Autumnwatch visits Wales

Tuesday 10 November 2009, 10:56

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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The Autumnwatch team visited Pembrokeshire this week, to film a few sequences for this years programme.

Chris Packham and Kate Humble were down at West Angle bay hoping to film choughs, various wading birds and try their luck at some rock pooling.

It's a lovely spot and I spent a lot of time here as a child, swimming on the far right hand side of the bay and jumping off the old wooden jetty.

It was also the place where I saw my first canadian goose. I can always remember being amazed to find a pair nesting on small island - a short walk around the headland, to the South of the bay.

They looked completely out of place to my young eyes which were accustomed to seeing seagulls or cormorants, not exotic looking geese?!

Nowadays they're a common sight on lakes and ponds but in the late 70's, it felt like I'd discovered the Loch Ness monster on my home turf!

Pembrokeshire is particularly good for rock pooling during the summer months due to the crystal clear water and warm gulf stream currents which allow a variety of unusual creatures to live there.

Let's hope the rain held off long enough for them to spot the odd rock goby or crab. The sea anemones never disapoint though.

West Angle is particularly well known for it's fossils too and both sides of the bay are littered with them, in the cliffs and shale below.

We've got some great spotter guides for kids to take with them to the beach if this weather ever clears up, so take a look.

Let me know if you spotted the Autumnwatch team or took any photos of them during their brief visit.


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    Comment number 1.

    Viewers based in Pembrokeshire will not be able to watch this week's programme live, nor even later on Friday evening (a fact curiously omitted above).
    Because BBC Two Wales are showing an - admittedly fairly important - live rugby match till 9.30 instead. BBC Wales is run by sport obsessives who always get priority treatment whilst all the other viewers suffer. Read the press notice of 25 June re the new Magner's League deal. Unless they can watch on the iplayer, or have Sky, viewers of BBC Wales who cannot retune to England will have to wait until Saturday evening to see any AW.
    Six out of seven editions of AW Unsprung have also been delayed in Wales - indefensible on four of the nights as the live rugby had already ended and the sport put on in their place was NOT live (and not mainstream either, as alluded to by Kate Humble in her comments about what her husband had said to her).

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    I feel your frustration ashleyhr but sadly I don't work in the programme scheduling department.

    I normally watch the programme via Freeview or catch up on BBCi-Player so was unaware of this problem, until recently.

    Colleagues who work on Autumnwatch are aware of it though.

    Sky and Freesat viewers can find their local channel numbers here.

    You can complain to BBC Wales about this issue here.

    Thanks for getting in touch


  • rate this

    Comment number 3.


    Thanks. I have already complained to BBC Wales and also commented on the Autumn Watch message boards. My latest suggestion is that AW 2010 should be shown on BBC One at 8.30 on Fridays (not BBC Two), with the Unsprung programme - which should aleways be shown live in Wales as elsewhere - following on BBC Two at 9.30 pm. That should avoid the rugby scheduling issue on BBC Two Wales.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.


    ashleyhr is well aware of the BBC complaints procedure. He has been complaining to BBC Wales about the "excessive" amount of rugby shown for some time now. His concerns about this pre-date this series of Autumnwatch and as a resident of England these complaints and all of his numerous posts on the Autumnwatch messageboard have all been made on behalf of family and friends in Wales, who are apparently not able to do this themselves.

    As a Welsh resident, rugby fan and active nature lover, who regularly submits photos to the BBC Wales Nature Flickr group (id former-extog), I am happy, as you are, to watch Autumnwatch either during it's delayed transmission on BBC Wales or by one of the other ways available to catch up.

    Please don't allow this blog to become caught up in ashleyhr's campaign about rugby on BBC Wales.


  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Mike clearly believes that BBC Wales should, as it did, have delayed the live AW and AW Unsprung nearly every week on BBC Two because of rugby/other (minority) sports coverage - even though not everyone in Wales has Sky or iplayer. Fair enough.
    Gull however definitely did not express a view on this point. He merely said that he did not know of the delays in Wales until recently as he himself watches AW on the iplayer after transmission (or on Freeview; not sure how that works unless he is in a part of Wales where you can retune to BBC Two England/NI).
    If Gull has time to look at the AW message board discussions - such as 'Second Class Wales Again!!' which ended nearly two weeks ago, and 'Wales viewers don't panic ...' on 13 Nov, he will see that a number of viewers based in Wales - people I have never met/corresponded with elsewhere incidentally - take a very different view to Mike about (a) the frequent delays to both AW programmes for Welsh viewers and/or (b) the frequency with which BBC Wales sets aside half an evening's schedule to 'Scrum V' followed by 'Sport Wales'. They may not like rugby but obviously are entitled to their opinions.
    Incidentally, I sometimes watch programmes like 'Big Country' on the iplayer and would agree that BBC Wales produces some good nature programmes such as that; I also enjoy some of its nationally transmitted productions like 'Last chance to See'.
    Late on Friday evening I sent a text message to a friend living close to Fishguard saying "be sure to watch the programme on Saturday".


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