Autumnwatch & Springwatch

Autumnwatch & Springwatch


  • Your response to the BBC Springwatch ring-necked parakeet feature.

    WOAH! I have never received so much post! I think secretly, quite a few people in my department are a little bit jealous too. Prior to my appearance on BBC Springwatch this year, I’d worked hard to promote my studies. When I began my PhD researching evolution and genetics in ring-necked parakeets, I was faced with the problem of collecting enough samples. How on earth was I going to obtain lots of samples from ring-necked parakeets around the UK?

    In steps my helpful boyfriend…’have you tried reaching out to people through twitter?

    Don’t be daft’ … I say dismissively, ‘twitter is pointless’!

    Oh how wrong I was. Despite my protests, Ben (the helpful boyfriend) persisted in showing me how twitter works, and how I might be able to contact people around the country. I somewhat reluctantly set up a twitter account and began sending out tweets asking for help gathering shed feathers from gardens and parks. Surprise! I had a great response, and received lots of lovely green ring-necked parakeet feathers from around the UK. Oh the irony of twitter being such an important networking tool to collect…

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  • As summer comes to an end and autumn arrives along come some interesting photographic subjects. Here are my top 5 subjects to photograph in the autumn.

    1. You may have noticed mushrooms and fungi popping up all over the place now that the atmosphere is getting damper. They make brilliant stationary photographic subjects. Try to use low and interesting angles to capture them in a different perspective to what we normally see.

    1. Photo by Kate Stenton

    • When autumn arrives it brings with it the most stunning warm lighting along with it. Beautiful hazy sun rises are enough to motivate anyone out of bed. Take your camera with you to capture the moment.
    • On dewy autumnal mornings spiders and their webs can be seen in abundance in hedges and fields, and even on cars. Their dew covered webs can provide a brilliant subject for photography. See if you can photograph the spider whilst it is making a web for added interest.

    2. Photo by Kate Stenton

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  • Web Producer

    During Springwatch this year, we shared a number of citizen science surveys and apps with you and the results are now in.

    We helped to launch apps such as the Great British Bee count, which has seen some incredible numbers coming in over the summer. You also took part in the Big Butterfly Count in your thousands and our partners at Butterfly Trust have again been able to better determine which species are seeing an increase, and which are not.

    We've shared some of the findings here...

    iRecord butterfly app

    The iRecord Butterflies app was launched by Butterfly Conservation in April this year and we gave it a mention on Springwatch Unsprung.

    By the end of the series, they’d received over 7,000 sightings of 44 different species from just under 900 different people.

    Now, they are just about to reach the 30,000 records mark!!

    29,904 butterfly sightings of 61 species have been submitted through the app for 2014.

    Just under 2,000 people have submitted at least one butterfly record through the app.

    Clouded Yellows (migrant) have done well in October and Speckled Wood had an excellent September.

    Over the year so far, they have received more records of Small Tortoiseshell through the app…

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  • Young guest blogger Elizabeth Guntrip celebrates the work of Butterfly Conservation.

    I always find it interesting to see the consolidated results of a wildlife survey I have taken part in. Once we have handed in our records, it is very easy to move on in the rush of our busy modern lives, but I feel it is important to stop and take note of the conclusions we have helped produce. Springwatch 2014 encouraged thousands of people to take a keener interest in the state of our natural world, as well as contributing to the increasing number of participants in various citizen science…

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  • Guest blogger Tom Walker introduces timelapse photography.

    What is Timelapse?

    Time-lapse is a cinematography technique that allows us to manipulate time, it reveals things that happen slowly over several minutes, days or even months to create the illusion of time moving faster. Whilst the technique is highly effective in the world of film-making and can be a very technical process, it doesn’t have to be, and anyone with a camera or even a smart phone can give it a try.


    If you’re interested in photography and own a camera then the chances are that you already have just about…

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  • Guest Blogger Jason Alexander challenges you to to try a different kind of 5 a day.

    1. Photo by Jason Alexander

    Stop. Look. Listen! Sound familiar? No, this isn’t a blog post about road safety, it’s about taking time to relax a little and get closer to nature in your garden.

    ‘When was the last time you were in your garden and just stopped, sat quietly and watched and listened to what’s going on around you?’


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  • Guest blogger Lucy McRobert offers some words of advice for budding young naturalists.

    Sometimes it can be hard to have an interest in something: the idea of having a hobby just isn’t ‘okay’ anymore. I certainly found that growing up – and no, it wasn’t actually that long ago. People still ask me ‘what do you want to do when you’re older?’ and I’m 23 years old! I tend to reply with a blank expression, because I’m still not quite sure.

    I do know that I want to work in nature conservation, and I have a few regrets from my teenage years. When I was a kid, I remember…

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  • A guest blog by Dave Sexton RSPB Scotland Mull Officer

    It had all the hallmarks of an unfortunate accident: large sea eagle chick jumps up and down on nest, flapping wings, loses balance, misjudges landing and topples off nest to fall 30 feet to the ground below. After all, we had been here before. Sadly some eagle chicks do fall to their deaths when shuffling about on the nest or when they’re beginning to be more mobile and exercising their newly feathered wings. During the Mull Eagle Video Diaries for Autumnwatch 2008, I found Fingal and Iona’s nearly fledged chick, dead at the…

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  • This Summer and as part of the #100DaysofNature project we've been seeing a huge amount of great insect photography. But photographing insects isn't easy so we asked Kate Stenton, Summerwatch young guest blogger and photographer, for some top tips.

    Insects are everywhere, in all shapes, sizes and colours. With these 10 tips and a lot of patience and practice you will soon be on your way to producing stunning images of these magnificent creatures.

    Tripod Support will steady the camera, and allow you to produce sharp images, which is a must for insect photography. If you don't have a…

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  • It's National Marine Week and Summerwatch young guest blogger, Chris Daykin has sent us a blog on the Orcas of the west coast of Scotland.

    The killer whale, otherwise known as the orca, is one of the world’s most widespread predators and is found in all the oceans from the Antarctic to the Arctic. It is a predator at the top of the food chain, hunting even great white sharks. The west coast of Scotland is host to a community of 9 orca, made up of 5 females and 4 males. The five females consist of Nicola, Lulu, Moneypenny, Puffin and Occasus. BBC Wildlife named Occasus as part of a…

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