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The Coombe: magical, wild farmland

Simon King Simon King | 09:58 UK time, Sunday, 6 June 2010

We have left the mysterious creatures of the dry, hot heathland of the Isle of Purbeck and headed to the west of Dorset, where we are surrounded by chalk downland, ancient deciduous forests and lush grassy meadows. Here the wildlife is a little more familiar, but no less interesting.

For the next week, our team are zoning in on a few acres of magical, wild farmland we're calling 'The Coombe'. We'll be following the lives of three families: the roe deer - Mum, Dad and a newborn kid - and their neighbours, the foxes, and a big extended family of badgers. We'll also be featuring a host of other characters who live in and around The Coombe: woodpeckers, skylarks, owls and wild boar.


  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    looking forward to seing the woodpeckers this week had them at my bird feeders often this year

  • Comment number 3.

    Wonderful, be great if you do another reporting and filming around Birmingham or even the Midlands.

    I was watching a Greater Spotted Woodpecker at the Lickey Hills Country Park.

  • Comment number 4.

    Looking forward to next week. Your spot on nightjars encouraged us to go out to see/hear them and we were lucky enough to see 3 flying only a few feet from us! Utterly extraordinary and the song was quite haunting.

    A quick question - are nightjars solitary birds or do they live in family groups?

  • Comment number 5.

    in an old quarry where i go to a small swimming pool , there is a family of Rural foxes, i have seen 3 cubs.

    i dont know if you still want to film foxes.

    it is a great wildlife place, there are ducklings, moorhens, birds, foxes, and lots of fish.

    it is Woodham Walter , Essex.

    SWT please reply!! i hope you can come and film all the wildlife

  • Comment number 6.

    Sounds wonderful Simon. You never fail to deliver ... your passion & enthusiasm are always clear to see. We are thoroughly enjoying the series so far & look forward to sharing 'The Coombe' with you!

  • Comment number 7.

    in an old quarry where i go to a small swimming pool , there is a family of Rural foxes, i have seen 3 cubs.

    i dont know if you still want to film foxes.

    it is a great wildlife place, there are ducklings, moorhens, birds, foxes, and lots of fish.

    it is Woodham Walter , Essex.

    SWT please reply!! i hope you can come and film all the wildlife

  • Comment number 8.

    ive got a great spotted woodpecker down at my stream and it has a nest and young :)

  • Comment number 9.

    Wonderful viewing Simon,
    am looking forward to next week, particularly the skylarks! Fantastic views of skylarks soaring in Hengistbury Head Dorset, which I visit with my school for GCSE geography field trips. Wonder if you get to go there too?

  • Comment number 10.

    Looking forward with interest to next week's show and particularly the sightings, but wonder if you can provide an answer to this question?
    In approximately 2012 the earth's polarity will reverse - will this have an effect on the migratory habits of our birdlife?

  • Comment number 11.

    cant wait,, dont forget Kent , garden of England

  • Comment number 12.

    Can't wait for the show tonight from "The Coombe". I walked on our local "urban" heath at Barrow Hill nr Corfe Mullen, Dorset last night. Heard 3 nightjar churring, 2 wing clapping and another flew over "clicking" at me! Also saw a hobby hunting, male linnet, pipistrelle bat and an adult fox and tiny cub. Not a bad evenings wildlife watching!

  • Comment number 13.

    we live on a farm which has roe deer etc and we now have a litter or fox cubs!! 4 or 5!!! no black as far as i know!! ever since i have started to feed the birds in the garden it has cost me a fortune as i am now feeding the parish!! feels like it!! i had 8 goldfinches on 1 feeder tonight in all the rain!!

  • Comment number 14.

    On the subject of nightjars again,there have been numerous sightings over the last couple of weeks of a nightjar(some visitors reported seeing two)sitting on a fencepost close to the East Lake hide in the DWT nature reserve on Brownsea Island.I saw it myself and got a photo!It was heard churring in the middle of the day at the end of last week!
    Margaret..DWT Volunteer.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi Kate,

    I have recently returned from a week's volunteering with the RSPB at Loch Garten which was a fantastic experience. As well as the nesting Ospreys, I had great views of Capercaillie, Crested Tits, Crossbills, and Ring Ouzels collecting food for their young on Cairngorm. I also managed to see the 1st-summer male Red-footed Falcon at Tring in Hertfordshire last Monday. All in all I've had my fair share of good birds recently and to be honest, I've been quite excited.

    However, as part of my volunteering with the RSPB, I completed the 'Bird Friendly Schools' project with a Year 5 class at our local primary school in March. One of the pupils is a close neighbour and I'd promised her a visit to see the Great Spotted Woodpeckers that come to our garden feeder. Tonight was the night...I set up the telescope and turned on Springwatch. Jasmine came over at eight o'clock. I was much more 'twitchy' that a woodpecker showed up than I was before seeing the Red-footed Falcon! Not only did she get to see all of Springwatch past her bedtime, but also got cracking views of the female woodpecker which stayed for several minutes. The joy of passing knowledge and excitement on to children is unparalleled.

    Keep up the fantastic work and please tell Chris that when he wears his wetsuit, he should also ask for a RUBBER RING. If not, he should at least be allowed to GO FOR A WALK WHERE IT'S QUIET AND DRY afterwards. He'll know what I mean!

    Best regards,

    Murray Brown (x)

  • Comment number 16.

    With regard to Simon's report on Dartford Warblers, on 23 May saw at least 4 pairs on the coast along the Gower Peninsula west of Port-Eynon Point in South Wales.

  • Comment number 17.

    12 months ago I saw 3 buzzards circling/soaring, these were joined by a 4th larger bird which did the same but was more cumbersome & slow. I firmly believe what I saw was an eagle.I suffered the disbelief & sneering a la Packham but 12 months later someone I hadnt spoken to about this saw the same.This bird was far larger than the buzzards, rusty brown, with deeply fingered wings. What set it apart was the fact that i went into a stoop ! ! ! any ideas ? (Warks)

  • Comment number 18.

    I saw Simon's recent footage of butterflies. They were shown in glorious sunshine, but i am now wondering where do butterflies go on horrible wet days like today?

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Simon, great to see you around Kingcoombe Meadows, my son just started work there last week and is thoroughly enjoying it.... Had his 19th birthday on Tuesday 8th and had to work all day but I know he had a great day at work!!!
    P.S. We have resident blackbirds feeding but the female has disappeared... is it possible she's sitting again although they were both very busy last week to-ing and thro-ing for food or is it likely somethings happened to her as now its just dad??

  • Comment number 20.

    Simon said the Adonis Blue was rare and mainly found in that area (not his specific words, but I think that was his meaning), I have pictures of what I believe to be the Adonis Blue taken last year around Aberdeen beach (North Scotland).

  • Comment number 21.

    Great piece by Simon on the Woodpeckers in last night's programme. We've had a male Great Spotted Woodpecker visiting our garden (in East Yorkshire) for the last 4 days to feed on the fat blocks in our feeder. We've lived here 8 years and never had one before, so it's been really exciting to watch it come and go several times a day.

    We've also seen a juvenile on a number of occasions waiting in nearby trees to be fed by the male. (in fact the two of them have just appeared again now!)But like the two seen on Springwatch, there is no sign of an adult female.

    Are we likely to see the adult male bringing the juvenile to the feeder anytime soon??

  • Comment number 22.

    My dads cows are having calves at the moment he has Belted Galloway's and he has British whites the only herd in Cornwall. We have over 150 - 200 British whites and 20 Belted Galloway's. Bethxx

  • Comment number 23.

    My wife and I saw Adonis Blue butterflies along the Gower peninsula in Wales at the end of may. We also saw Dartford Warblers in the same area.


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