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Springwatch 2011 continues - get involved

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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 14:15 UK time, Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A week has flown by on Springwatch and already we've seen a great many things at the beautiful RSPB reserve at Ynys-hir. Last week we were graced with extraordinary live footage of beavers from Scotland, and this week, it's the turn of Skomer island, and its array of magnificent birds.

Closer to home, we've had the rare privilege of seeing the first osprey chicks in this region for 400 years. And closer still, our webcams have witnessed the rise of an owl chick called Bob, elusive badgers and a rare insight into what grass snakes do in private. Not to mention grasshopper warblers, dippers, sandpipers, herons and much more.

Along with this week's guest presenter Iolo Williams, we hope to bring you lots more exciting wildlife stories as they happen. And it's good that so many of you are along for the ride, telling us your own wildlife stories, sharing your photos and uploading your videos. You will keep them coming in, won't you? Here's how...

Find nature events near you with the BBC's Things To Do website.

Some more about this year's series:

 

We really hope you're enjoying the series so far.

Catch us on BBC Two at 8pm Mondays, Tuesdays & Thursdays (7.30pm Wednesdays followed by Unsprung).

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    I saw a programme on BBC 2 By Richard Hammond about the space shuttle.
    It explains why the owls find it difficult in the rain.
    The drops of water cut off the sonic echos

  • Comment number 2.

    hi martin and the team can you tell me howe a cuckoo chick now that it has to migrate if it was brought up buy a wreen

  • Comment number 3.

    cant wait for tonights show would loved to have been there its such a beautifull part of da country

  • Comment number 4.

    Pied flycatcher off nest at 9.15 last night and first dead bird looked as if it had insects in mouth only 3 were opening up for food when the female returned 15 minutes later

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi,Can you tell me what insect looks like a humming bird? It was in my garden today,i have never seen one before it was round my flowers.
    shaz

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi we think its a cast from a common European Buzzard... Ian

  • Comment number 7.

    Hello team, can you please give me some advise as i have my birdhouses on the front of my summerhouse which were there when i moved to my house, and now i have a family of blue tits and they are positioned where the sun shines directly on them, should i move the box to the side?? i don't want them to get frazzled..Help!!! I am so scared to move the box now. Fiona & Roo xx

  • Comment number 8.

    caddis fly larval cases.....dipper food!

  • Comment number 9.

    Alligators and crocodiles build a nest like grass snakes build their nests, the temperature of the nest determines the sex of the alligator and crocodile does the same apply to grass snakes?? many thanks Ian, Kent

  • Comment number 10.

    Dippers bringing up food: dragon fly larvae Theresa Praetzel

  • Comment number 11.

    i think it is Caddis fly larvae cases!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    It is lovely to hear about the ospreys near the Dovey estuary , but I live a little further up the coast where there is a beautiful nest near Pont Croesor, would be lovely to see them too! Smashing series. well done!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    I have a question relating to a bird I spotted yesterday on the Dyfi (Dovey) Estuary. It had the look of a Heron and was of a similar size but was pure white. Couldn't see the beak colour as it was in flight. I have an idea it may be an Egrit but would be grateful for any ideas or feedback on what you think it might have been. Many thanks.

  • Comment number 14.

    Wonderful series so far ,its lovely to see the ospreys near the Dovey Estuary, but there is a beautiful one not far from where I live at Pont Croesor. Please give it a mention its superb!

  • Comment number 15.

    hi springwatch I heard a coukoo last saturday june 4 in grand canaria playa del engles

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi not sure who reads this but I saw your program tonight about slow worms. I have loads in my compost heaps. They are all living there with loads of grass snakes. I must of counted at least 30 of each. Is this normal??

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi i have a problem with pigeons,there are so many in my area,they eat all the bird food in the garden so the other birds don`t get a look in.Is this normal or has there been a population explosion with pigeons.

  • Comment number 18.

    RE. The research showing that fed birds laid less eggs. Could the reason for this be that if the birds have a regular and permanent food source they need to lay less eggs as it is more likely that all of the chicks will survive? This could be the opposite sort of effect to stressing a plant to force it to flower.

  • Comment number 19.

    Please can you alert viewers on Sringwatch to the fact that it is not a good idea to cut down trees (or parts of trees such as branches) or trim hedges at this time of year using any instrument other than small clippers?
    Surely, the noise and actions of powerful tools such as electric hedge trimmers must, at best, disturb nesting birds and their chicks, or, at worst, cause injury and death to birds and chicks? People should always check the trees and hedges in their gardens for signs of nesting before going ahead with any kind work of this kind.
    Thank you

  • Comment number 20.

    We live on the edge the Loughor estuary and have herons and egrets nesting in the woods. yesterday we noticed something odd under one of the herons nests and it was a dead heron that looked as if it had fallen from the nest and was wedged by its neck in the branches of the tree. The herons always look very precariously balanced on the nest so is this something that happens often?

  • Comment number 21.

    during food rationing hares were a source of additional food.during a hunt one hare begun to run towards one of us.it accelerated at full speed,colliding with the fellows leg causing a severe bruise.the hare continued his merry way-the fellow limped home.

  • Comment number 22.

    Re smaller broods when supplementary feeding available. Could clutch size be related to perceived population density? Higher population meaning reduced food resources so would make sense to have smaller broods.

    At feeding stations individuals will have artificially increased contact with other members of their species leading them to perceive a higher population density.

  • Comment number 23.

    just to let yous know i was working in biggar in scotland near coultar and me and my mate was watching 3cuckoos today all in within 200 yards of each other and last year we counted 23 buzards all in the 1 field feeding on worms also saw a golden eagle at bishopton in april which i found to be strange

  • Comment number 24.

    I had to cut down a dead tree in my garden last month not knowing there was a nest with 3 Goldfinch chicks in the tree. I put the nest with the chicks in an archway thick with plants for protection about 15ft away. With surprise the parents found the nest and the chicks survived. Was this just luck or was instict involved

  • Comment number 25.

    This year I have monitored Pied Flycatcher nests a few miles from Ynyshir. In over 50% of nests that hatched/fledged there were one or more unhatched eggs left in the nest.
    Is this usual? Could it be related to Pied Flycachers being polygamous?

  • Comment number 26.

    Hi guys
    I just returned from cycling in the Hebrides - we heard loads of cuckoos echoing around a generally treeless landscape - so why or how do they do so well there?

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Team, I have a nest of White Bottomed Bumble bees that have set up home in my Surrey home. Not causing any problem in my eaves storage area (I hope) but when can I expect them to move on / away? Cheers, Richard.

  • Comment number 28.

    My husband were out today near Woodham Ferrers Essex and my husband saw a buzzard, is this an unusual place for them?

  • Comment number 29.

    How do badgers react when an adult member of the group dies in the sett?

  • Comment number 30.

    Thought on dipper bobbing. It seems to make sense for dippers to bob their whole body because they have a natural horizontal profile that makes them streamlined in water. If they are to maintain this, bobbing their heads wouldn't give them much vertical movement and could lead to them tilting their head downwards and so losing forward vision. Owls with their vertical posture can far more easily move their heads up and down.

    Just a thought.

  • Comment number 31.

    tonight`s programme superb like the new location ,keep it up

  • Comment number 32.

    Recently on the River

  • Comment number 33.

    OWL'S! :)
    There is a barn owl (what we think is a barn owl ) on the way to the stables that sits in a tree until about 1/2pm, is this normal for owls?! i thought they was nocturnal!

  • Comment number 34.

    Recently on the River Dourbie in Southern France we saw European beavers which do not fell trees or build dams, unlike those introduced into Scotland from Norway which do and are upsetting local farmers.
    Why weren't beavers like the French ones introduced to Scotland instead?
    Thanks,

  • Comment number 35.

    Dippers - is the dipping possibly a means of camouflage? Looking at them with the dark upper and white lower body against running water would make them a bit obvious, maybe the dipping adds the illusion of movement?

  • Comment number 36.

    During a walk near Priddy in Somerset we saw what we thought to be a Nightingale. This was exciting enough, but after we had got home and checked the books (including my Observer book of birds) it seems to be more than likely a Thrush Nightingale.
    Anyone else seen one of these? Unfortunately the camera was in the drawer, as usual.....

  • Comment number 37.

    We had blue tits nesting in a box in the garden and the adult birds stopped coming to it we opened it up and found 10 blue tits all dead. Did they have too much to look after or we think that one of the adult birds might have died and it was too much for the other bird to handle. Is 10 a usual amount? Thanks Maria. From Ireland

  • Comment number 38.

    Why does a rook attack cars in our street every year around April,May and June?

  • Comment number 39.

    Hello nature lovers, i was wondering if you could identify a bird that keeps flying over a pond outside the clubhouse of Westerham Golf Club Kent in the evenings? we think its a Tern, but not sure which kind, its grey and dives into the water every now and then.

  • Comment number 40.

    Why does a rook attack cars in our street between April & June every year.

  • Comment number 41.

    last nights show about birds on the red list i think i know what is responsible for the decline in the sparrow and starling populations i have seen a mass grave of about fifty birds mainly sparrows and a few starlings i witnessed this in the late ninteen sixties both species are still absent from the area as well as from three other areas nearby while i have lived in an ajacent area for the past thirty years with thriving populations of both species the area i live in contains all the usual suspects sparrowhawks magpies cats veryhigh traffic density and household waste cleanly disposed of what killed the sparrows and is continuing to do so in the sixties i lived in a house whose chimney was afavorite lookout for the sparrows and in the spring much favoured by the male starlings for attracting females then in the early sixties millions of homes in the country were converted from coal to gas fired heating three years later i had to have a chimney sweep as my fire wouldnt work he removed a sack of soot in which were the preserved bodies of sparrows and starling the areas were they are absent were all converted the area i live in was built with centrally heated homes s

  • Comment number 42.

    Chris Packham shame on you - unbelievably we've just watched you screw up Kate Humble's drawing and throw it on the ground. I think you are as much to blame for trivialising the dropping of litter as the smokers that discard millions of cigarette ends casually on our streets and beaches as errant dog owners that refuse to pick up after their animal. You'll say, 'but i picked it straight up' - I'd say, 'the image showing its 'normal' to deposit rubbish' is already firmly planted. I know it was meant as a 'fun piece' but I found your silly reaction very disappointing and surprising.
    Matt

  • Comment number 43.

    Re my above comment: I should point out for those that didn't see the show (broadcast Tuesday 8th June) that we NEVER actually saw Chris pick up his rubbish.

  • Comment number 44.

    Can the team please answer my question about my hedgehog box. My Dad made it for me last year within a week a hedgehog had made its home and survived the winter. FANTASTIC. I feed the hedgehog each night with special hedgehog food. It is still using the box. SHOULD I CLEAN THE BOX OUT- OR WILL THE HEDGEHOG DO ITS OWN HOUSEKEEPING. IF ITS UP TO ME WHEN SHOULD I DO IT WITH THE HEDGEHOG STILL IN RESIDENCE!!!!

  • Comment number 45.

    Question. Having been to Bempton cliffs and Flamborough head this week, watching the seabirds I noticed that the Razorbills fly faster than all the other seabirds when returning from fishing. Is this because of their short stubby wings or do they just want to get back quicker.

  • Comment number 46.

    Why are Manx Shearwaters "Puffinus puffinis" while Puffins are "Fratercula artyica"?

  • Comment number 47.

    I was very interested in your comments on the posturing behaviour of robins on last nights programme.
    I see this behaviour every spring in my garden. What usually happens is that the two birds start about 1 metre apart on a fence panel and move slowly towards each other swaying slowly from side to side with head high and chest puffed out.
    When they get to about 30 cm apart the posturing seems to get slower and more intense then usually one of the birds will fly away.
    Very occasionally the birds continue to come together until physical contact is made at this point one has always flown off.
    I hope this helps.

  • Comment number 48.

  • Comment number 49.

    I have a theory on why Dippers "dip". The white breast moving up and down matches the white water surrounding it. Therefore adding to the camouflage.

  • Comment number 50.

    Is it just me or is Springwatch more about the presenters especially Chris Packham mucking about and less about watching live wildlife Bring back Bill Oddie!

  • Comment number 51.

    hi,

    following the common sandpiper incident, i've since sent an e-mail to the rspb., suggesting that they might keep their livestock in a field with no ecological value throughout the spring and summer. the present policy hardly makes any sense at all.

    cheer for now.

    bob piller.

  • Comment number 52.

    hi team about the blackbirds struggling to get worms on the dry ground. i have a natural field pond and have noticed as the water level drops the blackbirds are collecting worms just above the water level in the soft ground. and also bumble bees are building a nest in a blue tit box. strange

  • Comment number 53.

    with regards to the feeding stations and lower egg numbers, does it not stand to reason that clutches of eggs would be smaller due to the constant availability of food and therefore the higher chance of the laid eggs surviving as the birds do not need to hunt to feed their brood?

  • Comment number 54.

    We have two female Marsh Harriers on Newport Wetlands that fly and hunt together, they have even be seen flying with sticks, as if to build a nest. There is no male that anyone has seen - any ideas, anyone?

  • Comment number 55.

    My daughter has just asked me a question and I wasn't sure how to answer her. She asked me if planes effect birds flight? Can you give me something to tell her please?xx

  • Comment number 56.

    Dear team, my son Max (who is 8) likes looking at spiders and spider webs. Our question is, how does a spider start to build its web? Some of the ones that we have seen have large spans - how does the spider make the first thread from one side to the other? Yours hopefully, the Bonner family.

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi to the Springwatch team - Is the re-introduction programme of the Red Kite in Buckinghamshire going to fall foul of it's own success? It seems that these wonderful birds, which we used to only see soaring high in the sky, are now swooping for food in school playgrounds and children are having to be kept in doors. Why are these birds that are supposed to just take carrion now attacking humans?
    Geoff Olney - Chesham

  • Comment number 58.

    Hi all
    Just watched tonights programe had a idea we have a few extra alloment plots where can I buy the seeds to turn it into winter feed meadow for the birds.

  • Comment number 59.

    I can honestly say that i would happily jump off a cliff in a Chough-like fashion with Chris Packham (attached to a hang glider preferably!)
    Shall i lay down a gauntlet to Chris for such a challenge?
    I would fundraise for your chosen charity and Chris would get to soar on the thermals.....
    (Any chance he'd wear those leathers though?)
    I suspect he's probably too chicken to do either - or am i wrong?!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    hi everyone, watch out if the team go to Cory in essex, i know them well through my father , what a great bunch, but i bet you cant find the Hobby Falcons!

  • Comment number 61.

    I live at the opposite end of Ceredigion from where you are operating. Tiny, beautiful village at the top of a hill. Bungalow, enclosed by garden surrounded by trees. As a consequence, much wild life. Have several feeders out, constantly refilling. Lots of tits, sparrows, goldfinches etc. A pair of Jays, several woodpeckers, blackbirds, etc, doves, (thrushes have not yet shown this year) and tawny owl (heard that sound you played last night at the weekend and called my wife who also heard it. Thanks for the helpful response - now I know what it is, although it wasn`t the barn owl , it has to be the tawny, who serenades us most nights!) In the last few days woodpeckers, sparrows and tits feeding young in the garden. Glorious. Bathtime is brilliant every day - blackbirds seem to have the most fun, almost emptying the bath, and sparrows and tits sometimes 10 at a time. Doves seem to go in two or three at a time and do a peculiar `one wing up at a time` in harmony! However, every Spring at this time we have about 20 or so young bird strikes against our windows. Of these, after hearing a bang, we spot about half flying away, seemingly unhurt. Half of the remainder are unfortunately killed but we do manage to save the others if found in time. In the last week, we have lost a baby woodpecker, but saved another the next day, one blue tit and one coal tit. They`re usually on their backs but I find that if I sit with them on an open hand in the garden for 20 minutes or so, they fly off eventually, back to parents who sometimes turn up nearby. What can be done, other than painting the windows? Is this just a fact of nature - been happening every year for the past 12 years in this house. This is the first time I`ve watched the series properly - immensely enjoyable, especially as it`s virtually just up the road!

  • Comment number 62.

    Och aye the noo,Kate,Chris&Martin!

    Loving the series as ever(I've seen them from the start),and thought I'd share the
    story of twa magpies attempting to nick blackbird chicks.I live in a bower(oh yes),
    and this is about daft blackbirds in Edinburgh who think their nest in the centre of
    a dense bush is the safest thing since Alcatraz,only for the pies to espy them from
    a 150ft horse-chestnut tree--they forgot the roof bit... ***see below***

    Angle Archaeopteryx

    [A grove in Auld Reekie.]

    This is all new.I go to a secluded part,and sit to gather my thoughts,numb,but
    nothing is not happening:a bird appears--it's a magpie,then another,hovering like
    hummingbirds,the first bird as it orients itself(new angle on pies);flying a fishhook's
    route--right-facing,starting from the barb--they skedaddle,blackbird hot in pursuit,
    his beady eye determined and steely. ***see below***

    I sit among the quiet ivy. ***see below***

    [Three weeks later.]

    The magpies are back,the fracas alerts me;the male doesn't seem to be around;
    I think about throwing a stone:the fury of the female is alarming--an SOS the male
    collects,and,in an instant,sees them off again;there must be chicks in there,
    possibly three,and those pies only NEED an instant... ***see below***

    [Tomorrow afternoon.]

    Woken at 6am by traffic and birdsong,I haven't seen them together,which is good:
    those pies can't be far away,and know where to find them;they must have followed
    the male or female back(you often see her rooting for slugs)--they're cunning birds,
    and determined... ***see below***

    [Fortnight later.]

    The magpies are gone;I've never seen the male or female together since,and there
    is a general sense of things having died down:trust they fledged and flew the nest
    from two proud,indefatigable parents(pat on the wing methinks for the male,and
    his tenacity and utter fearlessness.Those pies were eight times the size of him:
    fully protective of his brood,as good a guardian as you can get--William Wallace
    with wings!). ***see below

  • Comment number 63.

    farming: it's not something you should get me started on but since you have i guess it's open season.

    spraying: 22 organphosphates are still in legal use today. since the advent of these compounds, we've lost turtle doves, curlews, lapwings, lesser spotted woodpeckers, bullfinches, linnets, tree sparrows and even the sparrows on our very roof-tops. i personally believe the red-backed shrike was made uk. extinct by its use.

    they roll fields in may, for whatever reason, any birds eggs that get in the way don't stand a chance.

    meadows are cut or nibbled at any time at any time of the year, many plants have hardly produced seeds for decades; it's no wonder we're losing our meadow wildflowers.

    hedge flailing is widespread; it's such a waste in terms of berries for birds, habitat, insects such as brown hairstreaks, etc., etc., etc.

    ponds are nowhere to be seen. frogs are having to resort to spawning in puddles in farm tracks or in flooded tyre tracts. it's nothing short of a national disgrace.

    the grassy-strips, let's not forget them, were often cut in the middle of the breeding season; many of them doubled up as footpaths and were trampled upon and covered with dog's muck.

    most wildlife considerations are included as an afterthought and i seriously doubt if they're ever checked out for any benefits.

    hedges are often laid, but then the sheep are allowed to nibble the shoots and eventually kill the whole length of hedge.

    this is where are tax payments are going by the way. defra. knows the score and they don't give a damn.

    anyway, that's all for now; if i think of anything else i'll be in touch.

  • Comment number 64.

    Where is Simon King ? Can't believe you have not mentioned him. Should say we have watched + loved this programme since it started

  • Comment number 65.

    Can anyone tell me what i dug up in my garden in April - they were about 6 inches long a bit thinner than a pencil, creamy white on top, shiny black underneath and they were in a clod of earth.
    thanks

  • Comment number 66.

    km 64 Puhleeze, no more Simon King. I've seen enough rutting deer to last a life time.

  • Comment number 67.

    Why can't I send photos without using that horrible Yahoo? I can do it on the PM Blog by just emailing them?

  • Comment number 68.

    This is for Chris Packham - Last Wednesday you featured a lady with Bullfinches in her garden. We live in Netley Abbey, Hound Road, about eight houses down from where you lived until recently, and we also have bullfinches in the garden....and nuthatches and goldfinches and green finches and siskins and every other finch and woodpeckers etc. etc. Just though you might be interested!

  • Comment number 69.

    I live by a river and found some strange pellets on a rock by the river they are grey are very hard i was wounding if they could be otter sprate or something like that but do not really know.

  • Comment number 70.

    Just watching three new blackbirds who left the nest in our backyard this morning. There were three eggs. All doing well and mum and dad are very busy bringing worms and insects, we have kept the back lawn watered so not too dry for worms. Glad they're moving on as dad kept pinching our redcurrants!! Even though they nested near to what we think is a Juneberry tree and that has been raided. Two chicks are with mum and hiding in undergrowth but dad has the other one amongst shrubbery on back fence trellis. We also get house sparrows,starlings,robins, the occasional wren and last winter had a redwing. Loving the show as usual.

  • Comment number 71.

    hi, I thouht the piece done by Martin into research about reduced chick numbers where feeding is taking place was very confusing ....it seems the researchers had not taken many factors into account ...now pointed out by various contributors

  • Comment number 72.

    Hello to all, I have been killing myself to find out the answer to what the owls have been staring at. Why can't you just put a camera in the barn and see what it is?
    Please answer back with an answer becasue I won't have any nails left by the end of the day if you don't

    :D smiley face

  • Comment number 73.

    Aside from any research findings about feeding birds, there are a number of important points which can be made on a common sense basis:
    Feeding birds other than at times of prolonged extreme cold as, for example, occurred last November and December, is very unwise because:
    1: the food provided will not be the bird's natural food, and it could therefore have negative effects on its health;
    2: feeding will make the bird dependent on human beings, and the bird will therefore surely be at risk of losing its own food-gathering skills and habits; further, the reliability of people as providers clearly cannot be guaranteed, and birds could easily therefore be left suddenly to fend for themselves if, for whatever reason, the human provider suddenly fails to provide;
    3: feeding other than in an emergency will tend to make a wild creature something aproaching a domestic pet (certainly a very bad idea);
    4: the kinds of foods fed, for example peanuts, are clearly not foods that the bird would come across naturally and are, therefore, highly unlikely to be suitable and may even, for all we know, contribute both to longer-term ill-health and to the production of fewer eggs;
    5: lower grade peanuts have been notorious for their potentially lethal moulds;
    6: the current large scale of production of bird-foods, it can be assumed, will be contributing to a lessening of availability of human foods for human beings in dire need.
    Referring to your piece on honey-bees, fascinating and ingenious as is the work you showed to combat the varroa mite, I suggest there are far simpler ways of restoring health to honey-bees, that there are various forces militating against the well-being of honey-bees that can, and should, be tackled with urgency.
    Systemic and other pesticides and herbicides are without doubt taking a heavy toll on bees, both directly and indirectly. Some pesticides have been shown to be lethal to bees, and the upsurge in advertising, directed at gardeners, of these and of herbicides, particularly perhaps television advertising, is quite worrying. At the same time, herbicides are killing, sometimes on a large scale, plants, sometimes known as weeds, which can be important sources of food for bees. The impact on bees of such inputs are likely to be even more marked in conjunction with the difficulties for bees posed by the kind of cool, even cold, summers that some parts of the British Isles have been experiencing now for some years.
    However, one of the biggest things militating against honey-bees' health is also a matter of denial among beekeepers. This is the virtually universal practice of feeding bees sugar-syrup.
    Beekeepers, except the most selfless, know all about their tendency to be greedy when it comes to taking honey from hives. They know they regularly take too much. They know they regularly leave the bees too little honey to last the winter.
    In exchange for the wonder-food that is honey, they feed a dead carbohydrate - white sugar.
    It is completely obvious that sugar is not a food, that it is purely a carbohydrate, that it contains absolutely none of the multitude of nutrients contained in the nectar gathered by the bees, the nectar that is the bees' natural, and therefore quite obviously health and life-sustaining, food.
    As with feeding birds, sugar-feeding by the beekeeper who puts the health of their bees before profit from sales of honey, or before their own liking of honey, may sometimes be necessary during hard winters when there has been a genuine miscalculation about the extent of the stores of honey left for the bees.
    The fact of the matter, however, is that very many beekeepers take all or most of the honey in the hives and, amazingly, expect their bees to survive healthily throughout long winters on sugar - a substance totally without any of the nutrients in the honey the bees have slaved to gather.
    Can anyone really be surprised that, subject to such malnutrition, bees' immune systems can become seriously depressed and that they can consequently become prey to disease and vulnerable to the varroa mite?
    A further word of caution. I am aware of a view that an increase in the number of beekeepers could help to sustain bee numbers.
    I suggest this view is simplistic: an increase in the number of hives may simply increase competition for often already limited supplies nectar, and in a situation where supplies of nectar do not rise through a parallel increase in the number of bee-food-producing plants.
    Another undesirable side-effect of an increase in hive numbers could quite easily be to decrease availability of food-plants to bumblebees, the unfarmed creature on which, as things are now going in relation to the serious decline in the honey-bee numbers, we are likely to increasingly depend for pollination of a vast range of human food-plants.

  • Comment number 74.

    What a birdwatchers delight is Skomer Island. The sights of those thousands of seabirds craming over inch of space over those precipitous cliffs is an awesome spectacle and the manx shearwater colony is absolutely phenomenal with that night time cocophony of sound of theirs unique. Keep the good work up Springwatch!!

  • Comment number 75.

    hi,

    farming again: i said if i had any other thoughts i would get back, and reading the above e-mail about bees reminded me.

    blossom crops, such as rape or orchards, are almost without exception sprayed on hot sunny days when the blossom is fully open. this is precisely the time when bees are most active and when they would be visiting these plants. farmers, as i said earlier, really do not give a damn; they must know they are spraying bees when they're out there squirting the stuff around on these days.

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi Martin and the team,

    I was in my back alley today where we have lots of wild flowers growing, and lots of nettles, and I found lots of ladybirds, lots with seven spots but lots of other species of ladybirds to. Many that were black with red spots and lots of red ones with lots of black spots, are these good ladybirds or are they invaders of the good ol' British ladybird?? Also I saw a tiny earwig creature that was black with orange on either side of his middle and tiny spikes any idea what they are??? Fianally my daughter who is six want to know what snails are made from? she thinks it's jelly????

    Many thank Debbie

  • Comment number 77.

    i saw a red bellied woodpecker (with a bright red head?) in my back garden yesterday near Cardiff in south Wales. i have never seen one before, are they common in this area?

  • Comment number 78.

    Hello everyone.
    BBC breakfast had a lady on it on Friday the 10th or Saturday 11th talking about looking out for all manners of wildlife in the garden from bugs to birds with a hope to get 2012 species as it was to tie in with the olympics and so on.
    I can't remember the site she mentioned which is a shame as the kids were really keen to get involved.
    Anbody know of it ?
    Thanks

  • Comment number 79.

    Dear All, can you tell us if birds , like other species of animals ( dogs , fish , etc ) inter-breed with each other ? We do not know ! Love the series ! The Smith-Pitt family from Bury St. Edmunds . THANX

  • Comment number 80.

    please tel me why my blue tit boxes with cameras are overlooked by the tits in favour of next door neighbours missing grout around their soil pipe . this is the second yer running ?

  • Comment number 81.

    Having watched Liz Bonnin last night on the Pitsea rubbish tip, what effect might it have on the wildlife in this environment if local councils make a decision to collect food waste separately and not send it to landfill?

  • Comment number 82.

    The team were recently discussing blackbirds taking other chicks as food. Recently our cat killed a shrew (luckily she doesn't seem interested in birds!). We put the dead shrew on the bird table to see if the crows or magpies took it, but amazingly it was a blackbird that struggled off with it. We don't know if it managed to feed it to its young, but it was pretty determined to fly off with it.

  • Comment number 83.

    From phil bell blaina gwent osprey seen at llangorse lake in gwent this morning 10.30 watched for about an hour before disappearing

  • Comment number 84.

    WARNING!!! NEVER USE THIS KIND OF FAT BALL FEEDER!!!
    One of my fledgling bluetits obviously squeezed his way inside the fat ball feeder to get to the crumbs left at the bottom, then tried to get out from the bottom of the feeder where the bars narrow. Without the sense to exit up where he entered the poor creature strangled itself to death.

    Please, if you have this kind of feeder TAKE IT DOWN NOW. This all happened within minutes – I’d just replenished the seed feeder and had only gone back to the shed to get more fat balls and table top feed. By the time I came back it was too late. I’m devastated, so upset.

    Sorry, I have to paste the image of the feeder so you’ll be warned of its type, and I didn’t have the sense to take the body out before photographing, and I’ve already thrown the whole thing into the bottom of a dumpy bin (I can’t reach down to get it out).

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/61150239@N07/5833123728/

  • Comment number 85.

    On your program this evening you show a clip where your comments are that a badger and a fox pup share a den, exact words were the pup just went into the same hole as the badger, however I saw on the clip the fox pup does not enter den, but actually turns left and diasapears into the vegetation???

  • Comment number 86.

    A question for Unsprung or anyone else! I recently saw a short stretch of field hedge that had been devastated of foliage and left with a gossamer type of 'web'. Do you know what caused it? 4 Photos on flikr under tag Nature called gossamer

  • Comment number 87.

    Please, please, please Springwatch make it clear that the Osprey nest on the Dyfi is NOT the first in Wales for 400 years. That honour goes to a nest - not an artificial one, by the way,- near Porthmadog to which a pair of breeding Osprey have been returning for at least the last 6 years. As I write this, they are feeding their chicks. All praise to the efforts at Dyfi, but please recognise Portmadog. In fact, I'm surprised that Iolo Williams didn't mention this last week as he is well aware of the site. So much is made of the Scottish Ospreys; let's hear it for Wales!

  • Comment number 88.

    We had a wonderful walk on Dartmoor yesterday.Regarding chris' article on abscense of wildlife on that particular part of the moor,due to overgrazing,I would like to state that ,where we walked ,around high tors, we saw areas of healthy cotton grass,flowers,small moths,stonechat,swallows and were accompanied by skylarks all day.I didnt want the viewers to think that Dartmoor had died,it is still really beautiful and alive.

  • Comment number 89.

    hi to the springwatch team can you shed a light on the blackbird seen on the canadian grand prix it was ablackbird with a red flash on its shoulders many thanks from vw53

  • Comment number 90.

    There's Springwatch on the laptop and I'm wandering round the house
    There's Buzzard in the bedroom and he's hunting for a mouse
    Barn Owl babies in the bathroom all barking for a bite
    Mum's cooking in the kitchen to the sound of a big Red Kite.
    I open up my wardrobe and a warbler's in my way,
    I'm trying to put my clothes on to get on with my day.
    Heron's in the hallway, he's strutting to and fro,
    And Osprey's in the office where the piles of paperwork grow.
    I'll miss my evening viewing when there's no more Springwatch Live
    But I'm loving that you've taught me how to help our wildlife thrive.

    Thanks Springwatch Team for making home education even more enjoyable.
    See you in the Autumn.
    From Thomas Edgecombe (age 8 )and his Mum
    Near Hitchin in Hertfordshire

  • Comment number 91.

    PO 73, Nice long post. Thank goodness for scrolling...

  • Comment number 92.

    I've got a real mystery on my hands. Foxes and badgers have been coming to my garden for the last 7 years for food every single night without fail. They've suddenly stop coming been putting food out but still no foxes. I live in housing esate near a wooded area. Worried something bad has happen any ideas what may have happened?

  • Comment number 93.

    Thank you so much for the peanut butter sandwich idea for badgers. We've had them visiting our garden for over 20 years but we only had brief glimpses for the majority of that time until we started feeding them with badger and fox food that we buy online. Mrs Badger has brought in two lots of cubs over the past couple of years we're eagerly awaiting this year's cubs. You're welcome to come and film them if you like as they are as regular as clockwork each evening - hopefully we can break the Spring Watch curse!!!!

  • Comment number 94.

    We've got lots of bluetits with speckled faces visiting our birdtable. Are these adults who are too busy feeding their young to preen, or do they have avian freckles?

  • Comment number 95.

    Hi all,
    Why is it only cattle and badgers get TB!!? Foxes, badgers, rodents, even cats and dogs, infact all animals that live in the country including birds dont appear to get TB?!!!

  • Comment number 96.

    Please tell me about woodpecker numbers in the pershore area of worcstershire,since the hard winter i have not seen a single woodpecker in the garden or surrounding area , we normally see many through out the year, thanks sean

  • Comment number 97.

    Re the toad/froglets I saw the same near Orchardleigh Frome Somerset (on a footpath near the lake) last year at about this time of year while out walking. I initially thought they were flies, but on looking closer they were very small Frogs. the footpath was smothered and they were disserpearing down into the cracks/holes. They hopped so i'm assuming they were frogs.

  • Comment number 98.

    Is it a risk to badgers to hang sandwiches on wire/string? In domestic pets it would be a hazard leading to internal injuries when the string gets tangled in the intestine.

  • Comment number 99.

    Why do seagulls come inland and why dont they make the same call as do at the seaside?

  • Comment number 100.

    This year I saw a Skylarks nest destroyed by a farmer preparing his land for planting MAZE. Unfortunately its during late May early June this crop is sown, very bad for our Skylark population, as maze is becomming more and more popular for farmers to grow!

 

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