate are doing the very same thing. when one is talking the other is muttering in the background If they heard them selves they would know what I am talking about. It makes for very poor veiwing and listening.

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  • 149. At 8:42pm on 26 May 2009, pamela34 wrote:

    Welcome back springwatch, and especially to Chris Packham who judging by these comments has had some big boots to fill, your doing a great job Chris, it is great to see a new team this year, Kate and simon are as fantastic as ever.

    I would like to say I hope Bill gets better soon, and that Bill will be seeing all these messages and getting a much needed boost because we are all missing you this year.Get well soon dear Bill

    Wildlife is fantastic as ever,this is the best kind of reality tv this is what the tv licence is truley for.

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  • 150. At 9:29pm on 26 May 2009, spidermantis wrote:

    Just watched the second show of springwatch. Still very disappointed and I hope it improves with time.

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  • 151. At 9:35pm on 26 May 2009, carolelove wrote:

    i just thought i would let you know that a group of lap wings is a deceit, a group of swans is a sownder, while you can have a tittering of magpies and an unkindness of ravens with an earth of foxes.

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  • 152. At 05:13am on 27 May 2009, naturefan123 wrote:

    So pleased I can watch Springwatch again as Bill Oddies presentation had become annoying Thay I no longer watched the program. He took focus away from the wonderful animal and bird activity that is so enjoyable. Simon King still stands out as knowledgeable and professional and just hope the silliness Kate is prone to doesnot replicate itself with Chris Packham eg leaning on Kate to describe polecat sighting!!
    Wonderful shots of Derbyshire from Amateur photographer they were fantastic. Like the new Badger slot.

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  • 153. At 07:00am on 27 May 2009, Si Harries wrote:

    I think the program has a nice balance now.Leave it just the way it is please.

    Wishing Bill a speedy recovery.

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  • 154. At 08:03am on 27 May 2009, poshlaney wrote:

    I have to really disagree with the comment below, although Bill was excellent on the show. What a refreshing change Chris is making, over the years I have watched the show sporadically but am glued to this series. The banter between the presenters is excellent.

    I think spring watch 2009 is going to be a huge hit. Keep up the great work!!

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  • 155. At 11:23am on 27 May 2009, debsyn wrote:

    I like Springwatch, with and without Bill (hope he's getting better). The wildlife speaks for itself! Chris is doing a great job - although he should try not to talk over Kate if he can help it...

    Simon King is, as ever, excellent. But I'm afraid I think Martin should stick to being a producer - his style of presenting is too childish for my liking and his floppy hair and sunglasses are starting to really annoy me.

    Great programme!

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  • 156. At 12:15pm on 27 May 2009, Surreyjenmay wrote:

    I have always been a fan of spring and autumnwatch, but as this year's has started I have become more irritated by the constant repetitions. It is not necessary to tell us repeatedly about what has already happened, except briefly at the beginning of the show, or - and Simon King is especially guilty of this - what is going to happen. We are not all children. I admire all the presenters, but wish the cameras would concentrate more on the wildlife and less on them: they sometimes gabble at each other: a relaxed atmosphere is good, but sometimes in their enthusiasm they get carried away.

    My father got so fed up with all the viewing of presenters' faces and the continual chatting and repetition (as they go to and from Simon - thank you to the other presenters, welcome back to Wales/Norfolk, comment on what we have just seen, going back over what we saw on the last visit, promises of excitement to come) he went off to bed. He is well in his eighties and has a good memory. Do not treat us like children.

    Many other wildlife programmes do the same thing, brief visits to a particular animal, regurgitation of what happened before (a few minutes earlier), more about what is to come and EVENTUALLY they get to the new material.

    The presenters are good - I especially like Kate Humble - but producers, think, please. Viewers' memories are not that bad!

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  • 157. At 12:55pm on 27 May 2009, fleetwoodflyers wrote:

    WELL DONE BBC FOR PICKING A NEW TEAM LEAD BY KATE, EXCELLENT VIEWING
    ESPECIALLY THE RED BUTTON FEATURE AT THE END. GOOD SHOW.

    GEOFF AND JEAN (FLEETWOOD FLYERS)

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  • 158. At 2:55pm on 27 May 2009, tennisfiend wrote:

    For Chris Packham.
    We have a blue tit nest box with a camera, and this year 8 of the 10 eggs hatched. The babies developed very quickly and all seemed ready to leave the nest several days before this happened.Four birds left the nest between 1 and 2pm on Friday 22, but the other four stayed there and were still regularly fed by the parents, before leaving the nest early in the morning on Sunday 24.We have never had this happen in the past, and wonder if blue tits and other birds have been known to stagger the time that the babies leave the nest? Jennie Hancock.

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  • 159. At 4:03pm on 27 May 2009, braveronnie1 wrote:

    Good luck Bill and a quick recovery. The black dog can be banished and I have planted an oak tree for you at the Ashram in Wales.Like you it will make it with love and care.

    Ronnie

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  • 160. At 4:11pm on 27 May 2009, braveronnie1 wrote:

    Poor debsyn.
    His comments about Martin and his long hair and glasses is a wee bit daft. I have made wildlife films and I give talks to schools and other groups. I wear a rainbow coat at times but no one ever thought I was out of sorts. As for Kate, Chris knows his place and if he steps out of line Kate has been around the block and will soon sort him out. After all,Chris has a hard act to follow so he makes his own mark and this is about wildlife not wild men. The team are good going on great as are all the back room boys and girls.

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  • 161. At 4:32pm on 27 May 2009, fedupmulc wrote:

    Really good program. New presenters are excellent. However, Kate Humble makes my hair stand on end. Her voice and mannerisms drives me mad!!!

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  • 162. At 5:34pm on 27 May 2009, waveydavey1959 wrote:


    I think a change is a s good as a rest with the presenter line up-people are comparing Chris and Bill but they are just different!Bill has his strengths,Chris has his strengths .

    As long as Chris doesnt keep doing Kates punchlines before she gets to them they should be fine.

    Springwatch unsprung is great too-can it be half an hour?

    PS read Bills autobiography to sort of understand the man a bit more.

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  • 163. At 5:34pm on 27 May 2009, SteveDawkins wrote:

    Hi all!!!
    I am a Big Bill Oddie fan and hope he regains his health soon. I recommend his autobiography as a really good read!!! Chris Packham is a brilliant choice for stand-in for Bill. Chris is a great humoured guy, also he appears to have gelled with Kate straight away. I'm from the New Forest and Chris appears quite often on local TV and his knoledge of wildlife is quite amazing. Well done the BBC and the whole team of Springwatch for this brilliant show that the whole family really enjoys, we also learn more about our wildlife in a well presented good humoured way. Many thanks BBC!!!

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  • 164. At 6:37pm on 27 May 2009, alanblogger wrote:

    I am delighted that Bill Oddie is no longer in the Springwatch presentation team. I stopped watching the programme a long time ago because Bill persistently interrupted while Kate was talking, always had to have the last word, and tried vainly to be humorous. His ego was far too big for the show. Chris Packham is an excellent replacement and I hope that the current team continues.

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  • 165. At 8:08pm on 27 May 2009, atcham jack wrote:

    i am sorry but its the same old program with 2 professor yaffels in charge who gabble and giggle throughout the show. thank goodness for simon who speaks slowly and always has something useful to say. more of simon and a lot less of the gigglers and gabblers please.
    the jury is out with the others, whatever happens get well soon bill, as kate seems out of her depth.
    finally the springwatch unsprung is a cacophony of presenters talking over each other giggling etc. the only sensible thing last night was a mug of maltesers.
    well done simon try and sort your compatriots out and soon,

    tony russell deepest devon

    more wikderness of wales please

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  • 166. At 8:48pm on 27 May 2009, Grey101x wrote:

    I have to say that the show has lost its edge without Bill. The new guy is, I am sorry to say a little irritating.

    Lets have Bill back as soon as possible, on his Twitter page he seems to suggest he was sacked, not true???

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  • 167. At 8:56pm on 27 May 2009, nikki0 wrote:

    i love springwatch after watching it last year i have done my garden and now i get all kinds of birds and a hedgehog which is great at the moment am getting the babies which the kids love to watch so thanks for a great show ill be still watching

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  • 168. At 8:58pm on 27 May 2009, artiepea wrote:

    I have been watching tonight's programme with dreat interest. I might be wrong, but popular bird #5 was this a Bullfinch as opposed to a "Chaffinch"??

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  • 169. At 9:02pm on 27 May 2009, crazimare wrote:

    Glad to see the back of Bill! Did you consider Iolo Williams as a replacement? The lovely Birdman from RSPB Wales? He would have been perfect! Still never mind, Chris Packham is great too. Thank goodness Kate has an equally professional co-presenter at last.

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  • 170. At 9:10pm on 27 May 2009, crazimare wrote:

    Glad to see the back of Bill. Did you consider Iolo Williams as the new presenter...the Birdman from Wales? He has been wildlife mad forever and worked for the RSPB in Wales. Loads of experience presenting and would have been perfect. Still, Chris Packham is great too and at least Kate has a more professional co-presenter at long last.

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  • 171. At 9:23pm on 27 May 2009, farnhamcrop wrote:

    I have to say that this Springwatch is far far superior to any of the previous ones,mainly I have to say through the absence of Bill Odie, it appears to have taken on a far more mature and intellectual feel with out him, please please please keep this format

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  • 172. At 9:32pm on 27 May 2009, farnhamcrop wrote:

    Have to say sad to hear about Bills problems , but also have to say that so far Springwatch 09, is far far more intresting and informative than it has ever been before,this new line up of presenters works really really well, so , tho this will probably be an unpopular statement please please no more Bill

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  • 173. At 07:30am on 28 May 2009, bitmead wrote:

    We have just seen a magpie take a blackbird chick from the nest in our garden and our daughter who lives in Bournemouth says that for the past two years they have picked off the starling chicks as they leave the protection of their nests under the eaves. The three sets of parents have failed to raise any young at all and the magpie population just grows and grows. What can anyone do about this ?

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  • 174. At 08:31am on 28 May 2009, chignal wrote:

    Several years ago I heard a 'crying' sound in the night, thinking it was a baby I got my torch and opened the bedroom window; low and behold there was a badger eating the fleshy part of a live hedgehog - this solved a local problem as several hedgehog carcases had been found in the previous weeks on the local cricket field opposite where I lived! My daughters never forgave me as I didn't waken them to see the badger - I was actually frozen in excitement!! Essex

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  • 175. At 10:59am on 28 May 2009, mollybed9 wrote:

    I thought you said yesterday that the numbers of starlings was declining, but yesterday in my garden I counted at least 12 adults with appx 25 fledgings being fed. It was noisier than a 5 year olds birthday party. Have photographs if you are interested.

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  • 176. At 11:01am on 28 May 2009, SteveDawkins wrote:

    Great show again Wednesday night, the Goshawks were stunning.

    I'm surprised at some of the comments regarding the presenters talking over each other. This is live TV, the last thing wanted is those awkward pauses of silence, so I believe the show moves along at a nice pace that keeps the viewer interested. However, I cannot help thinking that the show is somewhat morphing into Top Gear? Read on!!!

    We have lost Tiff-( Bill Oddie)
    Aquired the young fresh faced Richard Hammond performing daring antics-(Chris Packham in his garden with the poodles.)
    Of course we have livewire Jeremy (Kate) Sorry Kate!!!
    Also new on the scene is the likeable long haired James May (Martin)with the holiday hints.
    Moreover we have Simon making regular appearances who must surely be, you guessed it...The Stig!!!

    Great show, looking forward to seeing those Polecats!

    Good-Night!!!

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  • 177. At 2:09pm on 28 May 2009, akasupercyclist wrote:

    Dear Bill.....you are very much missed from one lady here in Manchester. Your wit and knowledge cannot be replaced, you were like a comfy armchair always there and easy to listen to and great fun to watch. Please get well, I read your book and it knocked me out.

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  • 178. At 4:09pm on 28 May 2009, youngpk49 wrote:

    great program!
    Like the new guy.

    greetings from The Netherlands

    Peter

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  • 179. At 5:55pm on 28 May 2009, irishsunniva wrote:

    Just thought you'd like to know we had 3 young swallows in our house this afternoon. Two went out by themselves but we had to help the 3rd one along. He/she even left a little something for us in the form of poo.... We're in Co Wexford, Ireland & love the show & the presenters. Welcome back Chris your knowledge is great.

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  • 180. At 8:10pm on 28 May 2009, renrutturner wrote:

    A school near me, Kirkham Lancashire, has always cuit its extensive hedges at this time of the year. They are mainly hawthorn. Last year and the year below I contacted the school to point out that at this time of the year birds were nesting and there action wasn't helping the bird population. I even asked the headmaster to see how many similar hedges he could see on his journey to and from school, Sadly the hedges have just been cut again and so there will be more distressed birds. It doesn't set a good example to the pupils does it.Perhaps you could bring this up during the course of your excellent programme.

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  • 181. At 8:23pm on 28 May 2009, bushy-tailedLorraine wrote:

    We have a bird box in the garden which blue tits have used year after year. This year is no different and there was a pair of tits busy feeding their chicks when a woodpecker came to the box regularly and pecked a large hole in it. Now the parents will not enter the box and I fear that the chicks have died. Do woodpeckers attack baby birds and why did it do it to this family?


    Thank you

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  • 182. At 8:37pm on 28 May 2009, Sergio_at_the_pier wrote:

    What an Excellent presenter Chris is!! Had really gone off Spring/Autumn watch, but my interest is now back to 100% all thanks to Chris. Have really enjoyed his knowledge, passion and humour. Well done BBC.

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  • 183. At 8:41pm on 28 May 2009, fjpickett wrote:

    Carolelove wrote about Kate: "surely after the last five years you could take the expert role once in while"

    I quite agree. I get the impression that Kate knows far more than she lets on (and probably more than Chris P) but she's been put in the supporting role again. Anything to do with glass ceilings?

    It will be interesting to learn the viewing figures. My guess is that they will be down without Bill.

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  • 184. At 8:44pm on 28 May 2009, dizzybirder wrote:

    Enjoying Springwatch back on B2. Simon King as great on location as ever. And Chris and Kate are a fab team heading the live show. But please tell Martin H-G to stop pointing all the time!!!

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  • 185. At 8:47pm on 28 May 2009, Hellybobog wrote:

    I love the show but I must say it's not as good without Bill. He put some fun into the show and all our house wishes he would come back. Its far less fun and the only people that don't miss Bill must not have a funny bone! It's become quite dull to watch and Bills knowledge of the birds and ALL other animals...what can I say but WOW! I hope he gets well soon and that you'll being putting him back on the show as soon as he's up to it. The children in my family love him and have taken so much from watching the show. This year however they just don't want to watch. The life of the wildlife show is missing.

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  • 186. At 8:56pm on 28 May 2009, scribblebobble wrote:

    Cuckoo heard just 2 miles from Lake Vyrnwy at the begining of May - last time it was heard was today ..

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  • 187. At 9:01pm on 28 May 2009, unbeatableelsamere wrote:

    I live in Crockenhill, Kent and have heard the cuckoo in an orchard close to my house. We hear it evey year, long may it last.

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  • 188. At 9:32pm on 28 May 2009, blueangelical wrote:

    great show, think kate's a real hotty. , would love to meet her :-)

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  • 189. At 9:32pm on 28 May 2009, secretscrapy wrote:

    We can here a cuckoo most mornings over the back of our garden,the first time this year was the end of April,this has been going on for at least the last 10 yrs,all this in Fakenham Norfolk,just 1 mile up the road form Pensthorpe where you are currently broadcasting from.

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  • 190. At 9:35pm on 28 May 2009, goodfallow wrote:

    I am actually glad Bill is not doing the show.I found him a bit to much to handle.But I do hope he gets well...if that's the real reason £££££££

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  • 191. At 9:39pm on 28 May 2009, jovialG1ULZ wrote:

    May 10th 2009 Linford near Ringwood 15.00.

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  • 192. At 10:01pm on 28 May 2009, stephkent wrote:

    Am loving the new presenting team, great camaraderie. I hope Bill is on the mend but prefer the new line up. Thanks and looking forward to a great second week.

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  • 193. At 10:12pm on 28 May 2009, quietpeterbird wrote:

    I have listened for cuckoos most springs and aways heard them until 2 yrs ago. 2 weeks ago in a hide at BLASHFORD in Hants, one sat in a tree less than 2 metres for 20 mins cuckooing away, fantastic.

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  • 194. At 10:21pm on 28 May 2009, morrowwind wrote:

    hi in the last three weeks i have been very fortunate to have heard cuckoos in different areas, heard three calling on the marshes at herringfleet hills near somerleyton in early may. heard another whilst waiting for the ferry at reedham about five days later,heard another calling from woodland bordering marshland near belton only last week,heard another on tuesday 26 may at geldeston near bungay, and just today heard one calling where i work near tasburgh whitch is out side norwich. hope this info will help.

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  • 195. At 00:04am on 29 May 2009, SteveDawkins wrote:

    A very handy hint for anyone visiting the New Forest in Hampshire.

    There is a forestry commision enclosure near Ringwood called 'Holly Hatch' Today we observed many deer, four cucoos we either heard or spotted, redstarts, treecreepers, honey buzzard, hobby, Etc. There is also a brook with many dragonflies and damselflies, adders and grass snakes. An absolute haven for wildlife, walk quietly through this beautiful place and see what you can spot. The sound of the birds is quite astonishing, its all around you!

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  • 196. At 01:29am on 29 May 2009, seaNecklace wrote:

    Although I wish Bill Oddie well and wish him a speedy recovery, I fly against the tide of opinion when I say that I have not been able to watch the programme before due to that fact that I found Bill very irritating which detracted from the wonderful wildlife. Now that Bill has left I have been addicted to the program and hope that it remains in it's current format for may future seasons.

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  • 197. At 08:11am on 29 May 2009, shirley_allan wrote:

    heard our second cuckoo Hunstanton 24:5:09 thats in Norfolk .

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  • 198. At 08:17am on 29 May 2009, shirley_allan wrote:

    just in case our first sighting of a Cuckoo hasent reg it was in Barnstaple Devon 11:5:09

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  • 199. At 08:21am on 29 May 2009, shirley_allan wrote:

    Bill had the fun factor , BUT he was a bit norty ! we will miss him

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  • 200. At 09:11am on 29 May 2009, lordyoumustbejoking wrote:

    I'm sorry Bill Oddie is ill but I for one am delighted his irritating personality is off this programme.
    Talking of irritating Chris & Kate you're British. Why the Americanism "snuck" instead of "sneaked". Please stop using this American term.

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  • 201. At 09:20am on 29 May 2009, tiaorio wrote:

    I heard my first cuckoo on 10 May in the New Forest, then one in Wimborne, Dorset, on 22 May and another at Blandford, Dorset, on the 24th.

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  • 202. At 09:51am on 29 May 2009, clurtandburt wrote:

    I heard my first cuckoo in North Wales at the beginning of May but havnt heard one since!
    I loved Bill Oddie and will miss him but I love Chris to he is fun and wish him well.

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  • 203. At 10:22am on 29 May 2009, vivacemon wrote:

    The new presenters make a great team. My 4-year-old grandson is thoroughly absorbed with the beautiful photography - he especially likes the badgers. But he says the presenters talk too fast and he can't take in what they are saying.

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  • 204. At 10:43am on 29 May 2009, secretjennylee wrote:

    Get well soon Bill Oddie,
    Well done to both of the new presenters.
    I, for one, shall certainly continue to follow the programme with interest and never cease to be amazed by all the incredible nature around us.

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  • 205. At 11:14am on 29 May 2009, youngmrsrabbit wrote:

    Really enjoying Springwatch. Love it, espectially the Springwatch Unsprung extra bit. Brillant.

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  • 206. At 11:17am on 29 May 2009, shutterblade wrote:

    After watching the stoat carrying its babies across a busy area in full daylight - I saw the same thing happening in Summerseat, Bury, Lancashire on Thursday 28th at midday. This was across a busy oneway shortcut as cars were waiting to pass at a passing place. The coincidence of seeing the Springwatch footage and seeing it 'live' was amazing. Especially as I have not seen a stoat in years!!

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  • 207. At 11:20am on 29 May 2009, coolpondman wrote:

    The new springwatch team pretty good ,but could kate pipe down for five minutes and not be so loud and give somebody else a chance

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  • 208. At 11:44am on 29 May 2009, snowkittyhawk wrote:

    Dear Springwatch, I like the new presentation very much, but sadly, do miss Bill, hope he is recovering well. I like the way Chris Packham is picking up some of the mannerisms and presentation of Bill and injecting with it his own image and style. And, of course, we all like Kate Humble - she is wonderful and carries the programme along nicely.

    Christine (in Wellington, in the West Country)

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  • 209. At 11:50am on 29 May 2009, marlin80 wrote:

    Wonderful Springwatch - loving it but please, Chris, that horrible Space Hopper T-shirt screaming out "Look at ME! Look at ME! Look at ME!" was very annoying and distracting. PLEASE don't wear it again.

    Apart from that, brilliant programme.

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  • 210. At 12:28pm on 29 May 2009, sportyCookham wrote:

    Chris is a great presenter and whilst sorry not to see Bill this year (get well soon), the new line up is really good. Chris and Martin really know their stuff, as does Simon King. I'd be more than happy to watch those guys, and Gordon Buchanan, maybe its time Kate took a year off so that the programme really would be refreshed. To be honest, much as I like Bill I did feel the programme was getting a little stale,and Kate doesn't seem to have quite got to grips with sharing the limelight and the 'brighter', more factual and less sentimental feel brought about by the new presenters.

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  • 211. At 12:53pm on 29 May 2009, Shoyad01 wrote:

    I have to say that the programme is much more watchable without Mr Oddie

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  • 212. At 3:19pm on 29 May 2009, myseren wrote:

    so sad to hear about bill oddie he truly is a remarkable guy and knows his birds in and out....GET WELL SOON BILL. Glad the dishy Chris Packham has joined the team he has a wealth of knowledge. A good team all round and a laugh to watch. The wildlife and webcams are awesome, webcams are edge of your seat stuff, wish the blackbirds would fledge soon as i have to go to work in an hour and would love to see them flegde!!!!!!!

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  • 213. At 4:06pm on 29 May 2009, shutterblade wrote:

    Reguarding stoats; you know how you can tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel - well the weasel is weasely recognised and a stoat is stoatally different!

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  • 214. At 4:21pm on 29 May 2009, sanctonmike wrote:

    Great work well done to all the new faces

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  • 215. At 4:27pm on 29 May 2009, John Bennett wrote:

    I like Bill Oddie and his quirky way of presenting the series he is missed. Get Well Soon Bill. However I am enjoying the new line-up of presenters, not the same but just as good and very informative.
    Keep up the good team very enjoyable tv.

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  • 216. At 4:37pm on 29 May 2009, grantpht wrote:

    Myself and my inlaws have been hearing a cuckoo for the past month around saltfleet (lincolnshire).

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  • 217. At 5:57pm on 29 May 2009, caribou192 wrote:

    I first heard the Cuckoo this year 17 April and several times since then, including this week. The location, Foxholes Plantation, near Longleat, Wiltshire.

    I also heard the Cuckoo in Suffolk from 10th to 15th May at Kettleburgh, near Woodbridge.

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  • 218. At 6:12pm on 29 May 2009, rjd1802 wrote:

    This is the first year I've been watching Springwatch religiously, notably because I heard Chris Packham (whom I've grown up watching) was presenting. He has a wonderful presenting style and I'm so glad I tuned in as the show (and the plethora of information the excellent team provides) has already opened my eyes (in this case, ears) as I heard my first cuckoo today (details posted in cuckoo thread already).

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  • 219. At 7:17pm on 29 May 2009, annashadow wrote:

    I think the show now is FANTASTIC and I really like ALL the presenters!They all make it so interesting with their enthusiasm thankyou to Kate, Steve, Martin and of course Simon! I am lucky enough to live in the Isle of Purbeck and never tire of the amazing sites we have here, why would anyone need to go abroad when we have all we have in GB.
    anna.

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  • 220. At 7:53pm on 29 May 2009, icarusunbound wrote:

    Springwatch not the same without Bill Oddie. Chris Packham a bit of a know-all. Kate seems awfully tense. And why doesn't Martin get his hair cut? Very irritating. Also the tension seems to increase exponentially when he's on screen. Simon just as good as before. But the programme has not gained anything since losing Bill. Hope he's feeling a lot better now.

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  • 221. At 7:55pm on 29 May 2009, Nixweir wrote:

    I really love watching Springwatch. I would like to wish Bill Oddie the very best and hope that he feels more like himself soon.

    I really like Chris Packham and find him so watchable and full of interesting comments. The chemistry between him and Kate is great and there doesn't seem to be the same strange undercurrent as between Kate and Bill.

    Martin needs to get a hair cut!

    Some of the wildlife photography has been superb - especially a couple of days ago with some beautiful winter turning to spring shots. I love the theme tune and would like to get it for my mobile phone.

    It is so nice to see wholesome and upbeat and natural entertainment on the TV.

    PS Didn't know that cuckoos were so endangered (or so large!)- I heard one a few weeks ago and Spring would be dull without their call.

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  • 222. At 8:25pm on 29 May 2009, newlimetree wrote:

    Ithink all of the presenters are really good--lively,informative with lots of little details that make watching really interesting.Very impressed with the sheer technical expertise too.Well done springwatch,keep up the good work for us.

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  • 223. At 8:46pm on 29 May 2009, twinklePeterT wrote:

    My wife and I find the new presenter, Chris, an irritating know it all and his mannerisms are very off-putting. He constantly interrupts Kate and has made her hyper active and giggly. Bill Oddie wasn't much better but at least he didn't make a great show of his knowledge.

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  • 224. At 10:48pm on 29 May 2009, croupierbunny wrote:

    I think that Chris Packham is a great replacement for Bill Oddie. I hope Bill is able to get back on track but I think Springwatch is a much better programme this time and I think it is good to see Kate so much more relaxed rather than trying to carry Bill who wasn't very good on cues and timing

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  • 225. At 10:54pm on 29 May 2009, myseren wrote:

    Why are you not showing foxes on the programme this year seeing as simon said himself they are one of his favourite british mammals?

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  • 226. At 08:50am on 30 May 2009, notanothermembername wrote:

    I always find Chris Packham immensely watchable and well-informed. Can't understand why people don't like him to know it all: there's nothing more exciting than encountering someone who is passionate and KNOWLEDGABLE, rather than the rather more common style of TV presenter - trite and dumb.
    Actually, it's the irritating presence of Kate Humble that often drives me away from Spring and Autumnwatch.
    I'm really missing Bill Odie, though, and hope he is soon feeling much better.

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  • 227. At 08:58am on 30 May 2009, TheMckenzies wrote:

    I think the new team is fantastic!

    Chris is doing a brilliant job and it's good to see him and Kate getting on so well. There are lots of comments saying that the programme isn't the same without Bill, but I think it's much better. Kate is brilliant and can now actually have her own comments on things, without having Bill look at her as if she doesn't know what she is on about.

    We also really enjoy Springwatch Unsprung. It is so funny.

    I really hope that Chris is here to stay.

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  • 228. At 3:23pm on 31 May 2009, bunnykinsdunn wrote:

    I like springwatch I have been watching it for the last 3 years
    and I have learned lots more about birds and wildlife than I Knew before I started.
    yesterday I heard a cuckoo in my back garden in thec Midlands. We have also had robins nesting in our ivy.

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  • 229. At 4:08pm on 31 May 2009, Swaledalefan wrote:

    Chris packham, such an improvement,he does allow Kate to get her say without constant interuptions, and talkingdown to her. I think Kate and Chris and great team. Hope that Chris will still do the Natures Callender progs. Always very informative.

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  • 230. At 8:00pm on 31 May 2009, cem-powys wrote:

    Like the new look team, but why can't you get Iolo Williams on board full-time rather than just a brief feature. In Wales we are priveleged to see him present lots of superb wild-life programmes and it seems a pity that he cannot go 'nationwide'.

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  • 231. At 8:29pm on 31 May 2009, AngelaSmithy99 wrote:

    Today, Sund;ay 31st May, my neighbour came home to find a dear in his rear yard. We live in a fairly urban area and neither myself or my neighbour have seen such like before. I have taken photos on my mobile phone. Our postal area is OL10 - have you known of such an event before! We have phoned the RSPCA and they are going to come and rescue this poor distressed animal. It doesnt seem injured but is cleary upset. What course of action should we have taken?

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  • 232. At 11:27pm on 31 May 2009, diapensia wrote:

    when is sprigwatch going to have someone who knows a bit about botany as a presenter? This is an area that is sadly lacking coverage on "birdwatch" Also, why are you afraid of coming to s.yorks?

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  • 233. At 10:44am on 01 Jun 2009, mesmerizingmaridadi wrote:

    My husband and I are delighted with the team of presenters. And it adds a lot of interest seeing the poodles, the daughters and all that goes on in the wonderful hour of entertaining that we enjoy at present. Keep it up. Few of us appreciate the enormous amount of work that goes into producing these programmes. THANK YOU. There is little else to watch of exciting, positive content.

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  • 234. At 10:44am on 01 Jun 2009, Chit-Wits wrote:

    Heard our first cuckoo of the year at 9.00am & again at 10.30am yesterday, 31st May, at Bigland, near Haverthwaite in South Cumbria.

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  • 235. At 10:59am on 01 Jun 2009, cuckoo13 wrote:

    Friday 13th March 2009

    Thought I was dreaming so awoke my husband at approx 5.45 am to confirm. Live on the edge of Cannock Chase nr Rugeley.

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  • 236. At 2:06pm on 01 Jun 2009, crychyddycam wrote:

    Sorry to here that Bill has been unwell, although I must admit that Chris is a great replacement, in fact it has made my view experience even more enjoyable this year. I feels that his relationship with his co-presenters is a much warmer one than Bill had.

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  • 237. At 3:38pm on 01 Jun 2009, diapensia wrote:

    why are there no wild plants on the show?

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  • 238. At 4:50pm on 01 Jun 2009, PhiltheBear wrote:

    I think it's much better without Bill talking over Kate all the time and trying to be funny (when he was mostly being irritating). Chris knows a lot - perhaps he needs to tone it down a bit for those of us without a couple of degrees in Biology. (Bring out the Kingfisher pellets, Chris).

    But mostly, I'd like the cameraman who does the Simon bits to stop the very annoying zoom in from a wide angle EVERY time Simon appears. It's not necessary and looks like an amateur with a new camcorder.

    And, just for once, why can't we have Simon with Kate and Chris in one place?

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  • 239. At 7:59pm on 01 Jun 2009, birdman81 wrote:

    just took some pictures of a dove making a nest on top of some traffic lights

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  • 240. At 8:12pm on 01 Jun 2009, luckyWildlifeGirl wrote:

    Hi everyone, I think Chris Packham is a great man for Springwatch, very knowledgeable and he fits into the space of our Bill, wonderfully and the show goes on! Great that you are back! Bill, get well soon. x

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  • 241. At 8:46pm on 01 Jun 2009, youngzebbie wrote:

    I saw a cuckoo in the morning when I was woken up by its call.It was on the shores of Loch Tay near Kenmore in Scotland.

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  • 242. At 8:52pm on 01 Jun 2009, dudepazzer wrote:

    heard a cuckoo 2 miles south of Llandegla North Wales at 1pm on31/5/2009 whilst walking the Clwydian Way path.A mile further on we heard another.

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  • 243. At 8:58pm on 01 Jun 2009, colinmbaker wrote:

    The cuckoo changes its tune in the middle of June to cuck cuckoo. I thought this was well known.

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  • 244. At 9:04pm on 01 Jun 2009, colinmbaker wrote:

    Whilst we were on holiday in SW Mallorca we walked along Cap Fornells on Sunday May 10 2009 when we saw huge clouds of Painted Lady butterflies on every flowering shrub. They were obviously on migration because the next day there were none to be seen. It was a magnificent sight.

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  • 245. At 9:07pm on 01 Jun 2009, Iain4087 wrote:

    Spring watch all the more better without Bill, Chris is a good choice

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  • 246. At 9:25pm on 01 Jun 2009, songadd wrote:

    You were talking on the programme about a bird singing "Come on Eileen". We heard a bird repeating these four notes continuously for days and eventually discovered that it was a male blackbird. Unfortunately he has not been heard since we found lots of feathers on the lawn.

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  • 247. At 9:37pm on 01 Jun 2009, graplUK wrote:

    Watched 1st episode of new series tonight. Bill's absence is very noticeable. Chris should have settled in by now. Seems to be trying too hard to be a bit risque/clever/funny; vis-a-vis the "babe" comment. Not supprised Kate was shocked; I was! Also seems to crowd Kate's personal space a bit too much for Kate's comfort. Chris should realise that he can't be a replacement for Bill, and concentrate on his strengths viz. his knowledge of the natural world. The show tonight, when Kate and Chris were on, seemed a one-up-manship clash rather than a nature show. While the show should not be about personalities, unfortunately the personalities keep the audience interested.

    Notwithstanding, we will watch again because in the end nature is the star.

    Cheers

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  • 248. At 10:26pm on 01 Jun 2009, giantgreenbean2 wrote:

    I am loving the two new Springwatch presenters and format. The show is easier to watch and dare I say it but a little less "silly". I turned off last year because of the one-up-manship contest between the two lead presenters. Kate is now far more relaxed and doing a wonderful job now that she can get a word in edgeways. Her lovely smile says it all. Pleased that Simon has left the deer behind as it was getting rather repetitive, and the red kites have been awesome viewing. Please please please keep this line up and I will stay tuned.

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  • 249. At 10:48pm on 01 Jun 2009, littlethorneybank wrote:

    Watched tonights programme-brilliant, especially the slow motion film of the red kites. Does anyone know the music that accompanied that piece, it fitted exactly and was beautiful.

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  • 250. At 10:55pm on 01 Jun 2009, MarzipanMum wrote:

    As much as we have loved Bill Oddie over the years, I must say that Chris and Kate make a lovely team. Kate seems much more relaxed, and Chris is so knowledgeable and witty. Its great to have a programme on the television which is informative and amusing. Lets hope that Chris Packham stays with the show for a long long time!! Thanks also to Simon King for the Red Kite footage - Wow!!

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  • 251. At 11:42pm on 01 Jun 2009, Grizbear wrote:

    I was wondering, did Gordon win the bet on Monday 1st June by wearing that jumper :0)

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  • 252. At 01:32am on 02 Jun 2009, swiftfan wrote:

    I always enjoy Springwatch and this year is no exception. I love the theme tune - please don't think of changing it!

    I'm very sorry to hear that Bill is under the black cloud and hope that he's back in sunlight soon, but I think the new team with Chris and Martin is working very well and 'Unsprung' is a good new development.

    Well done to all involved ;o)

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  • 253. At 08:16am on 02 Jun 2009, PhilSheppard01 wrote:

    Tim - What is the possibility next year of Springwatch putting cameras in Africa and France in March/April to film and broadcast live the migration of the kind of birds you will feature in Springwatch in May/June? Apart from being very interesting TV, this would also make Springwatch material sellable to more countries around the world and so increase its value in the BBC Finance Director's eyes!

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  • 254. At 09:44am on 02 Jun 2009, 24tiggers wrote:

    Cuckoos. Wehave heard the cuckoo more often this year than ever before, and have seen several or the same one several times.First heard at the beginning of May, but not heard this morning - 2nd June. I find it a very exciting, evocative sound.

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  • 255. At 3:55pm on 02 Jun 2009, cheeryspringfan wrote:

    Cuckoos heard at Carngafallt RSPB reserve, OS655 945 and 0S684 935 since 03/05/09

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  • 256. At 8:43pm on 02 Jun 2009, profoundRICHARDD wrote:

    THE NAME FOR THE GREAT BUSTARD CHICK. WELL IT'S GOT TO BE 'CUSTARD' HASN'T IT!?!

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  • 257. At 8:46pm on 02 Jun 2009, friendlycrusty wrote:

    with a mother called fanny, chicks could be gas and light!!

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  • 258. At 8:48pm on 02 Jun 2009, khalisher wrote:

    hi JUST THOUGH IF THE BABY OF GREAT BUSTER TO CALL if it is girl than SMESHOK WHICH MEAN FROM RUSSIAN SMALL FUNNY OR IIF THAT A BOY THAN VESELCHAK WHICH MEAN PERSON WHO MAKE YOU HAPPY

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  • 259. At 8:55pm on 02 Jun 2009, Cheeseroller wrote:

    If bats hang upside down, what happens when they relieve themselves, do they pee and poo on their own heads???

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  • 260. At 9:06pm on 02 Jun 2009, tinathebestz wrote:

    my name for Fannys chick is.....Golightly !

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  • 261. At 9:17pm on 02 Jun 2009, twinpickles wrote:

    Missing Bill and wish him all the best, but delighted to see Chris Packham again. I think he's doing a great job and the new team work really well together. Was going to suggest Craddock for the bustard but someone's beaten me to it.

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  • 262. At 9:17pm on 02 Jun 2009, jenskie wrote:

    its great to have chris on the show i used to enjoy the really wild show and he got me into wildlife

    thanks
    get well soon to Bill

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  • 263. At 10:20pm on 02 Jun 2009, quiteJimbone wrote:

    On holiday in Mull we visited Iona and sat down to eat our lunch in an old derelict church. There was a seagull which flew down and stood about 10 feet from us. We were feeding some sparrows with crumbs from our sandwiches and my wife asked me "are you not going to give some to the gull" I replied no and said he should fly out to sea for his food. After about five minutes the gull flew away and we carried on feeding the sparrows. Suddenly the seagull flew in at speed from over our left shoulder, grabbed a sparrow and flew off. I can still see his little legs flapping as he was carried away. It was quite shocking to see but obviously this bird had developed his own way of easy meals and we were part of that process. On the way back to the boat we saw another couple in the same seat doing the same thing. The gull was there watching so we felt obliged to tell them what was probably going to happen. Very enterprising gull but is this a reason for our dwindling sparrow population?

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  • 264. At 08:14am on 03 Jun 2009, joysaphinejoyojy wrote:

    I have gotta say - I adore Bill Oddie and think he is brilliant - but Fair Dos - this team for Springwatch is pretty awesome. I used to watch the really wild show. I think Chris is doing amazingly - I love the banter between all the presenters. I think the Springwatch Unsprung bit is awesome. Kate is amazing (as always) Simon adds some wonderful insight into the areas he visits, Gordon is wonderful and I love the fact that he occasionally stumbles over his words - but that helps to make it what it is - a programme about nature - not the presenters. Martin reminds me of someone I know, so much so that I wonder if they are related (have you got relatives in Llanteg, Wales) and he is doing extremely well and makes me laugh. As for Chris - well - his humour just cracks me up. All in all - its a pretty amazing team. (Sorry Bill). Please convey best wishes for a speedy recovery to Bill but I think that if he comes back to Springwatch - we should sstill keep all the team that we have now too.
    Well done to all of you for yet another year of wonderful spring watching and excellent presenting.

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  • 265. At 09:15am on 03 Jun 2009, shigatsuhana wrote:

    I believe last night you said the mother's name was Fanny. I think the chick should be called Mansfield from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen where the heroin was Fanny Price.

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  • 266. At 09:29am on 03 Jun 2009, terrydactill wrote:

    I think we should name the baby bustard Oddie say no more. come back soon Bill.

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  • 267. At 10:23am on 03 Jun 2009, Darkstarplants wrote:

    Hi Just wondered if Chris is a Smiths/Morrissey fan, as throughout the week, I've noticed he includes a lot of Morrissey lyrics into the show.ie. 'Handsome Devil', Frankley Mr Shankley', Just haven't earned it yet baby' & last nights mention of 'Vicar In A Tutu'!!!
    I am also a huge Morrissey fan wondered, just seen him a couple of weeks agofor the umpteenth time!! How many other viewers have picked up on it. I do remember Chris on the Really Wild Show in the 80's used to love it.

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  • 268. At 4:48pm on 03 Jun 2009, icafeboss wrote:

    my husband and i heard a cuckoo in hartsholme park in lincoln on sunday night, at about 7-15pm.

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  • 269. At 6:01pm on 03 Jun 2009, oystercatcher2020 wrote:

    WHILST WATCHING SPRINGWATCH ON TUESDAY 02/06/2009 I SHIVERED WITH DISBELIEVE WHEN THE PRESENTERS ALONG WITH THEIR CAMERA CREWS ETC THUNDERED OVER TO THE NEST OF A SKYLARK,OPENING THE COVER TO EXPOSE THE NESTLINGS WITH IN,IN DOING SO YOU HAVE LEFT A SCENT TRAIL FROM THE SWEAT ON YOUR HANDS AND CLOTHING ETC FOR THE LOCAL PREDATORS TO FOLLOW.I HAVE BEEN WATCHING BIRDS FOR OVER FORTY FIVE YEARS AND HAVE ALWAYS FOLLOWED THE RULE 'WATCH BUT DON'T TOUCH'THIS EVEN MORE SO WITH GROUND NESTING SPECIES.IT IS NOT WORTH THE RISK FOR A FEW SECONDS OF FOOTAGE APART FROM THIS WELCOME CHRIS PACKHAM A BREATH OF FRESH AIR AT LAST A PRESENTER ON T.V WHO TELLS IT HOW IT IS, AND SPEAKS COMMON SENCE I JUST HOPE YOU DON'T OWN A CAT[WE MAY FALL OUT]CATS AND CONSERVATION DON'T MIX.COULD YOU PLEASE PRESS THIS POINT MORE OFTEN AND THEN CAT LOVERS MAY GET THE MESSAGE AND SAVE THE LIVES OF SIXTY MILLION BIRDS A YEAR.

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  • 270. At 7:37pm on 03 Jun 2009, plymouthmum wrote:

    Am missing Bill ...

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  • 271. At 9:14pm on 03 Jun 2009, Partridgehouse wrote:

    Fantastic new team. Good to see Chris Packham back on our screens.
    Can we have Summerwatch and Winterwatch as well?

    Also, I LOVE the music.

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  • 272. At 9:14pm on 03 Jun 2009, legdon wrote:

    `Haven't read all posts so sorry if this is a duplication but can we be told how Bill is progressing and can you confirm that he is aware of the expressions of love and regard sent to him via this site ?

    Thanks.

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  • 273. At 9:16pm on 03 Jun 2009, joncarr74 wrote:

    We recently found some bee orchids in a playing field near Stansted airport. Can I ask whether this is a common occurrence for the UK.

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  • 274. At 10:06pm on 03 Jun 2009, truckermal wrote:

    I realy enjoy the presenters and the format, although i miss bill i think the choice of chris and martin was well thought out. i hope they are both lined up for autumn watch.

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  • 275. At 10:13pm on 03 Jun 2009, Flannelcat wrote:

    Darkstarplants, I reckon Chris has been challenged to get a Smiths / Morrissey title into every episode. Tonight we had `Bigmouth strikes again' (which I just mis-typed as Bigmoth - some potential there, surely!). With tomorrow's bees maybe it'll be `The Queen is Dead'?

    By the way, both the mother and grandmother of the four fox cubs living at the end of my south London garden came into the house looking for food today. They're certainly not secretive, nocturnal creatures around here!

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  • 276. At 10:52pm on 03 Jun 2009, greenman22 wrote:

    I just like to say how I am enjoying the latest series of Springwatch. The new team is great!

    Martin Hughes-Games is a real pleasure to watch as are the other members of the team. Will we see more of Martin and Chriss in the autumn? Hope so!

    As for location it is good to see they have stayed at Pensthorpe. Pensthorpe, a real diamond in the heart of the Norfolk countryside.

    Thank you Springwatch team! Looking forward to my Springwatch fix tomorrow!

    Andy - Greenman22
    Middlesex, Uk.

    ps. Glad to hear Bill is feeling better.

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  • 277. At 11:09pm on 03 Jun 2009, gamriesacrey wrote:

    Wasn't sure at first about the enforced change from Bill Oddie to Chris Packham but for me it works well and Martin is entertaining and interesting (not easy to do ),but and this is just an idea why not run for longer and follow spring up the country, up here in Scotland we are behind the south of England so there would be plenty of scope to cover other species without trying to cram to much into each program.
    Steve
    Gamrie

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  • 278. At 06:34am on 04 Jun 2009, bettertv wrote:

    I'm glad to see that Springwatch has updated and the new presenters are very welcome. I was watching Kate and Chris the other night talking about fledglings and I thought I'd inadvertantly switched on Ceebeebies. It is a programme for adults you know.The section on the fact that a previously ringed lapwing chick was food for a kestral was dealt with so much PC I was squirming with embarrassment. What do these birds live on? Chicken nuggets? Get real. Nature is cruel but that's what happens every day out there and there's no good pretending it doesn't. Chris was much more sanguine, but Kate - well!!

    Anyway it's a good programme and Simon is a real star.

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  • 279. At 07:08am on 04 Jun 2009, redcuckoolover wrote:

    I think Bill Odie was much better than Chris, but that is how T.V goes-people leave and bring on someone else!

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  • 280. At 08:30am on 04 Jun 2009, mercyah wrote:

    I know life can be cruel and I usually agree that the Springwatch team shouldn't interfere with the natural forces of nature BUT sometimes the natural feelings of compassion well up to the surface and common sense should be allowed to prevail, last night's episode of Springwatch was one of them, shame on those who ignored a baby's desperate need for intervention until it was too late. Mercyah

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  • 281. At 10:18am on 04 Jun 2009, powerfultigerlover wrote:

    Love the show .You were talking about Skylarks as I have never heard one can you please let us hear his song. Powerfultigerlover

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  • 282. At 4:29pm on 04 Jun 2009, czechbramblecats wrote:

    I am sorry that Bill Oddie is not well BUT have to say that last years Springwatch was over powered by Bill. I am and so is my other half really enjoying this years format, the team really have it right with the content and showing us the birds/habitat/song in one piece so that hopefully when we are out we might remember some of the information and not say to ourselves all the time 'there's an LBJ' 'that's a nice song I wonder what bird it belongs to'. On behalf of cats, we live on a farm and she is far too busy catching mice and rabbits to bother catching birds or the babies. Anyway our Blackbirds always tell all the other birds when she is around by shouting CAT CAT CAT CAT over and over until she has moved off ! You said that one of your blackbirds had taken over the swallow/house martin nest - one of our blackbird family has done just the same in the barn - the swallows are building a new nest in the stables. We also have a hawk/buzzard that comes every morning I started putting a piece of meat scrap out on a post in the very bad weather in the winter and now she (I think it is a she because of the size) comes most mornings about 6 - 7 am for a piece. On the subject of cuckoos - we have the heard the song for a few weeks now but not the last few days. A couple of summers ago when all the baby starlings were trying as usual to fit on the bird table at the same time there was this huge speckled bird demanding two adults (starlings) to feed it - they were getting the food off the table and then having to jump/fly up to the beek of the bird - after a few minutes of wondering I realised this was a baby cuckoo ! only saw it once. I will keep watching - all the best to the new team - thank you.

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  • 283. At 5:26pm on 04 Jun 2009, Stephen Lewis wrote:

    Great show this year and Chris Packhams' knowledge is a real improvement.His light presentation style and impish humour makes great change. I am afraid we did not watch Autumn Watch last year largely due to Bills performance. Just a small criticism. It does annoy us when Simon King delays the telling of developing stories presumably for dramatic effect and also spends an inordinate time reprising stories at the start of each visit to him. Surely most people watch the show most of the time and do not need constant reminding of what is happening. It is most irritating to be treated as a school child! Just get on with it Simon.

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  • 284. At 8:39pm on 04 Jun 2009, thelovelymandapanda wrote:

    Has anyone else noticed the similarity between Chris and Jules Holland ??

    Loved Bill ...national treasure ....but ....love this presentation too.


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  • 285. At 8:56pm on 04 Jun 2009, AnnuMimmu wrote:

    This is actually my first Springwatch but I followed the Autumnwatch and was so glad to find this programme. New presenter team seems to be having fun doing the show. It is very sad though that the videos cannot be watched here is Belgium. Any changed on that front coming in the future?

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  • 286. At 9:01pm on 04 Jun 2009, nomoretogo wrote:

    Bill,

    Really missing you on the program and really sorry to hear about your depression, you will get over it in time, even though you may feel this will never happen, but it will, I got through it. You have everything going for you so think positive we are all missing you, including the birds and animals

    Tony

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  • 287. At 9:06pm on 04 Jun 2009, John London wrote:

    I just left a comment elsewhere on the BBC site on this subject, before finding I could leave it here .. bring back Bill Oddie! I wonder whether Bill was "eased out" .. there was clear friction between Kate and Bill. Kate is an in-your-face type of person, that's just the way she is. Bill is more understated, quirky, and a truly great presenter. I think there is more depth to Bill than Kate (now I've said it!) and I want Bill back! Much more fun to watch. The new guy is all very "nice" but just does not have Bill's personality. Does Bill's "depression" have anything to do with the obvious way Kate ended up antagonising him, whether she meant to or not (and she probably doesn't even know that she did)?

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  • 288. At 9:11pm on 04 Jun 2009, acrobatichoneydog wrote:

    hi,i have honey bees under my decking and a very interested beagle watching them go in and out,should i be worried,acrobatichoneydog northampton

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  • 289. At 9:12pm on 04 Jun 2009, lexdavies wrote:

    Small "Ugly Terracotta" (love it!)
    Robins nested last year!
    A big sucsess!!
    Brill!

    Blackbirds are feeding their chicks in it this year!
    Going to put more, ugly pots around.
    Its time to sit in the garden now & watch the bats arrive, they live in a large oak tree, love them!
    I'm lucky, happy, to have so many trees in my small garden, & many trees near by too!
    The canal, is only small walk away, so see dragonflys, & ducks, in my garden.
    Bless All!!

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  • 290. At 9:22pm on 04 Jun 2009, tweed4pcs wrote:

    the new presenting team is absolutely marvellous! The rapport between Kate and Chris is a joy , much better than the ''I know more than you Kate'' attitude that Bill Oddie always seemed to have. Chris's sense of humour is great and so uplifting!
    Well done guys, I hope your team stays together for many ''watches'' to come

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  • 291. At 9:45pm on 04 Jun 2009, Bird_Fancier wrote:

    Like the new team. Chris is always witty and knowledgeable.
    Sighted a buzzard a few weeks ago here near my home village of Shepshed in Leicestershire. Never thought I'd see one in the midlands.
    But today I saw a pair soaring overhead as I sat at my allotment.
    Hope they are breeding - but if so why were they not sitting or feeding? My first siting was quite close (close enough to see the yellow of its eyes with the naked eye) and I thought it may have been immature.
    Great news for the Midlands though.
    Any other buzzard sitings in this area?

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  • 292. At 10:29pm on 04 Jun 2009, myseren wrote:

    SIMON, PLEASE READ!!!!....was wondering if you are thinking of coming over to the little tern colony down on Gronant beach in North Wales, its really not that far from Anglesey, i am a warden there and it really is a little gem of a place, we have over 200 little terns there now and there is a lot of action going on at the moment, we have oystercatchers, ringed plovers, i even saw a cuckoo the other day as well as skylarks, kestrels, merlins, cormorants, shelduck and seals in our waters and also we have the rare natterjack toad. we have seen the oystercatchers mobbing the crows, peregrines hunting and the little tern behaviour is quite something, it is a delight to watch them coming from the ocean with the sandeels in their mouths and them all making that wondeful chattering sound. please Simon could you and your team consider visiting seeing as you guys are so so close or even come and check it out for next years show maybe, after all it is the only colony now left in Wales, please consider us, thank you.

    Emma Thomas (little tern warden)

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  • 293. At 10:58pm on 04 Jun 2009, czechbramblecats wrote:

    reply to 291 bird_fancier. We are in the midlands near Cannock and we have quite a few breeding pairs of buzzards around us - it is a fantastic sight to see them playing on the thermals and calling their young to come and play as well.

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  • 294. At 11:30pm on 04 Jun 2009, Bird_Fancier wrote:

    glad to hear you have buzzards near Cannock czechbramblecats. Look forward to seeing a family round here someday.

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  • 295. At 01:17am on 05 Jun 2009, bulltrout wrote:

    As much as I liked Bill Oddie Chris is a far better presenter, he is far more informative he realy knows his wildlife and I think the way he presents and his enthusiasm will appeal more to a younger audience aswell. Good on yer Chris

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  • 296. At 02:19am on 05 Jun 2009, Chulatt wrote:

    Loving this series but would like to take the opportunity of wishing Bill a quick return to health.

    I, too, suffer from depression and totally understand how awful it can be. I know that being around nature does me the world of good and therefore I am sure that as soon as Bill starts to feel a little better, he will be back out there observing our wonderful wildlife once more. Keep your chin up Sir!

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  • 297. At 10:07am on 05 Jun 2009, Battybev wrote:

    I posted some comments yesterday but they aren't here!! What have I done wrong?

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  • 298. At 11:12am on 05 Jun 2009, kestrelfano1 wrote:

    Hi everyone.

    I've been keeping up to date with Springwatch on BBCiPlayer as I am out most evenings.

    I have to admit that when I first heard about Bill Oddie not going to be on Springwatch this year, I was quite reluctant to watch it. But watching last monday nights episode live on TV, and actually watching Chris Packam and Martin Hughes-Games was quite refreshing.

    Springwatch/Autumnwatch will not be the same without Bill Oddie as I found him extremely entertaining to watch, but I am very willing to give Chris and Martin a chance.

    It's great to still have Kate, Simon and Gordon as well. I have always enjoyed watching them, since the first episodes of Springwatch and I hope that they will continue for many years to come.

    I do wish Bill Oddie a very speedy recovery, but also wish Chris and Martin the best of luck too.

    Kestrelfano1 xx

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  • 299. At 1:44pm on 05 Jun 2009, eternalballwatcher wrote:

    Chris Packham has proved an excellent replacement for Bill Oddie so far. He is knowledgeable, witty, enthusiastic and laid-back communicator.

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  • 300. At 2:37pm on 05 Jun 2009, eternalballwatcher wrote:

    On the subject of the death of the lapwing chick: I don't think the presenters' reactions, and particularly Kate Humble's, was anything to do with trying to be "PC". Kate Humble has observed wildlife all over the world and I am sure she is as aware as anyone of the fact that nature is 'red in tooth and claw.' I think it's possible to be sad for the demise of a lovely young animal and at the same time remain aware that it's all part of the 'carbon cycle' (as Chris so strangely and detachedly put it). If we didn't feel anything at all and brushed it all off with a brusque 'o well, that's the way of things' we wouldn't be human.

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  • 301. At 3:01pm on 05 Jun 2009, Kody42 wrote:

    I am enjoying Springwatch so much more this year and its mainly down to Chris Packham. I wish Bill well but I did not like the way he always interrupted Kate. Chris however is far more knowledgeable, funny, charming and works brilliantly with Kate. I actually feel I am learning loads more about wildlife due to the way Chris explains it in an engaging and interesting way. Excellent! P.S Love the t-shirts Chris!

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  • 302. At 3:09pm on 05 Jun 2009, vincentbell wrote:

    I like Bill Oddie a lot but Chris is doing very well along side Kate.

    I would however like to make one serious criticism Chris & Kate talk to each other face to face too much with out including the viewers. Sometimes when their talking you see the back of Kate's head.

    I think Simon King does a great job in remote places even if sometimes covered in midges.

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  • 303. At 4:02pm on 05 Jun 2009, philip60 wrote:

    I've not read all the comments on this blog but like many wish Bill all the very best - been a fan since the Goodies. Of the few I've read there seems to be a split as the whether it will be the same without him. I seem to remember Chris did a piece for either S/W or A/W last year and Bill saying how impressed with Chris he is and that if anything happened that he could not do the job he would like Chris to replace him adding quickly he didn't want it to happen but just in case it did. Now am I right? I strongly believe I am and if I am then why the "moans" if Bill recommends him what better praise could you ask? Despite what goes on behind the cameras its the presenters who breath life into the show, Bill may have felt things were not going too well for him healthwise back then and gave the producers a little nudge whatever it was he's right, well done Chris and well done producers on the choice. The critics out there should watch Chris he says even experts should listen because someone may come up with a fact they don't know and he does just that when someone speaks he listens, a brilliant example to young and old alike. I would be interested to know if I'm right as I said I've not read all the posts and perhaps someone has already made this observation.

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  • 304. At 4:16pm on 05 Jun 2009, captainnewcastle wrote:

    would some stop Katie Humble giggling like a school girl its like watching Blue Peter

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  • 305. At 9:37pm on 05 Jun 2009, beckyyouings wrote:

    I just wanted to say that I am loving Springwatch 2009 and am learning loads about the birds and how amazing they are. All the presenters have been great to watch and are very knowledgeable. I think Chris has been a fantastic choice to replace Bill and hope to see him on Autumnwatch later this year...? Any chance you will return to Brownsea Island or maybe the New Forest?!!
    Thanks again!
    Becky x

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  • 306. At 01:20am on 06 Jun 2009, 23maddie wrote:

    Most of the original audience for Springwatch only tuned in because Bill Oddie was involved. It's not the same without him. Chris Packham trying to be funny and add hidden music titles is a bore. He thinks far too much of himself. Not sure why Kate Humble is there. She doesn't seem to know much about anything. Simon King is great as usual, but there seems to be far less of the animals and too much preening of presenters. PLEASE bring back Bill Oddie

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  • 307. At 09:05am on 06 Jun 2009, judith52 wrote:

    We went to the Nature Reserve at Rye Harbour on Tuesday 2nd June and heard a cuckoo. My sister went to Saddle Tor on Dartmoor on Monday 1st June and heard a cuckoo there.

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  • 308. At 1:30pm on 06 Jun 2009, elainewilliams wrote:

    Could anyone tell me what two birds are that are about the size of a Buzzard and look like a Buzzard .I could see them most of the winter. They spend most of their time on the ground in a field near a small wood.

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  • 309. At 9:55pm on 06 Jun 2009, Val Hurst wrote:

    Still no rabbits on springwatch!!
    When are rabbits going to get more of a mention than as part of something's tea? They're lovely little animals and I'd love to know what goes on in the life of a rabbit family. Even slugs have had more than a passing mention for the last few years. Have settled into new team and am enjoying Springwatch 2009. If I were more IT able, I'd send a pic of the little roe deer kid born in the field behind my house in a normal cul de sac in Bradford- it's not just badgers and foxes that are urban.

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  • 310. At 9:00pm on 08 Jun 2009, gemmarinet wrote:

    It is no good Kate just saying we hope the Marine and Coastal Access Bill will deliver protection because it won't. Only Friends of the Earth Marinet has lobbied for marine reserves. MCS and RSPB have not pressured Government at all for the levels of protection the Royal Society on Environmental Pollution and over 3oo scientists from across Europe have said via Professor Callum Roberts is necessary now.
    They stated we need at least 30% of our seas protected now. This Marine Bill will deliver very little because it is reliant on a yet to be organised level of bureaucracy called the Marine Management Organisation and regional fact finding groups based loosely on Finding Sanctuary. This is a matter that the public can assist in by writing to their MPs and getting them supporting EDM 337. Otherwise we will get very little for at least a decade and who knows how late that will be
    Happy to discuss further
    David

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  • 311. At 9:18pm on 08 Jun 2009, anoisanseo wrote:

    I'm loving springwatch and glad it's no longer the bill oddie show,love the new line up. Any ideas as to why the finches who were regular visit to our garden (green, gold and chaffinch), have not visited out feeding station for the last few weeks. We had a cat stalking the birds a month ago, would that ave frightened them off? Plenty of sparrows, tits etc visiting but missing the finches.

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  • 312. At 9:25pm on 08 Jun 2009, BillWeMissYou wrote:

    Sorry thew show is not the same without Bill. IF you want it to continue get him back for Autumn Watch.
    PLEASE !
    Brian

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  • 313. At 11:24am on 09 Jun 2009, Nagoh1 wrote:

    Please Simon While you are in Wales,could we have some footage of the Choughs on Craig yr Aderyn Gwynedd (Bird Rock).Also the Cormorants there nesting two miles fron the sea? Thank you all Great program best wishes to Bill.

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  • 314. At 3:22pm on 09 Jun 2009, JVince wrote:

    I am really enjoying Spring watch as always. I am sorry that Bill Oddie is not well and wish him a speedy recovery but it is lovely to have Chris Packham and Martin presenting now, it makes a change to have new people,dont let Kate go though , she is great.
    Twiga

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  • 315. At 5:45pm on 09 Jun 2009, shed-lady wrote:

    today, 9th June, about midday I saw a bird about the size of a blackbird but with very yellow plumage along the back. The wings had dark markings on them. I was not able to follow up on this sighting but it was in a residential area - although open country is very close. It disappeared into dense shrubbery. Have I really seen a golden oriole?

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  • 316. At 7:01pm on 09 Jun 2009, littlebusybees wrote:

    I have always been absolutely glued to anything which Simon has done as he is so fascinating. Both Spring/Autumn Watch have always been fantastic programmes and although always sad to have change, I can only say that Chris and Martin working with Kate is absolutely great. I'd love that team around my table to dinner they are filled with so much information between them. Kate has the best job in the whole world and is such a fantastic presenter. Her job has just got so much better as Chris is such a hive of information. Well done keep up the good work team you present one of the most interesting programmes the beeb spends our licence fee on.

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  • 317. At 8:27pm on 09 Jun 2009, Masureiks wrote:

    I would like to know why Chris Packham is slipping in the titles to songs by The Smiths in every episode of the programme. Is there a good reason for this? As a fan of The Smiths, I do appreciate the effort. Was it a bet with a mate?

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  • 318. At 8:36pm on 09 Jun 2009, lweibel wrote:

    I think that the new presenting crew is great. Yes i do miss bill but i think that Chris and martin are great choice and they really make the show enjoyable just like bill did.

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  • 319. At 8:44pm on 09 Jun 2009, CrayolaSarandon wrote:

    So, who's dared Chris to quote as many Smiths song titles as he can in one show?

    So far I've spotted "Sweet And Tender Hooligan", "Oscillate Wildly" and "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me".

    Mind you I missed a bit of tonight's show so there could have been more.

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  • 320. At 8:51pm on 09 Jun 2009, Suzalish wrote:

    Just heard "This Charming Man" and last week "You just haven't earned it yet baby". Glad a fellow Smiths fan noticed too!

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  • 321. At 9:07pm on 09 Jun 2009, lweibel wrote:

    I have 2 questions...

    Where are the best places in England to find cukoos? and If a bat falls to the ground what is the best thing to do?

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  • 322. At 9:32pm on 09 Jun 2009, calke_chick wrote:

    Don't like the new team, Chris is like a naughty schoolboy with Kate hanging on his every word all dewy eyed and mesmerised! Martin could not speak if his hands were tied behind his back, lots of giggly self entertaining waffle going on, Bring back Bill.

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  • 323. At 9:54pm on 09 Jun 2009, gowitheflow wrote:

    Just adding my tuppence to the opinions about the programme: Chris Packham is far better than the intensely irritating Bill Oddie and presents his information very well. I would like to see Kate Humble share the authority of Chris rather than asking him to verify her knowledge all the time; sometimes she sounds too young and giddy girly silly for words and I feel sorry for her if she is being directed to behave like that. Please do right away with the truly terrible tales for tiny toddlers (like the recent Mr and Mrs Crab and their Adventures in the Rock Pool one). And talking of children - lots of youngish children simply love this programme. Didn't it once go out at seven rather than eight? And if it did, why the change?

    Simon King is, as always, the best of all.

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  • 324. At 10:45pm on 09 Jun 2009, redchristmasrobin wrote:

    For the 'Chris the Crayfish Fans'
    A smooth young crayfish called Chris
    Lived a life of absolute bliss,
    As in and out of the river he swam
    So brave and proud was this little man,
    He never drank or went to the pub
    He just revelled in his fan club,
    Sometimes for fun he would sit and doodle
    And you can bet your life he doodled a poodle,
    So if you go on the river at night
    Don't be alarmed and have a fright,
    For the rhytmic sound of a splashy wish
    Is only the sound of 'our little Chris.'

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  • 325. At 3:04pm on 10 Jun 2009, BIRDHAVEN wrote:

    i have been watching springwatch from the start, and all good viewing, bill gave the programme a good start, and i love him in his other series when he is on his own, but he did seem to take over spring watch and felt katie always felt second fiddle and at times could not get a word in, chris is a good replacement, but one little point i would like to see more or the wildlife etc and a bit less of the presenters themselves,

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  • 326. At 6:04pm on 10 Jun 2009, chrispony wrote:

    I was watching Springwtch talking about deer shedding their antlers, a few yers ago I was walking in Bushy Park, Hampton Court,Surrey, when one of the male red deer shed one of his antlers. It came off with such force that it ws impaled, point down in the ground, he then wandered off with his head on one side later on I saw him again by which time the other antler had come off. I have been walking in Bushy Park for many years and this is the only time I have ever seen this happen

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  • 327. At 8:25pm on 10 Jun 2009, Eliflip wrote:

    First watched Bill in the Goodies in black and white. Have been a fan of his ever since. Very sorry his depression has struck again.
    Rally round Bill we miss you and hope to see you next year.
    Good luck mate.
    Eliflip (75 yrs young )

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  • 328. At 9:27pm on 10 Jun 2009, terryjean wrote:

    Problems with badgers. We had a problem last year with badgers digging deep holes under the fences.We were advised to go to the 'barber's shop' and ask for gentelman hair clippings from the floor.We then scatterd them all around the fence line and more thickly where they were digging. Also get the male members of the family to 'wee' into a jar to gather as much urine as possible, then put into a hand sprayer.Then spray all around the bottom of the fence line in the garden. This tells the badgers that there is a more dominant male in the area and they will go away and find another place to dig!!!!!It works!! Try it out, you have nothing to lose!

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  • 329. At 9:39pm on 10 Jun 2009, sidashton wrote:

    Enjoyed this evenings programme particularly the part about the Manx Shearwaters. I was at Cemlyn Bay last week and when we had finished viewing the terns we did a short seawatch and low and behold Manxies galore streaming past the headland out from the lifeboat memorial it was late in the afternoon around 17.30. So go on Simon as a last treat for the viewers take your cameras down to the beach and show us that Shearwaters are actually black & white with a terrific flight style. I have also seen this from South Stack in the past but Cemlyn last Friday was amazing

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  • 330. At 9:45pm on 10 Jun 2009, jeanethel wrote:

    Loving this Springwatch but will somebody please tell Simon King how to pronounce Anglesey"? Soft "S" please, there's no "Z" in it!

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  • 331. At 9:49pm on 10 Jun 2009, Sparkhall44 wrote:

    Great series, Chris has been a font of knowledge and the background info has added to the joy of watching the wildlife. The shots of the Swallows, Skylarks, Goshawks etc. has been up to its usual standard and is a blessed relief from marking exam papers.

    I have one quibble however; is there a bet between the presenters as to how many references Chris can get in for songs by The Smiths? We sit here waiting for the next title from the album "The Queen is Dead", or others by the band, and try to guess what the track might be.

    Wonderful stuff, can anybody please enlighten us?

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  • 332. At 10:01pm on 10 Jun 2009, fastTwitcher wrote:

    Thoroughly enjoyed tonights programme, but thought that Chris' t-shirt logo was rather OTT for a nature programme - more suitable for songs of praise!

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  • 333. At 10:55pm on 10 Jun 2009, felicidads wrote:

    Congratulations and many thanks for a brilliant Spring Watch series; we think the new team have got it just right.

    A few comments from my own recent experiences and would value any comments from others (especially from the team please?)

    We have had quite regular sightings of Choughs over the past few weeks at St Albans Head in Dorset and visiting bird watchers have been surprised to find them so far East.

    At home, just south of Wimborne,we are very concerned at the growing number of magpies in our garden over the past few years; sometimes 4 or 5 at a time recently. As lovely as it would be to see one or two occasionaly, we feel sure they are stealing from other nests as we also appear to have a decline in the numbers of other species. Any suggestions for correcting this trend? Would your laser torch help Simon?

    Visiting my sister who lives in "the undercliff" near Ventnor, IOW I have taken photos of badgers feeding in their garden including taking honey from a hand-held wooden spoon. Would love to send in some copies but not sure how to do so?

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  • 334. At 00:59am on 11 Jun 2009, pamiewamie wrote:

    Missed most of the programme tonight - on another bbc blog! This is the first time I've ever looked, let alone join in any such thing as a blog! I'm very saddened to learn of Bill's illness; my husband and I both miss you terribly.

    Not too sure of Chris yet; sometimes he looks bored or uncertain or impatient with what Kate says. She seems to be uncertain of her role, surely she should now be chief presenter, being very knowledgeable in her own right? As someone else has mentioned previously, Kate frequently looks to Chris for affirmation, which then gives him the chance to lecture us all. It is interesting, but....... not too heavy, please!

    The programmes seem to be taken up with more unecessary chatter between presenters (do I catch a drift often of more than a little inappropriate smut?) It's good to see how much actually goes on behind the scenes and many different nests this year.

    Simon appears rather distracted this series and the camaraderie between Bill, Kate and Simon is missing. Too much repetition and promises of more 'later on...' Poor old Simon always seems to be 'sent off to the outer reaches of the British Isles' and a bit left out of proceedings in the 'Unsprung' bit, waiting for a chance to put his tuppence worth in.

    Not too sure, either of Martin, yes that hair/specs bit is annoying - get a proper hairband or chop it off. Your hair, that is.

    To summarise, not at all sure whether we shall watch AW; unless Bill will be back as he definitely has a way of teaching and making things interesting, even to us 60-somethings! GET WELL SOON, PLEASE, BILL. Our very best wishes to you. Did you actually fall or were you pushed, we wonder? Not yet another case of age discrimination, we fervently trust.

    The wildlife is, of course, the main thing but to be really interesting the right presenters are essential with no room for patronising ones. More time will perhaps tell!

    Come back, Bill, all is forgiven...

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  • 335. At 11:43am on 11 Jun 2009, johncarley wrote:

    Really very cross about Chris Packham's shirt logo. If CP is still suffering from superstious delusion he should seek help, not wave it in front of his employers (the license payer). Remember the words of Douglas Adams "Is it not enough to live in a beautiful garden, without having to believe there are fairies at the bottom of it?"
    JC Cornwall

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  • 336. At 12:02pm on 11 Jun 2009, SALCOME wrote:

    I really enjoy watching Spring/Autum watch it is all so interesting.

    I have to say that although sorry for Bill Oddie, I am so pleased that he is'nt on the show he spoils it with his stupid 'humour' I feel so sorry for Kate having to try and work with him! Please keep Chris Packham! They all make a wonderful team now!

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  • 337. At 1:22pm on 11 Jun 2009, poppylusciouslinda wrote:

    Love Chris Packham! I too got a bit fed up with the ever professional Kate Humble having to manage Bill Odie and his 1970s mannerisms. Chris is just what we need - modern, knowledgeable, witty, easy to watch and easy to listen to. Also, dare I say it, very easy on the eye for us female viewers! The guys have the lovely Kate to look at in between the wildlife, now at last we girls have someone good-looking to look at for a change (apart from Simon of course!)Hope Chris is here to stay. He has fitted seamlessly into the show and brings bags of personality with him. Great choice by whoever chose him.

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  • 338. At 1:35pm on 11 Jun 2009, robertredwood wrote:

    Saved a saturated honey bee today by popping it in a plastic washing up bowl and placing a fan heater a few feet away. It is now happily collecting nectar from my thyme flowers. Congrats on the new presenters. Sorry Bill but I think SW2009 has been the best so far.


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  • 339. At 2:07pm on 11 Jun 2009, cuslady wrote:

    I agree that the programme is just as good with the present presenters. It is not a show for egos and stars, the animals are the important things.

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  • 340. At 3:16pm on 11 Jun 2009, Sutara wrote:

    I so hope Bill recovers soon. In many ways, as he is such a popular presenter, he is a hard act to follow.

    Congratulations to the 'new boys' who have done such an excellent job in their new roles. I think Springwatch Unsprung has been particularly good. Well done, folks.

    My one and only difficulty is the 'non-interventionist' policy - when say a nest or individual fledgling is in jeopardy - in the midst of stories about so many 're-introduction' programmes and other 'interventions'!

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  • 341. At 5:30pm on 11 Jun 2009, blackbirdwatcher wrote:

    Although Bill oddie was very good, I think that Chris Packham has added a new lease of life to the show. In the last years series I feel Bill was showing the strain and has done the right thing to step down. The whole team have been great, and my husband and me have enjoyed every show, plus springwatch unsprung this should have been on longer. Last episode tonight and very sad,but looking forward to Simons shows next week. Cant wait for Autumn watch. Well Done! BBC.P.S. Heard a cuckoo in the woods where we live on Tuesday(New Marske, Redcar)

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  • 342. At 6:38pm on 11 Jun 2009, buscuitfiend wrote:

    I am hopping mad at yesterdays story on the Honey Buzzard.Why was it not returned to the place near where it was found. I dont think that the HOP Conservancy really thought about much other than the fact that they would get publicity through accepting this bird into their premises.

    The Birds where abouts are recorded and it is a well known fact that the locations are kept secret. HOWEVER this was clearly not looked into. The Hants wildlife trust, RSPB and Ornithologist clubs in the south would have been able to tell them exactly where the bird came from." The SOLENT" is NOT Andover!it is "Hampshire" but nowhere near the Solent.

    It has been missing from the area for appx 3 weeks and this would suggest that this is the creature.

    It is mind boggling to think that this precious creature has now been moved to an area that is not in its usual location and away from its mate.... how irresponsible of the programme to suggest that if you find a bird of such value take it to another area to intergrate with their obviously lonely females all the while the original female is in waiting.

    I am ashamed of the HOP Conservancy for being what can only be construded as greedy and selfish to profit their own needs, without the thought of the animals welfare. I wonder if it would have been the same story if it was a Wood Pigeon? I dont think so.


    I appreciate the work that they do however this was just irrisponsible and possibly detrimental to the bird.

    Please dont advertise anything else like this. people regularly collect their eggs and this will highlight the where abouts to them...

    This would have been brought up by Bill Oddie wouldnt it????

    Disgruntled..

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  • 343. At 7:43pm on 11 Jun 2009, grandspringfan wrote:

    just removed 4 dead nestlings from our path below a house martins nest. Does this mean that there is a new adult male about and he has turfed the little ones out to make room for his own? This has never happened before.

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  • 344. At 8:10pm on 11 Jun 2009, omadarlin wrote:

    Over the past week we've noticed a pair of Robins trying to keep track of their fledglings although we can't fathom how many they've got! We've also spotted a Blackbirds nest in our front garden in the Hydrangea Petiolaris. We still don't know how many fledglings there are but the poor little mites came out and about today in the torrential downpours. We've seen Bluetits and Great-tits feeding their young and the back garden's full of baby birds flapping about all over the place now - it's great! We've never seen so much birdlife in our garden before and we've lived here for over 19 years.

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  • 345. At 8:42pm on 11 Jun 2009, bobdob123 wrote:

    heard a cockoo in Newport on the Isle of Wight. It's been great this year

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  • 346. At 8:52pm on 11 Jun 2009, mightyboomer12 wrote:

    Oh how I will miss your programme. It has been wonderful. Simon is so gorgeous. I love wildlife so much. I have learnt so much this series. I wish you were on every night of the year. Look forward to autumn watch. love to Bill. sue xxx

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  • 347. At 8:57pm on 11 Jun 2009, naturalsmithies wrote:

    Not the same with out Bill, But Chris has made it a lot more interesting for the women. He has a very good background with nature, I used to watch him on the really wild so. Kate and Chris are a brilliant balance. And although Bill is taking time out, he does not need to disappear. The animals you have brought to us this spring have been amazing. Tell Chris he's popular with the female birds.

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  • 348. At 9:02pm on 11 Jun 2009, carolelove wrote:

    our hedgehogs love bananas

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  • 349. At 9:05pm on 11 Jun 2009, AdrianMoley wrote:

    Dear Springwatch , can someone please shed some light on this story. We have had a female fox visit our garden for over two years and earlier this year she gave birth to six cubs. One terrible night in february we heard horrible screams and fighting unlike their mating ritual. The following day we found two dead cubs on our lawn . The following night the same thing happened and found another two dead cubs on the lawn. Frustrated we discovered the den where there was another 2 cubs but alive. We kept watch over them that night and the cubs survived but the following night we were unable to as we were working and so discovered the following morning the remaining fox cubs not far from the den but dead. This has been quite distressing for us .Why has this this happened and is there anything we can do to prevent this happening again. Thanks Adrian Moley.

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  • 350. At 9:19pm on 11 Jun 2009, suebtcove wrote:

    Three or more cheers for Chris Packham. About time the gifted celebrity was given the order of the boot, and Chris Packham's ego fits easily on the screen. Probably because he knows so much about what he's talking about.

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  • 351. At 9:21pm on 11 Jun 2009, birdogler wrote:

    This Springwatch has been has been the best yet by miles. The real in-depth knowledge, commonsense, and fun that all these presenters bring to the programmes and their obvious love of all aspects of the natural world has been a joy. PLEASE keep this team together for the next series.

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  • 352. At 9:48pm on 11 Jun 2009, darlingcheshirebird wrote:

    Sorry
    PS. second message..
    Please ask Martin to do something with his hair, needs a hairpin in there.

    Cheers

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  • 353. At 10:06pm on 11 Jun 2009, t_gwyn_h wrote:

    Couldn't disagree more with navpi11. This has been the best Springwatch ever. As much as we all love Bill he would rarely let Kate finish a sentence. This year she has shown what a superb presenter she is. The content was first class as usual and the entire team could not be faulted. As for Springwatch Unsprung, a real bonus to see them all so thoroughly enjoying themselves. My wife and I have been enthralled and already looking forward to Autumnwatch but with lots of nature watching in the meantime. Thanks to everyone. Diolch yn fawr.

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  • 354. At 08:55am on 12 Jun 2009, comfreybunny wrote:

    Thank you for making the last three weeks so brilliant. Kate, Simon, Gordon, Chris and Martin were a superb mix of characters and knowledge.It's been the best Springwatch ever, I didn't want it to end. Springwatch Unsprung was a great idea, the only downside was that it lasted for only 15 minutes, but I mustn't be greedy!
    I really hope all the presenters will be back for Autumnwatch and next years Springwatch. I'm counting down the days already.
    Thank you to everyone, not forgetting the cameramen and others in the production team who must have endless patience.
    PS If Pensthorpe is lucky enough to host next years Springwatch perhaps the Little Tern colony at Great Yarmouth can have a mention?

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  • 355. At 12:12pm on 12 Jun 2009, draver49 wrote:

    Sorry to hear about Bill Oddies bout of depression, I hope he is back with springwatch asap, his style of presenting is unique and enjoyable

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  • 356. At 3:21pm on 12 Jun 2009, suffolksherperboy wrote:

    I have to say that i was a bit worried about the new presenters for the programme but i think they have all done really well. In particular Chris, the guy is so engaging and has a manner that makes you want to learn more. Perhaps Bill will come back after his illness but if not Chris is a very competent deputy!

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  • 357. At 10:58pm on 13 Jun 2009, Cehesin wrote:

    I'm fascinated by post 335 by johncarley. He saw Chris's "Jesus and Mary Chain" t shirt and took this as a cue for an anti religious rant rather than checking what it actually represented! (Clue: try Google)

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  • 358. At 4:09pm on 17 Jun 2009, Lankykaz wrote:

    Contrary to many peoples thoughts about this years Springwatch, I thought it was great. Whilst we miss Bill terribly, Chris' is a professional and brought immense knowledge and large words!
    Just a thought though, I have recently returned from a once in a lifetime trip to South Africa. That point is irrelevant, but whilst I was there I was astounded at the amount of birdlife. Then it came to me... South Africa has their spring when we have our autumn. Bill was always commenting that Simon was so lucky filming on location, why not have our favourite twitcher Bill on location there talking to us about swallows (if they go down that south), Sunbirds, Cape Robins, Cape Martens and suchlike. OK, this could only be possible if Bill was willing, but it would be a one off Autumnwatch UK/ Springwatch SA. What does everyone think?

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  • 359. At 10:23pm on 17 Jun 2009, joycetheteacher wrote:

    I didn't think I would enjoy this series as much without Bill, but it was excelleent; Chris is extremely informative in an accessible way, not too geekie.Having been there twice, I sincerely wish Bill a speedy recovery from his bout of depression. I agree with a previous blogger that it would be interesting to see something of the migrations of birds like swallows etc. A tall order maybe....

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  • 360. At 10:52am on 18 Jun 2009, Insights wrote:

    I saw Springwatch for the first time last night. I absolutely loved it and felt nourished and connected with the passion and wholeheartedness that I felt from the presenters. I rarely watch TV, but it caught my attention and I became a human being, instead of a human doing . I was captivated, not only by Hughes gorgeousness, but by the wake up call for me. I live in a beautiful rural area, surrounded by nature, amazing dawn and dusk chorus's, and I've been too busy on the corporate hamster wheel to stop and honor it. I'm off the wheel for a while now and will be listening to, and watching for the lessons that nature has in store for me.

    Thank you, and I was on that bike with you Hugh, feeling the breeze, every vibe :>)

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  • 361. At 10:03pm on 19 Jun 2009, mochynycoed wrote:

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  • 362. At 10:19pm on 19 Jun 2009, mochynycoed wrote:

    Springwatch has been brilliant, as ever.

    The new team has been great. I have particularly enjoyed the slots where we have been given tips on how to enhance our encounters with wildlife. I would like to see more of Nick Baker. I do wish Bill Oddie well but to be honest, I found the programme much more watchable with the new team.

    I have liked the balance of enjoying the wonder of some of our creatures that are common and the chance to see creatures that are not so easy to see.

    Thank you.

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  • 363. At 12:26pm on 20 Jun 2009, bruichlassieClare wrote:

    Hi Martin - I really have enjoyed your contribution and your fab bike and kit - please is there anyway you can let me know who does your leather biker jacket. My husband and I have spent hours on the computer searching for the jacket but to no avail. Thanks Clare

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  • 364. At 00:53am on 21 Jun 2009, baldybarbles wrote:

    Come back Bill, you're conspicuous by your absence. The new presenters did a wonderful job, but they just didn't have the X factor. Speedy recovery bill

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  • 365. At 11:55am on 22 Jun 2009, Invisible1955 wrote:

    Like a few others, I was so disappointed to learn that Bill had lef and really felt the programme wouldn't be worth tuning into with Chris Packham occupying the vacant space on the Springwatch settee. Just how wrong can you be?

    Really miss the series now it's finished (just as I have in previous years) - those three weeks just seem to fly by...

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  • 366. At 6:11pm on 22 Jun 2009, orangenatureman wrote:

    Monday 22nd June.
    At 6.15am saw a muntjac running down the road in
    Pinner,Midd`x .Have there been any other sightings in my area.

    orangenatureman

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  • 367. At 10:58pm on 02 Oct 2009, foste82 wrote:

    Great show tonight; however Red Deer rutting is just a repreat from previous years and is now just a cliche. Please show a greater variety of wildlife and not just the same old things.

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