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Chris on the couch: Your questions answered

Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 11:00 UK time, Tuesday, 15 June 2010

We've been receiving loads of interesting questions about UK wildlife and you've been brilliant at helping one another.

Although we can't answer all your questions we thought we'd pose a few to our resident geek. So we sat him down on the Springwatch sofa with our web researcher Sam to give him a grilling.

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content.

A huge thanks to our runner Ryan for his camera work, editor Dan, and Level-headed Joe for directing.

We'll see if we can grab Chris soon for another question session!

Update: Watch Chris on the couch 2 here to see more of your questions answered.


  • Comment number 1.

    As a new recruit to this site, both myself and my son are ardent watchers of Springwatch so decided to join up. The blogs are good, topical, thought-provoking and the site itself very informative. Recently I have taken to making my own fatballs for the birds (suet/lard, seed and a little fruit) that visit the garden and now enjoy wood pigeons, blue tits and all manner of birds-it's wonderful to watch them tucking in.

  • Comment number 2.

    As a relatively new birder I have just found a bird pellet.it's about 3 inches long by one inch deep and wide and is composed of seed husks and chaff (there were two pellets and I broke the other one up) can anyone let me know which bird it is from please?
    Many thanks

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Do you have a picture you could show us Tone1428?
    If so, post it in our Flickr group and post the link here. I'm sure someone will be able to help you identify it.

    Sam :)

  • Comment number 4.

    Interesting listen, although listening was a struggle. Were they even wearing microphones?

    When will the next pub quiz be? I submitted a couple of questions to the blog yesterday.

  • Comment number 5.

    has anyone had an invasion of cockchafers (maybugs) i live i a urban area and over the last week we have been invaded. we haved lived in our house for five years and this is the first time it has happened, i know maybugs are supposed to have a cycle of 3 - 4 years. can they bite too as my mum seems to think she has been bitten by a forest cockchafer as she lives next to a forest and gets them most years.


  • Comment number 6.

    We would like to thank Chris for last weeks Springwatch. Living in the French Alps for the last 10 years we are avid watchers of your show and more familiar with the British Wildlife than here. For 3 years now each summer, we have been invaded each year by what we call spidybugs. We have searched the internet to no evail to find out what they are. To our surprise whilst watching your show the mistery is solved. Spidybugs turn out to be Louse Flies ha ha ha. We live in the top floor of a chalet and have 4 pairs of swallows nesting every 2 years in our eves. (amongst others) it really is an amazing place to watch wildlife as we are over looking the village on a high plane at 1100m. I would imagine they are harmless to humans, as athough we had never been bitten, we do occationally find them in our clothes. Is there a solution to this as of course we dont want to endanger the birds but lice in the house is not great.

    once again thanks for solving the mystery and do you have any advice.

    Yours Spidybug

  • Comment number 7.

    @Ryan Wallace sorry for the sound. All our mics were out on other business. Promise the sound will be better next time!

    Pub quiz will be on Red Button tonight at 9pm. Thanks for your questions. Much appreciated.

  • Comment number 8.

    My 7 blue tits have now gone from there nest. Do i now clean out the old nest from the box or leave it in there?

  • Comment number 9.

    really enjoyed the question and answer session , is it not possible to do a live question and answer session in the unsprung with people submitting their questions live?? or do you guys need time to research and check your answers?

  • Comment number 10.

    Wish I could hear this, but I haven't any sound on my PC atm due to short leads! Ack, technology FAIL.

  • Comment number 11.

    I would just like to say a big thanks to all the SPRING WATCH team. Ive found the programe full of great stuff even my 4 year old son has taken an interest in wildlife.

    I also have a re-newed interest in birds again also thanks to your tv show. Ive even purchased new bird book to ID the native birds in the UK.

    Will there be a WINTER WATCH???????

    Also, do you have any information on how infant schools can get involved in helping wild life?

  • Comment number 12.

    Or brain fail more like as I could use my PS3 to listen to it! There is someone home after all ;)

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi chris. We met you @ Marwell. some years ago . I have been going to abbotsbury Swannery for past 44years just amazing natual Place. I have some photos of Red Kites. Your self And Kate doing an amazing job in Springwatch.I watch every Program. I now have Huntington`s Disease but still able to do my wildlife photography . Infact I have some of Red kites in flight how do I send them to you. Plz could you say hello to me. on TV. Georgina

  • Comment number 14.

    Time for an afternoon cuppa and what do I find to accompany it ~ this wonderfully captivating and, as always, thoroughly informative clip. Thank you Chris, Sam and the rest of the Team for another delightful SWofa Production. More like this, please.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi everyone.
    I have a bluetit chick at home and ita about 8 days old, and was wondering, at what age do birds fledge and what should i do about feeding it, when i do release it?

  • Comment number 16.

    hi all,
    about 3 weeks ago a friend and myself were walking through a yellow field of oil seed rape on a public footpath in barnard castle when we saw on the footpath at lest 60 to 100 yellow/black bees all dead .when we took a closer look all the bees had had all there insides and stings removed from the bottom half of the bee.
    what would do this kind of thing?

  • Comment number 17.

    Iseem to have a honey bee nest in my garden under a paving slab is there anything I should do to care for it or just leave them to it?

  • Comment number 18.

    Hi, over the weekend we saw a obvious cross between a collared dove and a wood pigeon, are these common, are they fertile. I have never seen one before. Any comments appreciated. Thanks

  • Comment number 19.

    Chris, (I have posted this many times in the past but never got any solid answers) do you know what could have made these prints in the snow last winter? I live in Lincolnshire and these were taken last February:


    Thanks very much in anticipation,

  • Comment number 20.




  • Comment number 21.

    I found a pellet on a gate in the Yorkshire dales a couple of weeks ago, it was 1-2cm long and about half its length in diameter. Unfortunately it broke in my pocket, but I now know the contents of it.
    It was mainly made of grit and gravel but also contained some sheep hair, plant material and insect or seed husks. Do you know what could have made it? It was next to some "ordinary semiwet" bird poo.

    Here is a picture of the contents:


  • Comment number 22.

    Poodles Swoon over Poo - Love it! Thanks Chris, you've made my day! Great interview, thank you! :)

  • Comment number 23.

    Thanks Chris and Sam and the rest of the team for finding the time to answer some of our question.
    Loved this format and look forward to seeing more.

  • Comment number 24.

    I've been told that all BBC sound production is contracted out these days. I've also been told this is why it's not as good as it used to be.


  • Comment number 25.

    we have blue tit chicks in our garden and also squirells, was just wondering if the chicks are in any danger from the squierels ????

  • Comment number 26.

    Thank you for that super informal - and informative - item. It would be wonderful if Chris could do a few more of them, he is so fact-filled, it's amazing. I'm sure his brain must be several times bigger than that of most people's! I wish I could remember things so well.

  • Comment number 27.


    Can you tell me what these two birds are please? I assume they are woodpeckers of some sort. They were both in my garden today (15-06-10) at the same time, are they male and female? They were both taking advantage of the feeders I have out and sizing up a tree in my garden.

  • Comment number 28.

    We have just found a dead female blackbird in the garden. It is one of several this spring and there have been others in neighbouring gardens. Is something happening to blackbirds or is it just coincidence? They do not seem to be damaged in any way. Will the male continue to feed the chicks or abandon them? Does anyone know?

  • Comment number 29.

    i work for our local council and they have done a brilliant thing to there building on the back side to the building they have put up nest boxes big ones little ones up in the nearby trees and the boxes have used them kestrals nesting and they have chicks...........seen them....blue tits,blackbirds,robins,you,ve got to see it to belive it

    lee in mansfield notts..............

  • Comment number 30.

    Thanks for your comments everyone.

    Robin Goodfellow: try posting your pictures to our Bird ID thread in the Springwatch Flickr group.

    Sam :)

  • Comment number 31.

    I've been seeing a fair few Goldcrests in my garden over the years, but they have become more frequent recently. I was wondering whether Goldcrests are a common sight in British gardens, or if this is an exception?

  • Comment number 32.

    lee in manfield ...........
    springwatch Q.....not much talk about cuckoos this year just to let u know we have one here has anyone else herd one......

  • Comment number 33.

    Congratulations to all involved in the programmes - I'm glued to the screen every night :o)

    I live in a ground floor flat and I want to put up bird, bat and butterfly boxes on the outer walls.
    Where are the best places to position them and what heights from the ground and directions (north,south,east or west facing) should I put them?

  • Comment number 34.

    I have a wildlife pond and its visted by a Red Damselfly (only know that because I looked it up) but what is the difference between a Damselfly and a Dragonfly please.... Thanks... Great Show - Great Team !!

  • Comment number 35.

    We see all chicks being fed in the nest, but never see them being fluid. Why?

  • Comment number 36.

    i know its not strickly PC but under the circumstances would it not
    of been worth culling the offending jackdaw?

  • Comment number 37.

    I really enjoy watching Springwatch and would like to know how to attract wildlife to my allotment. What happened to the advice you were going to give about the subject? Are you planning to do it at a later date?


  • Comment number 38.

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

  • Comment number 39.

    Please Please can you help.Whilst fishing my local lakes in Trimley Felixstowe,Suffolk,i saw what i first thought was a swallow/housemartin skimming the water and generally flying around catching insects.This was not to be as on closer observation i realised this was a bat,nothing unusual there you might say,but it was at 12.15pm in glorious sunlight and really rather warm.In all my years of being outside fishing and seeing nature all around me i have never seen this site before,and it must of been flying around for at least 15/20 mins before i could see it no longer.The question is,is this a common thing for bats to be out at this time of day ??Please can you reply and answer this,it will be fascinating to know.Kind rgrds,Peter Latimer.

  • Comment number 40.

    Any clue as to where Chris p gets his t-shirts?
    I like.

  • Comment number 41.

    I have a barn owl nesting in my field, does anyone know the exact direction to face a nest box, they are currently in a hollow ash tree.
    They are a bit close to the road and I thought i might try to draw them away next season.

  • Comment number 42.

    I have a mouse visiting my shed where I store wild bird feed and it has managed to transfer more than 2kg of peanuts and sunflower hearts into my husband's Wellington boots, along with a large amount of shredded plastic. Both boots were literally full to the brim! For the first time I caught the mouse in action this evening. Is this kind of behaviour normal?

  • Comment number 43.

    I'm a keen angler living about 10 miles away from Pensthorpe and regularly fish on the Wensum. Your show has inspired me to take more notice of the birdlife around me when I am out and about but I need advice on how to start. I already have a newish Collins Field Guide to British Birds but would Martin or Chris have time in one of your remaining shows to just do a snippet on "the essentials" to get started with birding ... especially advice on affordable binoculars and other handy things to carry with me?

  • Comment number 44.

    Question....Last Spring a gull delivered 4 balls to our patio at the back of our house. 3 were tennis balls and 1 was a rubber ball of the same size. This Spring a gull picked all 4 of them up (at different times)and flew away with them. Is this common behaviour? And why would he do it?

  • Comment number 45.

    their is about 150 bats liven in the attic of my house will they do any harm as it is a great sight but im a bit worryed

  • Comment number 46.

    Could anyone say why my family of Pied Wagtails have fledged a few weeks ago and abandoned the nest. Do they build another nest or move on. I have been watching my own swallow nest, I'm in central scotland so they are further behind penthorpe. Why don't the swallows at Penthorpe use the nest above and have an upstairs.

  • Comment number 47.

    We have been enjoying watching Blue Tits in our nest box. We noticed that the birds were feeding at a tremendous pace when we saw that there were 3 adults doing the feeding. We have double/treble checked and have seen 3 birds on numerous occasions. Is this normal and why would this happen? It certainly worked as they fledged 5 babies with two infertile eggs and one runt.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think I saw a Sparrow hawk today being chased by two small birds! Was it a sparrowhawk as it had bands of white on its tail and beat its wings in a flap flap glide motion? If anyone could tell me what it was as I never expected to see one in suburban Surrey!

  • Comment number 49.

    This egg was found half buried in the sand 200 yards out on Heacham Beach, Norfolk as we followed the tide out. Any suggestions what it is and how it may have found itself on the sea bed of the Wash?



  • Comment number 50.

    Hi there,

    I was just wondering if anyone knows about swans eating meat. To day I watched a male mute swan take two young ducklings and eat them, I've never seen this before and thought it was rather unusual behaviour. I can't find any information about them doing this on the internet and was wondering if it's common or not.

    Thanks, Gem

  • Comment number 51.

    2 days ago, i saw a young wren flying low across the river, just making it to the other side. another wren followed the first one, but landed in the river; amazingly it flapped like made, and must have been doing hectic paddling underwater too, and after what seemed hours but was only a minute or two it also got to the other side of the river. has anyone else ever seen this happen?

  • Comment number 52.

    Was anyone else bothered by the feeding of the fly larva to the dragonfly, or even worse the shrimp and crab being introduced to the cuttlefish? I know that was old footage, but it must have been filmed in an aquarium. How else would you get such a shot?
    As young children often copy what they see, I think Springwatch should be more careful in what it shows. Let the dragonfly nymphs catch their own prey.

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi Guys, quick question for Chris. Dragonfly young. Having observed, kept and bread many species of insect over the years (released 3 freshly emerged Broad-bordered Bee Hawks yesterday afternoon. 9 this week) I have always been quick to point out to those interested enough to listen, the difference between larvae and nymphs. Larvae (caterpillars, maggots) being the second of four stages in the development of things like butterflies, moths and flies. Nymphs being the second of three stages where there is no pupation period. In general nymphs have many of the adults characteristics but are smaller and lack wings i.e grasshoppers, cicadas, cockroaches etc... Last night you repeatedly referred to the young dragonflies as larvae. Have I been living under a misconception for the last 40 years or does the word larvae accurately cover both types of development?
    Great series this year, best so far, Packham, you are a nutter ! would love to tag along the next time you have your face in a pond or cowpat !

  • Comment number 54.

    Great questions everyone!

    We can't answer them all but the wheels are already in motion for another Q&A with Chris.

    If you're looking for an ID of a bird or bug, try adding your photo to the Springwatch Flickr group and then posting it in either the Bird ID thread or Bug ID thread.

    Alternatively the RSPB Bird identifier is a brilliant way to find out what you've seen.

    Hooters76: Squirrels are definitely a threat to baby birds unfortunately, but bear in mind that they will have just as adorable babies of their own to feed!

    Babs: If you are finding dead birds it could be a number of things. If you are concerned you could always contact the RSPB for their advice.

    Tina B: Check out Breathing Places' advice on bat boxes and bug homes, and the RSPB's nestbox advice.

    Feel free to post your questions to the messageboard too - there's an amazing wealth of knowledge in our community there!

    Sam :)

  • Comment number 55.

    Crap sound quality

  • Comment number 56.

    We were recently at a lake near the Tamworth Snowdome and came across what looked like a hybrid bird. It was the size of a goose and the colouring of a mallard duck, both of which were resident there. Is it possible that the two species cross bred? Photos available.Thanks.

  • Comment number 57.

    I would like to make a general complaint about Springwatch: it has spoilt my World Cup. By being consistently better than the World Cup it has forced me to miss several evening matches. I hope that in future you will give consideration to this when there is a major football championship on at the same time, and try to reduce the quality of the programme.

  • Comment number 58.

    Have you seen any Lacewings yet this year? I've seen none and only saw a couple last year. I've put a special attractant out but to no avail as yet.

  • Comment number 59.

    Enjoyable Q&A well done Sam, team & Chris! Look forward to the next, and the next...

  • Comment number 60.

    I was wondering what this beetle was? I found it on my apple tree the other day. It was about two inches long, maybe a bit bigger. Is it a native species?
    Hope the link works :-)

    Jersey, Channel Islands

  • Comment number 61.

    My morning journey starts at 4:30am and takes me from Verwood, East Dorset, along the A31 and on up to West Berkshire. En route I pass Burley services just east of Ringwood. Most morning at this time of year I see at least one or two black rabbits along the verge, seven being my highest count to date. This is over a distance of about a mile or so, from just prior to the services up to the first lay-by(east bound). These are jet black, no patches of brown, white or anything else, jet black. All the other rabbits, and there are usually dozens of them along this section, are regular - well, bunny colour - brown gray combo. There doesn't appear to be any colour mixing. So, are the black ones, which I presume originated from 'pet shop' stock only breeding amongst themselves, which seems highly unlikely knowing what bunnies are like! Or are they, as I suspect, individuals that pop-up from time-to-time in a litter as a result of a direct pairing between black and brown rabbits or from previous pairings down generations ?
    These are not recently released individuals either. People have been seeing them for years and I can certainly vouch for their presence over the last five years and yet no obvious signs of either colour starting to dominant within an individual.

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi Guys, i am loving the programme, you do make a very great team and it is a joy to watch.... I have been out to throop mill today a local walk and it is full of lovely wildlife, we were just setting up for a picnic on the river, and my son wandered off and found the tiniest of tiniest of tinest little froggy things, it is less than half the size of a 5pence piece, ( which i put in his bug magnifier box) it was so lovely and fully formed and so very very small - do you know what it is called. it is of a brown colour, i did take a picture , also we saw a strange looking bird with the mallards, but it was with them but it didnt look like them, i have a pic of that too. Think i saw a kite down there too, but i couldnt be 100% sure, it was too quick for me to take but i was pretty sure from your description last night on the programme. cant wait for tongihts show. Julia x

  • Comment number 63.

    hi were is the best place to look for bird in merseyside i am just getting into this because i love the programme. thanks

  • Comment number 64.

    Hello to all! I am new to the blog and have not had a chance to go through it all and see what people are talking about but I have been watching the series and have been wondering if anyone on the show is going to make any comment on the government's plan to rid our country of our beautiful badgers? I have heard that in Ireland they do not have badgers yet still have bovine TB so can't see how killing the badgers is really going to help. And surely removing one species will have a knock on effect to environment in some way, shape or form? I'd be interested to know what the team think or is it too sensitive a subject for the BBC to get involved in?

  • Comment number 65.

    Totally gutted that when the BBC are showing a World Cup game that Springwatch has been booted off the BBC's HD channel. There's really not that much difference with the football on HD, but when it's Springwatch the detail of the picture is so much better. Maybe in future the BBC could make the HD channel have the Red Button option were we have a choice to watch either or on HD.

  • Comment number 66.

    Whilst walking along the side of the woods at Wells Next The Sea at about 6.45 pm the other evening we saw a Marsh Harrier drop into a field about 100m away. After about 15 minutes it took off carrying a large item of prey and was mobbed by a crow. As we were unable to identify the item of prey I would welcome any suggestions. A couple of the photo's taken at the time can be see at www.flickr.com/photos/janhennig/4700263319/. Thanks in anticipation.

  • Comment number 67.

    I have been watching bee/wasp-like insects entering the bolt-hole of my door frame (which is old and presumably quite rotten). The beasties are carrying pieces of leaf, about the length of their abdomens (definitely bright green leaf not wood) which they take into the hole. One arrives every few minutes, I haven't seen any leave. I assume they are building a nest? My husband squirted some fly spray into the hole and has blocked the hole with a battery (AAA size fits perfectly in case size matters!). Can anyone identify them and suggest how I can move them on - I'd rather not kill them all unless they are going to cause a big problem, though we need to be able to use the door. Thank you!

  • Comment number 68.

    I live in a smaill village in Oxfordshire and have always fed the birds, geeting the usual mix of finches, tits, blackbirds, thrushes, starlings, pigeons etc. Recently 2 jackdaws have started visiting my (very small)garden. I've also had some magpies. This has never happened before. I'm just curious as to why this might be?

  • Comment number 69.

    We have had a camera nest box for three years, and for the first time this year a pair of Great Tits picked it to nest in.

    We first switched on the camera on 15th May when we saw a bird fly into the box and found the female sitting in a completed nest.
    Watching over the next few days we expected to start to see some eggs being laid. However the nest has remained empty of eggs now for a month, although the female continues to sit on the nest daily.
    For the first couple of weeks we saw the male coming into the box and feeding her, but he has now stopped this.

    Is it common for birds to go through the process of nesting without ever producing chicks, or have we been really unlucky?

  • Comment number 70.

    Question for Chris: I've seen a blackbird in my garden, and it has a white mark on it's head, just behind one eye. On trying to read up about this I've read different reasons for this, so I'm confused. Is the white marking simply the ageing process, is it due to molting? If anyone knows the correct answer, it has to be you. Thanks in advance, love the show, Caroline, Swansea.

  • Comment number 71.

    hi kate and chris it has been about three years since i have heard the song of the cookoo can you explain this.

  • Comment number 72.

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

  • Comment number 73.

    We have Swallow’s, Sparrows, Pigeon’s, Doves, Starlings,Finches, Robin’s, Magpie’s, Great Tit’s, Blue Tit’s ,Woodpeckers ,Pheasants, Jackdaw’s ,Kestrels, Duck’s and Hedgehogs and their young in our garden.

    However since the Starlings have fledged we now have 30 or so fledglings terrorising all the other birds and fighting incessantly around the bird feeders. They attack all of the other birds including the pigeons.

    They even chase them all out of the bird baths

    How do we dissuade them ( their parents have no control )

    We do not want to starve all the other birds?

    Any advice would be much appreciated

    Thank you

  • Comment number 74.

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

  • Comment number 75.

    Can anyone tell me the name of the bug I've seen recently a large fly with very red wings? Not transparent definitely not a damsel fly this was very much a large fly or beetle???

  • Comment number 76.

    Last week every day I saw barnacle geese with goslings, by the River Derwent in Borrowdale in the northern Lake District. There were at least 30 adults and nearly 30 goslings. My RSPB birdbook says these geese are winter visitors only, and breed in Greenland and other places. They appeared to be wild birds. Can you explain?

  • Comment number 77.

    Invite to Chris. I have a number of ideas on how to generate money for wildlife/habitat preservation related causes, other than through charity and fund raising efforts. If you are curious to know more and yes, these are legal and ethical ideas, please contact me.

  • Comment number 78.


    I volunteer at an Owl and Wild Bird Haven and last year they hand reared 2 jackdaws, one of which, Tarot, decided to stay around when released and regularly came to play with the birds in the hospital wing and for a cuddle! About 2 weeks ago he was reluctantly re-homed as he was killing some of the released juvenile birds. On Tuesday this week, who should turn up knocking at the hospital window but Tarot. They calculate he had found his way home over about 14 miles. Now, we know corvids are cleaver birds, but how was he able to do this ?

    Really sad to hear about the demise of the female Kestral, especially as I had had the privlidge that day of having a female kestral, who is a recovering victim of an RTA, land briefly on my hand whilst I was cleaning out her cage.

  • Comment number 79.

    Hey folks, love the show and will be lost when it has ended, hope we will get autumn watch. Anyway i am new to birding but am learning fast but imagine my suprise when i go to the shop and see a pair or nesting house sparrows almost on my doorstep the very morning after they are on the show, i was really pleased. Also could you recommend a good bird id book for all us beginers. thanx Warblit.x

  • Comment number 80.

    hi does any one know any birdwatching place were you can see falcoms in merseyside.

  • Comment number 81.

    Last year on Springwatch you gave out some information regarding how to save a tired bee. Well it works! Yesterday morning I went into the conservatory and there was a poor on the window sill, it had been there all night. I ran into the kitchen and got the honey and gave it a drop. It immediately started to eat the honey, for a good 5 minutes. And was fully revived. I took photos of the before bee (on its last legs) and the new revived bee!

  • Comment number 82.

    I was driving home last evening through Horton (near Staines) when a small intensely green iradescent bird flew infront of me then along a stream. Ot was about the size of a Chaffinch and I am certain it was not a Kingfisher. It was a bird that I have never seen before.
    Any thoughts?

  • Comment number 83.

    Please could you ask our favourite resident geek: Why do nettles sting, What causes nettles to sting, and How does a Dock leaf soothe the sting? Thank you very much, Sue.

  • Comment number 84.

    I am so worried about the Kestral chicks after losing their mother (Springwatch 16th June). If anything happens to the male or if he can't cope, surely the team won't let the chicks starve. I know you probably have a policy of non-intervention, but I can't believe no-one would step in to help these healthy babies at this advanced stage of their growth. Wildlife groups nationwide rear orphaned wildlife all the time, so please tell me that you would help if there were to be another tradegy and the male was lost before they fledge. Please put my mind at rest. Losing sleep over this and ready to come down with my tree climbing kit and a bagful of voles!

  • Comment number 85.

    I had a pair of blue tits in a nest box at the bottom of my garden but they suddently abandoned the nest with 8 chicks in. They were probably about a week old and I was really upset when I realised what had happened. I did notice a male blackbird sitting right outside the nest box and wondered if he was the cause of the blue tits abandoning the nest. Could anyone throw any light on this for me?

  • Comment number 86.

    As simon was talking about adders i would like to tell you about my experience.About 5 to 6 weeks ago during our first hot spell, me and my family went to a popular dartmoor site.
    It was about 2.30pm,as my son daniel and i were walking by the river bank we heard a splash and saw an adder in the water.
    we then watched it for about 15 minutes trying to get back up on dry land,every time it got up on the bank it was so steep that it kept falling into the water.it started to look tired, so my son waded into the water with a branch stretching nearly half way .as soon as the adder spotted the branch it swam right over, hooked itself on, and we pulled it to saftey.
    also on the way home not 200 yards from the adder, we passed another one, slighly bigger, sun bathing in the middle of the road leading to a quarry,so we stopped i then moved that one to a safe place.I been going to that place for about 30 odd years and never seen one let alone two.. was this because it was an early hot spring day..

  • Comment number 87.

    Hi Everyone
    I have a question about bees, today I have worryingly seen quite a few dead large bumble bees just lying on the floor scattered all over. There don't seem to be any signs of damage. Whats happening? I know there is a serious problem for the bees at the moment and this just worries me more. Can you shed any light on the subject? Thank you.

  • Comment number 88.

    I have 2 Wrens nests about 25 feet apart in my garden ,is this normal for Wrens to nest so close to each other?

  • Comment number 89.

    We have had birds occasionally fly into our windows but recently a male Chaffinch perching on a nearby bush repeatedly flew into the window despite efforts to deter him by drawing curtains and sticking silhouettes of a kestrel on the window. We were able to approach the bird within a yard and he seemed undisturbed by our presence. Was this behaviour because he thought his reflection was a rival?

  • Comment number 90.

    I have just seen two cuckoos, the first for several years. They were being buzzed 1st by a songbird, then by a skylark. Both times only one was visable until they took off, then they were a pair. CVould they have been a breeding pair laying?

  • Comment number 91.

    Also.. a caterpillar in the garden, had small green grubs emerge from the body, and now it is a flat caterpillar. What could they be? I did take pics, but do not know how to attach.

  • Comment number 92.

    hi, we were in our garden yesterday and noticed in the tree a white squirrel running behind a grey squirrel, are white squirrels rare, we took some pictures but they did not come out very well, we are armed with a video camera now, waiting for its return thks sharon

  • Comment number 93.

    I have a comment for Chris packham re Rabbit poo!!

    Why didn't you mention that rabbits need to eat their own poo in order to digest cellulose (eg from grass) under the "double digestion" system. Otherwise, cellulose would be indigestible to them.

  • Comment number 94.

    abbotsbury is not a wild place the swans are fed and the owner hunts on the swannary in the winter. also this government is already startedkilling badgers and cris and co should be telling the public the truth that the ones who care have no say so help us through the tv . springwatch needs the animals and they need them

  • Comment number 95.

    Chris. Re 'smoking trees. I witnessed this many years ago in Headbourne Worthy, Hants. It was just as you showed on unsprung last evening. I am no expert, unlike yourself, but thought this to be pollen released all at once from a specific tree. Can't say which tree, cos I aint that into trees. Is this a possibility. Cheers, great show, Steve.

  • Comment number 96.

    Why have you closed the messageboards early?

  • Comment number 97.

    im new to this but id like to tell you what happened last week.A girl knocked my door saying her dog had attacked a bird and it has gone under my back gate.I went to see and it was a baby robin. there didnt appear to be any injury, so i put it in one of my bushes , and believe it or not a parent robin had come and started to feed it. It stayed with the youngster til quite late. In the morning the baby had moved, but i found it and put it in a safe place, this went on for 4 days, the parent in attendance, until today, and the baby had gone, and so had the parent bird. Im just hoping that the baby had fledged, but the parent has not been here looking for it. can you give me your opinion on this please? Thank you. I live in Cheltenham. Yoyo.


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