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Unsprung's last blast in 2010

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Martin Hughes-Games Martin Hughes-Games | 10:54 UK time, Tuesday, 23 November 2010

So, here we are, last week of Autumnwatch, last blast of unsprung. Please may I ask for your help one last time? Some of our absolute favourite questions are the simplest ones - but ones that make you go... "Well... actually... yes, I never thought of that!" Questions like "Why don't roosting birds fall of the perch?" "Do butterflies have ears?" These simple questions often lead to really interesting answers.

If there was something, apparently simple, you always wanted to know but (as the saying goes) were too frightened to ask - please ask now and we will try to get your question on the final Unsprung of 2010.

By the way, Laura, Anna and I (the Unsprung production team) would like to send out a massive thank you for all your questions, your observations and the things you have sent us - it's been a totally fascinating eight weeks.


  • Comment number 1.

    Thank YOU - ,all of you - for the wonderful weeks of AW and Unsprung.

    My question is this - when we talk about "my" blackbird or "my" robin recognising us, and coming to the hand or nearby to take food, and knowing that your resident robin etc won't be the same one all year round - do birds actually recognise people and know them as a food source, and how good is a bird's memory for this do you think? I mean - if the robin that comes in winter & gets fed by me returns the following winter, will he remember the place and human being as a food source, or is it just anthropomorphism taking over?

  • Comment number 2.

    Firstly, thanks to you all for another entertaining, informative and thoroughly enjoyable series. Now for the simple question based upon the "he drinks like a fish!" accusation. Do fish drink? If so, how, and how does this vary between salt- and freshwater fish or even for a salmon that moves between salt and fresh water?

  • Comment number 3.

    The same would go for newts I suppose, Steve....do they actually drink ?

  • Comment number 4.

    I posted this on the messageboards too, something I've recently witnessed & would like to know why. :)

    The last few days the local rook population have been flying high up, circling like vultures, making a hell of a racket. Just now I've witnessed the same thing but with a difference, some individuals suddenly crying louder & two plummeted to the earth at speed, whirling, circling, dive bombing down & until almost touching the ground. Then a different two did the same thing! I've never witnessed rooks doing that before - & I just wondered if anyone knew why they do that? Is it some sort of hierarchy display? As I've heard of rook counsels but they usually occur on the ground, or is it simply because they love flying & do it because they can? But today I saw it again & this time one of the rooks crash landed into the bird table, he hung around the garden for a while concussed, then disappeared into the field & I haven't seen him since!

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi, thanks for a great series and already looking for to 'Christmaswatch'

    My question is about migrating birds, I know they cover vast distances and alot of that is the sea, but do they sleep on their long journey to and from our shores? If not how do they rest?


  • Comment number 6.

    There are two things I've often wondered about birds - firstly, why don't they get dizzy when they swirl and quickly change direction? Secondly, why don't they have feathers on their legs? Wouldn't it keep their legs warmer if they were coated with down?

    Thank you, Martin, Chris & Kate for a super series, and thanks to the guest presenters too.

  • Comment number 7.

    When having drinks (alcoholic of course)outside in Summer it's so easy to spill a drink on the grass,worms eat the soil to get nutrients,would the worms get drunk?

  • Comment number 8.

    Thank you for featuring the dormouse and the harvest mouse, very cute. I've always been a mouse fan. I wanted to upload some pictures of a baby garden dormouse to ask if you can help them survive if you find one. As it was in France I couldn't let you see it as it's against the rules!

    Anyway - Robins, then. I've had four sitting in a row in the hedge outside our kitchen window. No apparent aggresion between them. What's going on there then?

  • Comment number 9.

    Here's a question - I was given a plastic heron to adorn my pond, but do they actually deter real herons?

  • Comment number 10.

    There are a lot of hybridised Ducks about, Why do ducks do this and not Passerines for example?

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi, I have a very simple question for you :)

    We have a squirrel which is frantically, yet randomly burying his nuts gathered from our feeder into various places in our garden - ranging from the borders to smack bang in the middle of the lawn and then perhaps more understandably around our newly created bundle of logs.

    Is our squirrel working to a set plan here or is he just working from instinct, surely he cannot remember where he's buried all of his nuts?

    Wayney P

  • Comment number 12.

    I put this on the message board. Got some great responses including a bbc Scotland clip. I found some mysterious jelly type stuff like frogspawn without the eggs in the heather/bog, on the hills, near Snowdonia when I was hillwalking this weekend. Really bizarre stuff. Check out the message board for the full blurb. (I posted it on the 22nd) and check out the flickr site searching "mountain ooze" for the photo. Had me stumped!

    Great show as ever, shame it's the last for a while.

  • Comment number 13.

    My question is "Do wild birds moult?"
    I suppose they must lose their old feathers and grow new ones at some point, but I've never seen a wild bird looking like our hens when they lose almost all their feathers, then have new quills grow and look like a hedgehog! Before the beautiful new feathers unfurl.
    Do wild birds lose just a few at a time or do some go for the 'oven-ready' look before growing a whole new set! (One of our hens has this look now!)

    Celia (in south-west Suffolk)

  • Comment number 14.

    My question is 'where have all my birds gone?'
    I live in a semi-rural setting and have fed the birds here throughout the year in my garden for over thirty years, but now there is something seriously wrong. I have five feeders in an apple tree which offer a selection of food including sunflower hearts, black sunflower seeds, crushed peanuts, and suet balls - all very tempting - and at one time the feeders were as busy as those on Autumnwatch, but in recent years there has been a great decline, and now there are very few takers, and no birds in the trees and gardens round about. This morning was bitterly cold and frosty but the feeders were all empty and remained so. When a greenfinch came he took a seed and flew off, and later a chaffinch sat in the branches but left without feeding. Are there just too many feeders in other gardens in the area, or could the answer be a predator? I have kept a sharp look out but there do not appear to be any birds of prey around, and there are no cats. When birds do come to the garden they will often sit motionless. The other day a wood pigeon sat like a statue for over ten minutes, and on another occasion a chaffinch sat imobile on a feeder for ages. If the problem is a predator is there anything I can do, or should I just give up?

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi to all the AutumnWatch Team. Great Show. A question for Chris...I've recently spotted 2 Sparrow Hawks hunting together in close proximity around my garden; One larger than the other; Is this Common?
    Also, the two of them were gliding and circling in the air, almost imitating the local pigeons who visit my garden: Is this something they do?
    They are so beautiful.
    Many thanks

  • Comment number 16.


    I live on the Ilse of Mull and yesterday I had five robins in the garden at the same time. They seemed to tolerate each other and the only time there was a bit of squabbling was when they were all trying to feed off the suet block. Is this unusual for so many robins to be together, I thought they were very territorial?



  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Autumnwatch
    We've just put a note on the message board about Woodcocks but perhaps you can help too? At The Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria, central London, we have admitted two poorly Woodcocks in the past fortnight. Our charity usually treats pets but we help any animal in an emergency, as these cases were.
    One was found injured and in a state of shock in the middle of Leicester Square! On the messageboard someone has put that they can easily be distracted by lights and crash into buildings but why did these birds come to central London in the first place?
    All the vets here are all intrigued to know!
    Lou @ The Blue Cross

  • Comment number 18.

    I have today put out nyger seed, sunflower seeds and bird cakes,and not one feathered soul has dropped by!!
    Where have they gone? I thought they would be flocking to my garden buffet.

  • Comment number 19.

    Bluetits are using our birdbox which has been up for 3 yrs. They are popping in and out nearly all day,it's as if they are playing hide and seek. Why is this when they haven't used it during the nesting seasons. Not sure if they are using it to roost at night. Love the show.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi Team,
    Thank you for a great series, we love Autumnwatch, but especially enjoy Unsprung, as it seems more unscripted, sure not the case!! But real fun to watch.

    Question:- Do ladybirds hibernate on their backs??

    The reason I ask is that I found a ladybird on a plant that had been outside and I brought in for the winter. I thought it would be best for the Ladybird to stay in too, and relocated it on another plant. It was alive but appeared to be semi conscious, as very slow at moving around. Later I found it upside down on the windowsill. Still alive. So I placed it up the correct way. Twice more I found it around and about, each time on its back. So therefore I ask the above question?
    Would be great to have an answer.
    Keep up the great shows, we love the way Martin tosses his hair back to put his specs on, he could do a posh hair care advert!??


  • Comment number 21.


    We have a robin which regularly visits our garden which has a very strange large lump on its chest. It can fly well but is only eating seeds off the floor.

    I have uploaded a photo to flickr on the autumnwatch page entitled 'Lump on Robin'.

    We would really like your help to work out what has happened to it!!

    Lauren and Caroline

  • Comment number 22.

    I have been involved in wildlife rescue for several years and have over-wintered many young hedgehogs that were too small to survive hibernation. I have another tiny hog this year that came in 6 weeks ago, clearly too small to make it without help. Can anybody tell me why hedgehogs often have a 2nd litter late in autumn, when many of these do not gain sufficient weight to survive their first winter. Is this not a costly investment for the mother? I noticed on Autumnwatch last week that dormice apparently do the same.

  • Comment number 23.

    Over the last couple of years I have notice the local gulls stamping their feet on the grass. Presumably this is aversion of worm charming. Is this widespread in ground feeding birds@

  • Comment number 24.

    My niece was travelling home on the school bus this week. Looking out across arable farm fields she saw a group of at least 12 brown hares grouped together sitting in a circle. There are often as many as 6 hares in this field running around, but I have never seen as many as 12 and certainly not sitting down all together. Does anyone have any ideas what they might have been doing? We live in rural Bedfordshire.

  • Comment number 25.

    Tried to post a blog earlier about Primroses flowering on rough ground in my garden this week. Not sure if I am doing the right thing as I it has not appeared. Its my first time so I am still learning!!!
    Anyway, have posted the photo of said Primroses on Flickr so hope someone can tell me if Primroses flowering in November is fairly unusual???
    Love unsprung-Martin can visit my garden anytime!!!

  • Comment number 26.

    I was driing to work the other morning and saw a golden Pheasant by the road in woodland near Bath. Do we have golden pheasants wild in England?

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm in year 11 and studying digestion in Biology - peristalsis and all that stuff. I was wondering if you could explain to me how owl digestion works - how and why they cough up pellets? I've disected a few owl pellets to find small mammal bones and skulls, but never really thought about how it all works, so it would be awesome to find out!

  • Comment number 28.

    I was in the kitchen the other day and glanced out at the bird feeder full of birds feeding from the various hangers and some feeding from the mesh basket full of seed; I then noticed something hanging down from the basket, after staring to focus on what it was I realised it was a house sparrow, it was hanging from the side completely upside down, not flapping but with wings folded and very still. I was worried that it was stuck with claws caught in the mesh, so I went out and as I approached the other birds flew off and the sparrow was still hanging there. My heart was thumping I thought it was dead… but as I got nearer the feeder it just flew off! I don’t know if it was actually stuck there and the fear of me approaching made it free itself or whether it was taking a rest. Has anyone else ever seen this?

  • Comment number 29.

    There is one thing I would love to know. Why on Earth should there be all these baby animals - so late in the year - of species that are meant to hibernate during the Winter months? Unless they are found and rescued by humans, they are doomed to die, which does seem rather cruel.
    I am referring to the dormice and hedgehogs. On Unsprung last week, I was amazed to learn that dormice need help in the same way as baby hedgehogs. Myself and Volunteers have, this Autumn, seen a higher number of young/baby hedgehogs needing help - comparable to 2005, we are looking after a lot at the moment!
    All hedgehogs need to weigh at least 600 g. (a lot more than the dormice!).

  • Comment number 30.

    Sorry I tweeted this as well (could quite get to grips with replying here) ;) cat attack or robin brawl? http://flic.kr/p/8W2fcH http://flic.kr/p/8W2fhH http://flic.kr/p/8W2fni

  • Comment number 31.

    dear team ...
    pleas could you tell me what this bird is

    my friends cat caught it in her garden in north devon ( she has a river at the bottom of it )and we have looked in all our bird books and cant find it anywhere ... the feet were nit webbed but sort of feathered and it had a log thin neck and beak we let it go back by the river when it jumped straight into the water dived under appeared further down then dived under again ..it was very quick ...
    please help than you
    nina jeffs :)

  • Comment number 32.

    I'd just like to add something Chris mentioned about starlings in last week's show. That the first bars of the main idea for the finale of Mozart's piano concerto No. 17 in G, K453, was apparently sung to him by his pet starling and was duly written down - written down by Mozart, not his pet whose talents did not quite extend that far.

    Are the singing talents of Mozart's starling credible? I'd like to think so.

  • Comment number 33.

    oppps dont think the link on my first comment worked so heres another lol


  • Comment number 34.

    Why is it that owls are considered Wise ?
    Thanks again for al your team efforts.

  • Comment number 35.

    Help. We were clearing up the school allotment area and taking up some wooden path edging that was getting slippery and dangerous, we had decided to use the wood to create and area for stag beetles. My problem is as we worked along the path we found some stag beetle grubs at different stages/sizes. we put everything back quickly, hoping we hadn't done any damage but at some stage we will need to move this edging. can this be done without harming them, if it can be done when is the best time and how should we do it. We a Hope ypu can helpre very excited about our find and want to do the best we can. pcp sidcup

  • Comment number 36.

    Thank you for another excellant series. My question is as follows: I thought that Herons were solitary animals? Wilst out with my dog I have seen three Herons converge into a field and on another day, at a different location, another three altogether. Surely it is not breeding time?

  • Comment number 37.

    Why do magpies seem to insist on perching on the highest and thinnest twig they can find? Is it just to get a better view? Often it seems the twig they choose will barely support the bird's weight. Perhaps they do it for fun!

  • Comment number 38.

    I have an intrigueing photo to send you but cant see how to attach it. Its of a tree covered in snails. There were several trees like this in the woods nearby. What wrer they doing? Do they hibernate ? How can I send you the photo and the question ? And many thanks for a wonderful series of shows.!

  • Comment number 39.

    Further to my previous contact, do you have a simple email address that non techy types like me could manage to send the photo to ? Cheers . Nick B

  • Comment number 40.

    Looking out of the window and watching the latest weather forecast would it be a good idea to start work on Snow Watch right now??

  • Comment number 41.

    not sure this is correct place to ask,but am sure we saw an eagle owl just now, whilst taking the dogs for a walk,if not what other bird is over twice the size of a buzzard,and head is as wide as it`s body it was too stocky for an sea eagle or golden eagle as i have seen both up here,carol

  • Comment number 42.

    Hello Autumnwatch team. In the last few weeks, upwards of two dozen magpies have been congregating in a large tree in a neighbours garden. We live in a semirural area and see the occasional magpie, but not in such numbers. What is going on?

  • Comment number 43.

    The collective nouns for animals and birds are always fascinating but did you know that a group of geese on the ground is a gaggle and in the air it's a skein?! Any ideas why??

  • Comment number 44.

    Chris very kindly took a few minutes to speak to me yesterday evening (at the Something Wild 2010 event in London) about the Government’s proposed plans to issue licences to farmers and landowners to cull badgers as part of the Government’s measures to tackle bovine TB. Defra have invited interested parties to respond to the their Consultation document on badger control policy; however the Consultation closes on 8th Dec and any responses must be made by that date. Chris told me that the issue of culling badgers would be covered in the Christmas Autumnwatch. However, would it be possible for Chris to mention the 8th Dec deadline on tonight’s programme?

  • Comment number 45.

    Is there a larger flying bird than a swan?

  • Comment number 46.

    First a serious question for Martin's last blast of Unsprung "How do snakes communicate with each other?"
    Second, a silly one (sorry if I'm the millionth idiot to think of this): "Did Chris choose POO-dles deliberately because of their breed name?"

    Great Show...When can we expect the first "Winter Watch" and "Summer Watch"?

  • Comment number 47.

    Question to Chris as you a New Forest local. What has happened here. http://paulc.co.uk/animal-head.html We came across this while out on Mountain bikes in New Forest. looks like a cows head. what animal would have done this?

  • Comment number 48.

    I would like to ask Chris a question about the behaviour of the blue tits in my garden. Every year, as soon as my Mahonia Japonica shrub starts to flower the blue tits pick off all the petals to leave bare stems!! I have noticed that it looks as if they have done the same to a bush in a neighbouring garden and wonder why they do it. See link for picture of this shrub, in case you are unsure what it looks like. http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plant_finder/plant_pages/523.shtml Many thanks - I think that you all do a wonderful job presenting Autumn Watch and loved the film of the starling roost last week. Sue T, West Yorkshire

  • Comment number 49.

    Hullo AW Team et al, on your last night of AutumnWatching! (although, perhaps you should rename tonight's show "Winter Watch" ..!!)

    Firstly - How is all the wildlife coping with this sudden early freezing weather ..??!! And how are you and the crew etc fairing ...??!!! And what do you think that poor old camel (just shown on the BBC's lunchtime news) makes of it all ... interesting! I don't believe "he" was an Asian camel either ... although he looked pretty content and able to deal with things - but I bet he hadn't expected to need to use his big fat hump for keeping warm in the UK snow!!

    Secondly - Some Q's (well, you did ask!) -

    Do birds ever sing just for the joy of it? Or talk to themselves, just because nobody else happens to be around at the time?!

    Why are moorhens (and indeed, blackbirds!) always so apparently bad-tempered - and why do their voices need to carry over such particularly vast distances?

    How is wildlife adjusting (or not?!) to the increasing levels of human noise pollution? and indeed, how does it cope with the appallingly compromised quality of air in the world?

    Are blackbirds always monogamous? And do they change their territory (for feeding, nesting etc) to move to that of their mate?

    What is the latest in the year (or, indeed, the evening) that bees etc have been observed still flying and foraging in the UK - and where/when?

    How much research has been done on bird communication and how much progress has been made? The more I listen to birds, and observe their behaviour, the more convinced I become that they are actually highly intelligent, and in ways that we have not yet imagined. I suspect that all birds' communcication skills are, in fact, highly advanced and sophisticated, and I believe that, far from being a derisory term, being "bird-brained" should actually be regarded as a compliment and something to be admired - a view that I feel sure is shared by many others. After all, in a "recent" test, it was a bird that was found to be the most "intelligent" of all the supposed highly-developed creatures (albeit that such "human" tests may actually have very little relevance in the non-human world ... ).

    Thirdly, maybe some for the next "Beat the Geek" segment ...

    Re Spiders -

    What is the heaviest weight of spider and prey which can be supported by a spider's web?

    Which spider type produces the strongest silk? (I imagine that this might produce some subjective answers, given the different ways that "strongest" might be assessed!).

    How territorial are spiders? and do they move their webs often to suit different weather or prey conditions etc?

    What do spiders do with their old webs? - having witnessed one rolling its destroyed web into a ball on our balcony before retreating to apparently rest, I am very intrigued to learn more about this fascinating behaviour which I had never observed prior to this occasion.

    Why (and how!) did some spiders evolve to hunt or to lurk in suitable traps rather than to spin webs and wait for their prey to arrive? Which type of predation is the most prevalent?

    If, say, the average mature (! - the thought of lots of "immature" spiders at large suddenly struck me as highly amusing!!) garden spider's web was pulled into one long, long (and presumably suitably strong!) string, how long would this be?

    What is the average life-span of spiders - and does the average age of death differ greatly between different types of spider?

    Which spider type is the most fecund? (probably not one for any arachnophobes watching ..)

    And, finally -

    Does anyone think humans will ever be able to see like a hawk? or like a fly? or indeed, to ever be able to fly like a hawk??!! (but maybe not hawk like a fly - although this is maybe the most likely of these aspirations ..!!)

    And - What meaning is the most likely for the "jay" in jaywalking? - I wandered across this query this morning whilst looking for something else but have yet to check the suggested answers so thought the AW team might like to offer some possible meanings ..!

    Sadly, I have plenty more questions like these - be afraid!! - but hope this batch will prove interesting for now! Good luck on your last night - horrible to think that this is the last weekly offering... and hope you - and the poor wildlife! - are managing to survive at least slightly comfortably in the newly icy conditions ..! (maybe we'll all meet a few more wild things on the INSIDE of our homes over this winter ...!!!)

    Well, many thanks for another season of educative entertainment (and, as ever, for reading all this - hope my Q's are neither too many, nor too late to be of use, and that some of them at least prove useful/amusing to someone!). Best regards TB/EB (im)possibly becoming trainee geeklets/geeklings, I fear ... ).

  • Comment number 50.

    Hi Team

    We have really enjoyed this series much as we enjoyed previous ones.

    The items on garden birds have prompted us to build an extra bird table with a variety of foods, eg peanuts, meal worms, fat balls etc. However apart from pigeons as well as the odd heron (which prefers our goldfish to the offerings available), we don't seem to get any birds in the garden at all. In previous years we have had quite a few species including robins, sparrows etc but this year - none at all.

    Would a recent fairly drastic hedge trim in the lane behind our house by the council have anything to do with this?

    Keep up the good work.

    Hill Head, Hampshire
    (Near Titchfield Haven bird sanctuary)

  • Comment number 51.

    As they say, the pleasure’s all ours/mine.  The top 100 (i.e. 100%; and how many of you I imagine to work from the top-team -at -the-towers on the programme) excelled again this season, so very contented with your efforts, more than glad to be part of it, what wonderful hours it has been, well done you and thanks.
    Mini-beasts: - being small and lightweight; do they survive a fall from something many times greater than their size, such as a wall?

  • Comment number 52.

    Hi guys , we run a bird rescue in norfolk (wing and a prayer wild bird and owl haven), it has been a bad year for tawny owls with trichomonas, has this been seen all over the uk or are we just having a bad year here in norfolk and any idea where they are getting it from ?

  • Comment number 53.


    Just wondered how seasons affect underwater environments eg. does kelp stop growing (or slow down) in winter and sprout new growth/grow quicker in spring? Ditto pondweed - and so on. And is underwater vegetation more nutritious for the animals which depend on it at certain times of year more than others?


    Kiveton Park, Rotherham

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi i wish to ask a question more to do with Springtime. I have a small short haired terrier, and when i wash his bedding and tumble dry it his hair collects in the filter with the fluff from my other washing.
    Last year i placed this fluff and hair which was very soft into a fatball feeder and hung it up with the bird food, so the birds could use it for nesting material, the birds did take a lot of this matierial, did i do the right thing and is it ok to do it again next spring i've been saving all the fluff each time i clean out the filter.

    kind regards

    Mara (Enniskillen Co Fermanagh)

    PS i will miss your show can't wait till spring watch is on.

  • Comment number 55.

    Which of our birds have the longest lifespan?

  • Comment number 56.

    Some bird plumages look different when seen in ultraviolet light, but can birds see ultraviolet light, I know some insects can?

  • Comment number 57.

    Hello team

    Its my birthday today so please read out my question! Your program is my favourite so a real treat for me today.

    How do baby songbirds learn their parents songs and how long does it take them to learn the full "repertoire"? Ive never heard them practising, do they have to practise?

    Thank you
    P.S. Im the same age as Martin and have the same rebelious hair!!

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi team. Just want to say really enjoyed the series and will be sad to see you go, I just have a small question about bird feeders in this cold weather, I have in the past put up fat balls and seeds and nuts and only attracted cats and rats. What should i do to keep them away from the bird table?

    many thanks in advance


  • Comment number 59.

    Hi team, just a quik one....will there be a Christmas Special this year?

    Many thanks

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi team

    thanx for another great series, thoroughly enjoyed it again, roll on spring!

    My question is which bird spends the most time in the air?

  • Comment number 61.

    Each morning i awake to the sound of a seagull pecking at my bedroom window. I live in Cornwall about a mile from the coast. Its a big bird and i`m worried that it`s going to break through the window. Do you know whats causing this behaviour? (ther`s no food in my bedroom!!!)

  • Comment number 62.

    Great series and we have certainly gone from late summer through to the beginnings of Winter this year!!! What do the team predict this winter's weather to be like? Will it be like the last 2 years?
    I have learned loads about migration, although can Chris get some mirrored birds for his map next years so the birds don't appear to be flying in backwards!!!!! Love his Geek moments!
    Can he give some tips next year on micro photography, particularly moths, I have difficulty in getting the whole insect in focus!
    Look forward to your next broadcasts. Will the BBC produce another WinterWatch?
    Best wishes,
    BluetitSue, Broadstairs
    PS Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory is also great for Migrating birds, Ringing and have a very informative team of volunteers. I have learned much from their clubs and workshops, can the team visit this area of the south east of the country in the future?

  • Comment number 63.

    Now that winter is here it's obvious that where I live there are a lot of mature trees heavily loaded with ivy. Given that many of these trees are not being replaced in hedgerows, shouldn't the ivy be removed for the benefit of the trees?

  • Comment number 64.

    My question is regarding Hedgehogs - we have a very small hedgehog that has appeared in our garden tonight that we assumed had hibernated. With the freezing temperatures at the moment should I do something i.e feeding, catching it and taking it to a sanctuary or just leave well alone? I am very worried about the little blighter!!

  • Comment number 65.

    Hiya, I've enjoyed your show, so much.

    I wanted to ask about a tiny frog I have found in my garden. I've seen it twice, once at the start of the year, and again recently. Exactly the same size, like a froglet but with no tail. It's sort of a reddish colour with spots on it's underside. I can't find it in any books, and was wondering if maybe it had escaped from a collection.

    Also I wanted to report that in my area, north yorkshire, i've noticed that goldfinches have done incredibly well this year. But not so much shrews. Throughout summer I've found well over twenty dead shrews.

  • Comment number 66.

    After your comments about Greater Spotted Woodpeckers intimidating other birds and 'hogging' bird feeders my Mum, Sue, witnessed this exact behaviour in her back garden (in deepest, darkest Suffolk) and my daughter, Izzy, managed to get a photo. Whilst the woodpecker was on the feeder the smaller birds sat on the fence waiting for it to finish so they could have a turn.
    We were amazed at the coincidence!!
    Thanks for a fabulous Autumnwatch 2010 and here's looking forward to Springwatch 2011!!

  • Comment number 67.

    Sadly watching the last episode.

    My simple question is: after setting up my bird feeding station (after re-watching Episode 6 again), nearly all our garden regulars were happily enjoying the feast but no Long tailed tits have visited. I did the national Garden Bird Survey back in January and Long tailed tits were some of the highest in numbers for visitors to the feeders back then. Where might they be now? Are they on their way from Belgium and just simply late to the party? Home is in semi rural East Sussex.

    Also, the Coal tits do indeed feed late in the day (as stated in Ep 6) and the resident Robin chased off another Robin interloper this morning.

    See you sooner than later (here's hoping for an extra Snow-watch in January!) and thanks for all wonderful Thursday evening laughs and awesomeness.

  • Comment number 68.

    Question for Chris.
    Do the woodcocks that migrate to this country from Poland and Scandinavia have the exact same song as our british woodcocks or do they have accents?! would love to hear this read out on unsprung tonight.x

  • Comment number 69.

    We were down in Cornwall this week, parked up on Fistral Beach in Newquay and watched 4 dolphins playing or fishing just off the beach. We went up to the headland by Porth beach and the 4 dolphins, 3 in a pod together with one swimming ahead, and watched them swimming past as the tide came in. We've never seen dolphins off Cornwall before, it was fantastic. We also saw quite a few oystercatchers on one of the rocks just above the height of the waves.

  • Comment number 70.

    I’ve been wondering lately if wading birds such as herons, godwits, oyster catchers etc. can float and swim.

    Sue from Hull

  • Comment number 71.

    We've had fieldfares and longtail tits back in the garden and I spotted a male bullfinch last weekend in our garden in Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

  • Comment number 72.

    great series best thing on telly sadly missed but martins chair i want please its just perfect for my tiny little country holiday cottage in derbyshire - imagine what a beautiful gorgeous famous spectacular thing to have ....

  • Comment number 73.

    Thanks, team for a wonderful series - had my fix for this year, can't wait for the Christmas special!

    I'd like to know what the piece of music is that was playing (interactive red button viewers' photos) when the loop ended?

    Thanks again.

  • Comment number 74.

    I have a question about swans. It seems that extracting energy from grass is particularly difficult. Ruminants for example have several stomachs some where bacteria break down the cellulose in the grass for them. Yet swans seem to be able to overwinter eating grass and amass enough fat reserve for a long migration north. Can anyone comment on this? Maybe a study of swan metabolism would be quite interesting.


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