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  1. Moth Trapping for Beginners

    Friday 18 July 2014, 11:43

    Guest Blogger Guest Blogger

    Michael Blencowe is the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Community Wildlife Officer.

    A guest on this year's Springwatch Extra, he kindly wrote us the below guide on how a beginner can trap moths and become a fully flapping 'Moth-er'. 

     

     

    Moth Trapping for Beginners

     

    You can sit in your garden all day and enjoy the butterflies, birds and bees but the best wildlife that lives there only comes out when you go to sleep – the moths.  With 2500 species in the UK our moths have our butterflies outnumbered 43 to 1. And in many cases moths are much bigger and more colourful than our butterflies. There are pink ones (Elephant Hawk-moth),  green ones (Large Emerald), yellow ones (Brimstone), ones wearing glasses (Spectacle), ones that look like twigs (Buff-tip) even one that looks a bit like Des Lynam (Mottled Umber). Well, if you squint it does.

    There’s such an amazing variety of moths flying through your garden each night. If you want to see them you can fork out for an expensive Mercury Vapour professional moth trap but the blinding light will keep your neighbours awake, attract ravers or people who think a UFO has crash landed on your lawn and in the morning you’ll  be overwhelmed...

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  2. Butterfly Recording - An easy & essential task

    Thursday 17 July 2014, 14:47

    Guest Blogger Guest Blogger

    Summerwatch young guest blogger, Olly Frampton kindly wrote us this post on how to get involved when it comes to recording butterflies.

     

     

    An iconic sight of a British Summer, butterflies floating past at the peak of a gloriously sunny day, on only the slightest breath of wind. They are a delight to see no matter where you are, whether it's your garden, your local park, workplace, or at a local nature reserve. Butterflies are one of the most iconic species on Earth, with many people believing they represent beauty, freedom, peace, and that they are a sign of a healthy environment.

    Butterflies have a high sensitivity to environmental conditions, and they react quickly to changes, making them excellent representatives for the responses  of other wildlife. For this reason, it is essential to record butterflies and to allow their population trends to be monitored by the relevant organisations.

    Large skipper by Olly Frampton Large skipper butterfly

     

     

     

     

     

    Why record butterflies?

    • Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses. They are quick to react to change, so their struggle to survive would be a serious warning about our environment.
    • Sightings allow scientists to identify trends in species...

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  3. An Itch that needed Scratching: A Guest Blog by David Sexton

    Wednesday 9 July 2014, 13:53

    Guest Blogger Guest Blogger

    See all posts about:

    I’ve always wondered what happened to them. Those historic young brothers Itchy and Scratchy, the sea eagle twins from Springwatch Series 1, Programme 1, May 2005. The five week old siblings captured our hearts when they were beamed into the living rooms of an unsuspecting British nation as this new TV wildlife phenomenon burst onto our screens that late spring evening.

     

    As the countdown to the live OB from Mull got ever closer, our pulses quickened. Jenny in the Gallery Truck calmly stated “coming to Mull in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…”. Simon got himself comfortable on the damp tree stump:“…4, 3, 2, 1…and cue Simon…”

    Itchy & Scratchy by Iain Erskine.jpg Itchy & Scratchy by Iain Erskine

    As I looked anxiously at the monitor, there was the glorious adult female Frisa feeding those two mischievous chicks. She’d flown in right on time and was poised mid-feed as if she knew what to do on live telly. What a pro. Itchy still had some down on his head; Scratchy had lost most of his. Apart from that slight difference they looked well matched and of equal size. Their future looked bright.

    Itchy as a chick by Iain Erskine.JPG Itchy as a chick by Iain Erskine

    As the director cut to Camera 2 there was the noble Skye, Frisa’s loyal mate, preening...

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  4. Goodbye spring, hello summer!

    Tuesday 1 July 2014, 16:03

    James Smith James Smith Series Producer

    **Updated 4th July 2014 - with clips of our reed warbler chicks finally leaving the nest and the bittern chicks**

    Springwatch 2014 may have ended, but life goes on for our wild characters. Inspired by our new all-year presence on the web and social media, we left a couple of cameras up at RSPB Minsmere. We filmed some of the reed warbler chicks fledging; as ever, one seemed reluctant to leave the nest, and was still there when we finally had to take the camera down!

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    The reed warbler chicks at Minsmere on our webcams finally fledge and leave the nest.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    With the help of the...

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  5. The rise and fall of a Springwatch star

    Tuesday 24 June 2014, 14:37

    Guest Blogger Guest Blogger

    A guest blog by Dave Leech, BTO who reports back on our Springwatch 2014 star, 'Cuckoozilla'. 

     


    As a volunteer nest recorder for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), where I also work, I’m used to failure. I’m not talking about my own inability to locate nests, though I’m only too aware that many elude me, but rather the outcome of the breeding attempts themselves. Data collected by the Nest Record Scheme over the past 75 years show just how perilous life as an egg or chick can be, particularly for open-nesting species like Blackbird and Chaffinch, where the probability of young fledging...

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  6. Minsmere round-up - my highlights

    Wednesday 18 June 2014, 16:54

    Chris Packham Chris Packham Presenter

    Bitterns. Bitterns. Bitterns!

    Of course there are other birds, plenty of other birds, but maybe none had ever tantalised me as much as the bittern. Rare, less rare than they were thankfully, localised, certainly never any breeding in my neck of the woods and the species that put the 's' in skulking and the capital 'S' in shy. And through the combined expertise of the RSPB and BBC staff we managed to sneak an eye into one of the least known breeding cycles of any UK species. And for me at least 'they were doing it'. Cannibalism, regurgitation, semi-fledging...what a show! 

    If I'm very honest I...

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  7. Guess the bird from Matt's intros

    Wednesday 11 June 2014, 19:08

    Laura Thorne Laura Thorne Web Producer

    Our guest tonight on Unsprung, the brilliant artist and illustrator has written and illustrated some lovely books about British birds. 

    Tonight we're asking you to guess which bird he's referring to from these descriptions below. 

    Answers revealed on Unsprung and here later.... 

     

    Q1. With mercurial giggles like the tinkling of lucky charms, they bounce and chortle their way to the next port of call, be that feeder, thistle or forest
    Q2. These birds have brought some far out vibes and groovy colours to London’s heaths, commons and parks. 
    Q3. The crimson squire and his wife gently move around...

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  8. Bill's big question - cranes

    Tuesday 10 June 2014, 17:53

    Laura Thorne Laura Thorne Web Producer

    This week, Bill asks - how much does a young crane grow in a day?

    See if you can guess, we'll reveal the answer on tonight's Unsprung at 9pm.

     

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    Just how much does a young crane grow in a day?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    And here's the correct answer! Here's a link to the Great Crane Project for more info.

     

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    Bill answers the crane question- how much do young cranes grow each day?

     

     

  9. Wild photo fail caption competition

    Monday 9 June 2014, 17:22

    Laura Thorne Laura Thorne Web Producer

    Roll up! Roll up! The Unsprung #WildPhotoFail photos keep pouring in. You've had us laughing out loud in the Springwatch production tent these past few weeks, so thank you very much for sharing them!

    On tonights show, we'd like your best caption for the below image, courtesy of Fiona Morton. 

     

    Photo Fail - caption competition From Fiona Morton

     

  10. #WildPhotoFail caption competition

    Thursday 5 June 2014, 18:37

    Laura Thorne Laura Thorne Web Producer

    A rare opportunity indeed - it's not very often that Chris Packham lays himself bare to photography criticism, but on tonight's Unsprung, we'll be featuring some of his photos, which might have been better!

    A.

    Chris Packham #WildPhotoFail 2 We want your captions for Chris Packham's #WildPhotoFail

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    B.

    Chris Packham #WildPhotoFail 1 We want your captions for Chris Packham's #WildPhotoFail

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