Springwatch 2012 webcams

Key Points

  • The webcams covering the Big Garden Birdwatch will be live from 0800 GMT to 1630 GMT on 26 and 27 January 2013.
  • The Springwatch webcams have now been turned off but make sure you watch the live webcams from BBC Nature on 26 and 27 January.
  • BBC Nature keeps you up to speed with the latest wildlife news, facts and videos - click on Home to discover more.

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    1145: Live webcams during Big Garden Birdwatch
    1435: Winterwatch webcams now off

    The Winterwatch 2013 webcams have now finished.

    2130: Webcams now off.

    Well, we're sorry to say, that's all for Springwatch 2012.

    A massive thanks to all the nest watchers here who worked 10-hour shifts, bringing us the live commentary from here, the RSPB Ynys-hir nature reserve. To the specialist camera team for managing to get us these amazing images and all the other Springwatch crew. To the web team for their tireless Facebooking, Tweeting and blogging.

    To the BBC Nature team, thank you for helping make these webcams possible this year and leading discussions of British wildlife around each of the live broadcasts, bringing a new level of research and detail. Follow BBC Nature on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to speed with the latest wildlife news, facts and to see amazing video clips.

    But chiefly to you, our audience, for joining us here at Springwatch and to the great British wildlife we've been privileged to watch.


    Springwatch Web Producer


    Bye bye barn owls

    Our family of barn owls have been one of our most popular characters, both with us and you. It has been a joy to watch all four chicks blossom into adolescent owls. We wish them all the best, and you never know, we might be watching them again next year!


    Goodbye Sandpipers

    Our sandpipers have been the ultimate success story of this years' show. As we waited and waited for those eggs to hatch, a lot of us began to give up hope that they ever would. And then throughout today, right on cue for our series finale, all four gorgeous chicks emerged. Despite the 'Leggit' family's constant and persistent battle with the trains, both parents have now successfully hatched all of their young.

    2118: Thanks from BBC Nature

    Anna-Louise and Matt from BBC Nature here signing off - thanks so much for joining us and the rest of the BBC Nature team every evening Springwatch has been on to discuss the animals featured in the show and respond to your questions.

    We've loved every minute. As the last programme has screened and the countdown to the webcam switch-off at 21:30 BST is now well and truly on, we'll leave you in the hands of the Springwatch webcam team.

    Be sure to keep visiting BBC Nature for the latest news, video and features from the animal and plant kingdoms.


    Bye bye bird feeder

    Our feeder has been great for watching a range of birds - We hope you have all become familiar with many of the finch family, the great spotted woodpeckers and the tits, (not to mention the squirrels!). Having a bird feeder is a fantastic way to attract birds to your garden and give them support over the winter months when food is scarce.


    Goodbye mammal stump

    Our mammal stump has been quite the hive of activity these past three weeks. We've had vole fights, mouse fights, and even a couple of blossoming relationships, as well as creepy crawlies of all shapes and sizes. It has been a great source of nocturnal entertainment, and has also allowed us to observe and learn many things about the lives and behaviour of these small mammals. A big thank you to Kate MacRae, featured on last week's show, for the inspiration behind the mammal stump.


    Goodbye treecreepers

    We wish our family of "tree mice" the best of luck and hope the chicks fledge safely and successfully.


    Farewell flutter-bye's

    We hope you'll agree that it has been really special watching the metamorphosis of these wonderful creatures live on camera. Butterflies are sadly on the decrease in the UK but the smallest of gestures like putting fallen fruit in your garden and taking care of your caterpillars can help them flourish. Take a look at this guide from the RHS for more tips like the sort of plants you can grow to attract them - Let's get Britain bursting with butterflies once more!

    2111: Wonderful webcams

    "Now that spring watch is over is there anywhere we can go online to watch live webcams of birds and animals?" asks Birdy-Sarah via email.

    Yes Sarah - the RSPB has a host of webcams on birds of prey, as well as one on a feeder attracting red squirrels and woodland birds in Scotland. There's also one covering seabirds and sealife at South Stack on Anglesey in Wales, and around the cliffs of Shetland.

    2111: Wet fledgling
    wet sparrow

    Eiona Roberts posted a pic on Flickr of a soaking wet fledgling that she'd like to identify. We're pretty sure it's a house sparrow.

    An image of a soaking wet bird seems like an appropriate pic for us at BBC Nature as we round off this run of Springwatch!


    "Dad showing me Cinnabar moth emerging from chrysalis when I was 5 yrs old started lifetime's interest in all wild things," says Diane Brierley on Twitter.

    It's great to get children thinking about the natural world - we've had a lot of responses this series from the younger members of our audience, and they've helped identify species and solve some tricky questions.

    Thank you everyone!


    You're sending us lots of lovely nice comments about the otter film on Facebook, Twitter and via email - thank you!

    If you want to go and see them in the wild, the densest European population of otters can be found in the Shetlands.

    But it's interesting that they are also increasingly being seen in cities around the UK.

    2051: Crunchy otter food

    Otters need to come inland to breed and sleep, though they can live in coastal regions, as long as there is enough suitable food.

    That generally means fish but they enjoy crustaceans too, as you can see from this one, brazenly enjoying a crayfish in broad daylight!


    "Can you tell me what type of spider makes these webs??" asks Mike Bulley on Twitter.

    Does anyone have any idea? It is a beautiful image Mike, thank you.

    2049: Badgers:

    Badgers eat several hundred earthworms each night! Have you seen the entrance to a badger sett or a badger near where you live?

    Badgers inherit setts from their parents, and they can end up with huge tunnel systems, which can sometimes be hundreds of years old.

    Chris Packham has visited a sett he was watching in the 1980s in the New Forest for Springwatch. I wonder what he found?

    2045: Sleepy otters

    Otters tend to live in freshwater rivers or lakes.

    They thrive in places where reedbeds and woodlands are suitable for foraging, breeding and... resting.

    Check out this fantastic video of some otters sleeping off a big meal!


    Fourth sandpiper chick has hatched!!

    2038: Barn owls:

    "just heard the owls hissing, why do they do it?" asks Matt Ryan in Chippenham.

    Barn owls do indeed hiss and shriek. Hissing can be used as a defensive sound, warning against intruders or other danger. But barn owls have a wide range of calls. They could be hissing during courtship, when they also make chittering sounds, according to the Dorset Wildlife Trust. And they don't hoot - that's tawny owls.

    2034: Speeding otters:

    Did you know... with webbed feet and powerful tails otters can swim at up to 12kph underwater, although they have to come up for air, which slows them down.

    2028: What's in a name?

    "Is it a white tailed eagle, or white tailed sea eagle, seems to be a bone of contention! Determined to watch the full show tonight, have wrested the remote from males in the house, a football free zone!" writes Morag Will in Ellon, Aberdeenshire.

    Well Morag - you're both right! The white tailed sea eagle, or Haliaeetus albicilla, is also known by the names ern, erne, grey sea eagle, sea eagle, white-tailed eagle, and white-tailed fish eagle.

    2018: Caterpillar bush!

    David Mackie got in touch on Facebook to says: "PLEASE HELP. about 4 or 5 years ago i went into garden and saw a small bush covered in catterpillars (i think I IDed them as Tortoiseshell). The bush was so covered, it was like a pre- butterfly bush. they wre there for about 4 days. Then i did not look for day or two. But next time they were GONE. Not a one left. What had happened to them?"

    Sounds remarkable - anybody ever seen anything like this?

    2007: Metamorphosis

    A lot of interest in caterpillars out there. If you want a funky take on metamorphosis, have a look at this BBC Nature video.

    Or why not enjoy BBC Nature's full collection of videos explaining metamorphosis in nature.


    Did you know white tailed sea eagles have a wingspan of up to 8ft!


    Our fourth barn owl chick is back, and wildly flapping to get back up to the nest.

    2001: Spider bites:

    "Earlier this week a friend of mine was bitten by a false black widow spider & ended up in hospital- any information on them," asks Fern on Twitter.

    Hi Fern - wow your friend was unlucky! The Natural History Museum says the likelihood of being bitten by a false widow is extremely low.

    False widow spiders belong to the genus Steatoda, and there is one species native to the UK called Steatoda grossa, and an introduced species called Steatoda nobilis.

    This group of spiders look similar to the true black widow group of spiders, which have the genus Latrodectus.

    Both Steatoda and Latrodectus are in the same family - Theridiidae, which are comb-footed and make similar "tangled" webs.

    Experts says they have seen an increase in false widows in the UK in recent times, but people shouldn't be worried.


    Susan Hughes says on Facebook: "I have just had a Jay in my garden taking snails out of our incinerater, i havent seen one before they are quite big and very colourful."

    Yes Susan, they are beautiful birds, and sometimes mistaken for more exotic visitors!

    They're smart too. Eurasian jays featured in a research paper not very long ago. The paper suggested that the birds store more of the food that would be in short supply on subsequent foraging trips. Claims about whether birds are up to this kind of "mental time travel" are disputed. It's an interesting area - you can read more about in this BBC Nature news story.

    1945: Sea eagles:

    "Are white tailed sea eagles likely to colonize other areas of the uk in the future? Thanks for another excellent series," says Neale Ambrose on Twitter.

    Well Neale, the RSPB says the eagles were wiped out in the UK in the 20th Century by illegal killing and destruction of their habitats and has recently mapped their downfall. However they are breeding again after being reintroduced in west Scotland in 1975.

    A reintroduction programme in east Scotland has also been having a lot of success, and the birds can also be found across Asia, China, Europe, India and Russia. They like to live near large bodies of water so they can go fishing.

    With numbers steadily improving, it may be possible to introduce them to other parts of the UK with the help of ornithological experts or if other breeding programmes are set up.


    Ginny Mac asks: "Can anyone tell me what the treecreeper seems to be carrying out of the nest in her mouth? They appear to be white balls of some sort."

    Hi Ginny. Those are faecal sacs - Mucous membranes that surround the poo of the chicks so that the parents can easily remove it and keep their nest clean and tidy.


    We're used to seeing bank voles in our mammal stump, but did you know... Voles also thrive in a quite different environment - underneath the snow.


    A lot of you are asking for an update of the peregrines featured on the programme. Be sure to tune in to our final show tonight at 8pm on BBC Two to find out how they are getting on.


    Two of our sandpiper chicks just took themselves off for a wander.

    Although they only hatched today, these chicks are precocial - meaning that they become independent extremely quickly.

    Fortunately we have them back in our sight now - safe with the parent.


    Joyce McMurtry asks an interesting question on Facebook:

    "I want to ask a question. How come in NE Scotland up until 6 years ago, kestrels were often to be seen hovering above the fields around roads. now they are nowhere to be seen but buzzards have become relatively common where they would have never been seen around low roads? Is there a connection between the demise of kestrels and rise of buzzards? I have wondered about this for a long time."

    Well Joyce, it's a bit of a mystery. The kestrel in England is doing OK but in Scotland their numbers have dropped significantly since the mid-90s.

    The kestrel population does tend to decline if the vole population goes down but the RSPB reports that the cause of the current fall in numbers is unknown.

    Meanwhile, as you may know, buzzards have been doing very well. They've become our most common raptor with almost all of their suitable habitat in Scotland now thought to be occupied.

    If anyone is interested in learning more about bird of prey spotting, bookmark this BBC Nature guide.


    Still no sign of the eldest of the barn owl chicks who took himself of on an adventure this morning. It is unlikely that he has ventured far and may well come back to the nest later to be fed. The three remaining chicks are still hiding under the roof rafters, obviously not feeling as adventurous as their older sibling!


    "What I've most learned - nature really is a delicate balance, between birth, wonder & joy and death, cruelty & heartbreak," says Robert Morrison on Twitter.


    Our sandpiper is back on the nest after leaving briefly during the passing of the train. We caught glimpse of the fourth egg, still unhatched, and those three gorgeous chicks.

    1856: Bird sightings:

    Ella Josie Ruta says on Facebook:

    "I've been very excited to see some Swallows, Lapwings and Skylarks during a walk today! Such amazing beautiful birds. :-)"

    Great stuff Ella. Did you know barn swallows feed their young up to 400 times a day? You can learn more about swallows, lapwings and skylarks on the BBC Nature website.

    By the way, it'd be interesting for you to keep an eye on where those skylarks go - the population has declined by 50% in the last 25 years as a result of intensive farming techniques.


    "Its so funny watching the 3 sandpiper chicks trying to get under the mum! its like a rugby scrum!!" says Colette Lavery on Facebook.


    Jean Spuddie Gardner says on Facebook: "Those sandpiper chicks are gorgeous, was so good to see the parent stay put when the train went by .. no longer Leggits :o)"

    Marilyn Lindsey offers a neat solution for what to call the indecisive birds: "Name for the sandpiper Willeewontee!"


    Tanya Stone asks: "Is it the last day for the webcams as well?"

    Yes Tanya - sadly we must leave all our our birds and mammals this evening at 9:30. Just over three hours to go so enjoy!


    Amazing story from Penny Patterson on Facebook:

    "You think your otters are bold! We have resident sea otter nearby that is often seen walking in a garden near houses, where children and dogs live, at 12.30am and openly fishes in the bay"

    You can see some videos of these amazing animals in actions here.

    1819: Feeding birds:

    We've had a lot of questions this series about what food to put out to feed and attract birds.

    Maggie Horswell from Birmingham writes via email that she has had a great deal of success by providing a variety of foods:

    "I use different style feeders to provide a) sunflowers seeds, b )mixed seeds, c) nyger seeds - extra small holes, d) peanuts, e) fat balls, f) square fat cakes and g) tray for mealworms, scraps and mixed seed and have been lucky enough since starting to feed them to have 22 different species visit (not all at once!). Not bad for a city garden. My great tit dad was taking a peanut, holding it in his feet and breaking bits off to feed youngsters though they are now feeding themselves from fat cake - insect flavoured. Blue tits also have a family and robins. Last year had young chaffinches and bullfinches so watching out for them again."


    "It's great to see the Otters doing well gorging on the fish. I've seen a seal between the Dyfi and Millenium bridge at Machynlleth during flood water," Adrian Jones from Machynlleth writes.


    We enjoyed Sylvia Hamilton's idea on Facebook to rename the sandpipers:

    "How about Thomas and Toby - two of the trains on Thomas the Tank Engine"

    Nice one.

    1809: Red kites:

    Maggie Ainsworth says on Twitter: "Good news our neck of woods near Wokingham, Berks. Red Kite population exploded this afternoon! 6 to 13, lovely young ones!"

    Good spotting Maggie! That is exciting news.


    Gillian Fisher says on Facebook: "That emerging butterfly looks strange! almost more like a giant caterpillar is emerging..... is it just me?"

    Hi Gillian - What we're watching here is actually pupation, the process by which the caterpillar transforms into a chrysalis.


    Natasha Rogerson tweets: "My spirits are totally dampened after hearing the news from @BBC_Springwatch about the flycatcher and goldcrest chicks."

    1802: Settled sandpipers:

    A lot of you were relieved to see that the sandpipers - the Leggits, as they've been known - stayed put when the train went past this time!

    Perhaps a new nickname is called for...?


    Paul "Biddy" Baxter asks on Facebook: "Why do I often see crows hassling and mobbing a bird of prey in the air? Why do they do that?"

    This defensive action by crows is indeed commonly known as "mobbing". Corvids are very territorial and act aggressively towards perceived threats. Crows mobbing buzzards is one of the more common examples you might come across but other birds such as jays are sometimes seen mobbing tawny owls, for instance.

    The confrontations don't usually result in any injuries.


    A vole is thoroughly enjoying the blackberries in the mammal stump...


    Back to our butterfly camera - where we are currently focused on two caterpillars undergoing pupation.

    This fascinating process begins with the caterpillar positioning itself hanging from a branch and adopting a 'J' shaped position, in which it will stay for several days.

    Under the skin of the caterpillar, the papery pupal skin forms.

    Once ready, the outer layer of skin will be shed to reveal the chrysalis.


    We're taking the goldcrest nest offline - we are fairly sure that the parents are likely to abandon very soon since there are no chicks remaining. Hopefully the pair may nest again this season - we wish them the best of luck.

    1738: Goldcrest chick fall:

    An update on the goldcrest. The parent is back on the nest but we are fairly sure there are no nestlings.

    We're also looking at the possibility that the chick was not developing properly. On first inspection it almost looks deliberate by the parent, however its also very common for chicks to accidentally fall out.

    We appreciate that many of you have asked about intervention and its the most difficult part of this job, but we don't intervene in natural circumstances.

    The osprey intervention was part of a reintroduction programme and carried out by the Dyfi Osprey project, not Springwatch.

    We believe it's essential for our credibility at the Natural History Unit to not intervene in natural events, but we're just as upset as many of you about this.


    Zoe Lewis Cert Hsc asks on Facebook: "is there a special type of seed you put out in the bird feeder to attract these lovely birds?"

    Different foods do seem to attract different birds. For example some of the finches you might have seen on the webcams are big fans of nyjer seeds, which are very rich in fat, though they are also a bit too small for some types of bird feeder.

    You can get round this by mixing them with other seeds or putting them into a fat ball mix.

    For a fuller guide, take a look at these handy tips from the BBC Nature site.


    We've been watching the footage of the goldcrest chick falling out of the nest to see exactly what happened.

    On first inspection it almost looks like it could have been a deliberate move by the parent, but it's more likely it was accidental.

    The chick also did not look properly developed for its age, which we're looking into.

    We appreciate it's difficult to watch, but we don't intervene in natural circumstances.


    Hasan in Bangladesh emails: "I love to see springwatch I like the part when the eggs hatch and I feel kind of sad because there is,nt going to be any more tommorow or nextweek."

    Well Hasan, even though Springwatch is ending you can still keep up to date online with what's happening with the osprey chick in Dyfi, Wales on the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust's live webcam.


    Jasmine Roach emails: "The sandpiper chicks are so cute I just can not keep my eyes off them."


    Marion Howarth says on Facebook:

    "I know it's self-preservation, but those poor babies! When the 4.56 thundered by and Mum shot off the nest, one of them was left with its legs in the air, wondering what had happened! It must have been a good 2 minutes before she came back!"

    Well at least our sandpipers are consistent!

    1701: Hello from BBC Nature

    Hello folks

    Matt and Anna-Louise here from BBC Nature, join us for our final night answering your questions and keeping you up to date with the latest from the Springwatch webcams.

    Get in touch via facebook and twitter if you've got any wildlife questions or you want to say something about the action.

    It has been a busy day with the sandpiper chicks hatching and we've just been shocked to see the goldcrest chick fall from its nest.

    We'll be wrapping up early tonight - the cameras are due to be switched off at 21:30 BST.


    We are looking at the footage of the goldcrest nest to see exactly what happened - please bear with us.


    The goldcrest chick just fell out of the nest!


    Marie B asks on Twitter: "What is the seed you have in the bird feeder? They seem to love it"

    Hi Marie - They're filled with sunflower hearts.


    We always see lots of finches on our bird feeder including; siskins, chaffinches and greenfinches. There are a total of 138 species in the finch family, most of whom sport stubby thick beaks which make them highly specialised seed-eaters.


    Water off a sandpiper's back

    See how the rain on the sandpiper's back collects in little beads? Like the other wading birds, its feathers are oily and arranged in such a way as to provide good waterproofing.

    Interestingly some sea birds, like cormorants, do not have waterproof plumage and you often catch them standing wings out-stretched to dry off after diving.


    Margaret McKiddie had an adder stuck in her strawberry net which she then freed. She asks what the best thing is to do if this happens again.

    We do not recommend handling adders yourself. It can be very dangerous not only to you but also to the adder. The best thing is to call the RSPCA who should be able to give you advice based on the exact situation.


    Isabelle Bigos tweets: "Absolutely lovely to see tiny sandpiper chicks, sooo cute! Wonderful happy end to the wonderful series this year:) !"

    Thanks Isabelle


    Little sandpiper

    Sandpiper chick Three out of four eggs have hatched into adorable chicks!

    The goldcrest nest is swaying around a lot today in the wind. Fortunately that nest is built very deep for exactly this reason, keeping the little chick safe and sheltered.


    Kirsty Jenkins asks: "when does the sandpiper feed her chicks?" on Facebook.

    Hi Kirsty. Sandpiper chicks are born precocial meaning that they start looking after themselves very shortly after hatching. The parents probably won't feed the chicks, they will instead lead them off to forage for food themselves.


    Busy bird feeder

    How many different types of birds can you spot on the bird feeder at the moment?


    With one barn owl chick off exploring the barn - the other three are looking keen to follow in their sibling's footsteps. Lots of wing-flapping, practise pouncing and precarious balancing on the ledge!


    With a total of three sandpiper eggs now having successfully hatched, we await to see the fate of the fourth.

    Like many other wading birds, sandpiper chicks are born precocial - meaning that they are up and about and feeding independently in a matter of hours after hatching. You can see just by observing them, full-feathered and open-eyed, that they are very developed.


    Well we have had an amazing send off for our last shift, it was great to see the sandpipers succeed in hatching their eggs.

    Thank you for all your comments and photographs that you have sent in. We hope you have enjoyed the webcams and commentary. We now hand you over to the final team to take you through the last live show.

    The webcams will be shut down at 9.30pm tonight, enjoy!

    1341: Breaking News

    Sorry we are having a technical issue with stream four. We are currently trying to fix the problem, thank you for your patience.


    It is still very windy in Ynys-hir and the goldcrest has been sitting tight on the nest for a while protecting their only chick.


    Thank you for all your great comments about the sandpipers on Facebook:

    Rachel Edwards says: 'yay so glad the chicks have begun to hatch so happy for them'

    Raymond Walker says: 'that was the defining moment for me in the whole of this spring watch, beautiful to see, I am sooooooooo happy here yayyyyyyyyyy !!'

    Karen Lewis says: 'so exciting, gorgeous little chicks just hatched x'

    Vicky Rockliffe says: 'and re-train, i'm now sure their running behaviour is to do with protecting the nest - so she/he runs towards it, even leaving the hatched chicks just now, in order to ward off the danger... clever old things. I'm just made up, i really am, i've usually missed all the excitement of hatching, not this time.... :)'


    One of the adults is back sat on the nest, which is great news. Keep watching to see how they get on.


    The sandpiper has been incubating four eggs over the last few weeks. We have one chick and hoping the others will hatch too. The adult has recently left the nest leaving the chick exposed to the cold, one of the adults needs to continue to incubate the eggs and keep the chick warm for all of them to survive.

    1229: Breaking News

    Third egg has a crack in it!

    Second chick is currently fighting its way out of the egg. The adult just carried off the other chick's empty egg shell.


    Alison Peters comments: 'Any news on the remaining flycatcher chick?'

    The chick was shivering throughout the night and unfortunately the cold finally took its toll and the chick died at 4.50am. The adult female did return to the nest with food around 5.15am, but left quickly when she saw there were no begging mouths in sight.


    We found this very funny, thank you Rosemarie Weidmann for sending us this comment on Twitter:

    '@BBC_Springwatch INSTALLING SUMMER..... ███████████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ 45% DONE. Installation failed. 404 error: Season not valid in UK'


    The vole in the small mammal stump is feeding on a selection of goodies we dropped inside, which includes mealworms.


    Thanks for your questions:

    Becky Mathews says on Facebook:

    'Was just wondering if you are going to show many more of the foxes? U havent mentioned them in a while. They're not all dead are they?! :O :P thanks. Cassandra Mathews, penarth x'

    On tonights programme we will be showing an update on the fox family we have been filming, tune in on BBC 2 at 8pm to find out more.


    The sandpiper is calling again, it might be calling its mate to come and swap so it can leave the nest to search for food.


    One of the barn owl chicks is lying down again, don't worry it is just sleeping which is natural behaviour for them at this time of day.


    Our cameramen have been seen on the website today testing the light level around the bird feeder and moving cameras around the butterfly room. To find out more about what they are up to watch the programme tonight on BBC 2 at 8pm.


    The poor goldcrest is having to nestle deeper into the nest due to the widy weather. The female is protecting the chick from the cold winds and trying to prevent it from falling out of the nest. Lets hope the nest can withstand this weather.


    We haven't seen the sandpipers swap sitting on the nest yet this morning. The adult has risen from the nest a couple of times when the train passed, then came back and rotated the eggs before sitting on them. Still no sign of them hatching anytime soon.


    Currently on camera one we are streaming a live feed of the remaining chrysalis, which will emerge as comma, small tortoiseshell and painted lady butterflies. Keep watching the live camera and for updates on any activity.


    Thanks for all your comments please keep sending them to us. We like Cheryl Harrop's comment on Facebook:

    'everytime the adult treecreeper returns my heart skip a beat thinking its the woopecker.'

    We are anxious as well about whether the woodpecker will return to take any of the remaining chicks. They look fairly close to fledging, so keep watching to see how they get on.


    Thanks for all your comments. The sandpiper is still incubating its eggs, but no sign of hatching yet.

    Fiona Bentley says on Twitter:

    '@BBC_Springwatch i'm sure everybody's loving 'leaf cam' (mammal stump) but please, just a little sandpiper action instead. ;-)'‏

    '@BBC_Springwatch thank you, off i go to work now knowing they are still safe and sound, still with chris on hope for hatching :-)'


    The adult treecreepers came straight back after the woodpecker attack and have continued working hard to feed the remaining chicks. We have seen four chicks so far, but believe there's possibly more. Now the woodpecker knows about the nest, there is a good chance it will return.

    0839: Breaking News

    A great spotted woodpecker has just taken a treecreeper chick from the nest!


    Vole in the mammal stump on webcam 1


    Grass snake on webcam 3 now!


    Tonight on BBC 2 at 8pm is the last live show of this Springwatch series. If you have any questions or photographs you would like us to see please send them to us on Flickr, Facebook , Twitter, or on our Springwatch website.

    Flickr Jeff Derbys bumblebee photograph

    This is a great photograph by Jeff Derbys on Flickr of a bumblebee. Thank you for all you photographs, please keep sending them to us.


    The adult male great spotted woodpecker is back on the feeder. It seems to collect as many seeds as possible in its beak then fly off with them.


    The butterfly camera is now online. There doesn't seem to be signs of any hatching at the moment, but we will take a closer look at them all soon.


    The treecreaper chicks are becoming more active. We just saw one of them flapping it's wings while begging for food.


    The great spotted woodpecker is back on the bird feeder. The small birds seem a bit skittish after the sparrowhawk, but the feeder is now getting busy again.


    At the moment we can only see two barn owls to the side of the nest. We have looked as far as we can around the barn using the camera, but can not see the other two as they are out of shot. We think the third smaller chick might be hidden behind the wall.


    The adult goldcrest has just fed the chick a huge caterpillar compared to the size of the chick. The adult waited while the chick struggled to swallow the caterpillar before feeding it a very small green caterpillar.


    The sparrowhawk just attacked the small birds on the bird feeder, keep watching it might come back again.


    Thanks for your Facebook comments. We have just checked back through the footage from 5.30am and yes you are right it was a sparrowhawk taking a small bird from the feeder, possibly a tit. Well done for spotting that!

    Rikki Malaika: 'some bird of prey -brown and white feathers- just grabbed a smaller bird off the pinda cake feeder ball. Poor little one.'

    Gwyn Jones: 'wow, did my eyes deceive me or did i just see a sparrowhawk taking a small bird off the feeder?'

    Rikki Malaika: 'I saw it too don't know what species it was but it swooped away a small bird that was eating'


    The goldcrest has just fed its chick. The chick's head has begun to change colour, so it looks like it is developing. Keep watching to see how the chick gets on today our last day of webcams for this series.


    The adult treecreepers have already begun to feed their chicks and you can sometimes see the chicks begging for food.


    It is currently dry and sunny in Ynys-hir. A beautiful sunrise can be seen on the bird feeder camera.

    Jenni Lovato says on Twitter:

    '@bbc_springwatch Beautiful wren song on bird feeder cam... :)'


    The biggest barn owl chick is away from the nest again. We have looked around the barn with our camera, but it is currently out of shot. Keep watching and you may see it return.

    0450: Breaking News

    It looks like our last pied flycatcher chick has unfortunately died. We think it got too cold in the nest box by itself.


    The last pied flycatcher chick is still alive!

    Though it has been shivering and has just turned on to its back, this could be a bad sign unfortunately. Keep watching to see how it gets on.


    The barn owls are currently very active grooming each other, plus stretching and flapping their wings. It wont be long until they start to settle down to sleep.


    Good morning!

    Today is the last day for our live streams from our hidden cameras, so make the most of it while you can!

    Jo, Sara and Ryan will be keeping you updated throughout the morning on any activity.


    Nos da

    After eight barn owl feeds, it's time for us to leave them, our mammals and little flycatcher, switch off and say goodnight. Sara, Jo and Ryan will be back at 4am to kick off our last day of Springwatch live webcams - so be sure not to miss out.


    Owl feed number five... A vole for the chicks.


    It was the night before Springwatch,

    and all through the house,

    nothing was stirring,

    not even a mouse!


    There is a lot of activity in our mammal stump this evening. Currently a little wood mouse having a forage around.


    Chilly chick

    Our little pied flycatcher nestling does look chilly all huddled in the corner. Remember though - his siblings are outside, roosting in a tree on their own - so he may actually be the more comfortable!


    Teresa Bennett asks on Facebook: "are there different kinds of owls in this country beside the barn owl"

    Hi Teresa - Yes. The tawny owl, little owl, long-eared owl and short-eared owl are all resident to the UK.


    Barn owl parents

    As the third feed was brought in by one of the adults, we caught the other leaving the barn after delivery of the second feed. This is the first time we have seen them at the same time, but still have real trouble distinguishing between the two in the infra-red light.

    Both barn owl parents


    Third feed for the barn owls

    This time a mouse for the owlets. As well as rodents, barn owls also eat other small mammals, such as young rabbits and moles, and they also catch frogs and small birds.

    2156: Goodnight, but keep watching

    It's goodnight from Matt and Hannah on the BBC Nature team.

    We wish our last little pied flycatcher good luck tonight and hopefully bon voyage tomorrow. The BBC Springwatch team will continue to bring you all the best of the action from the webcams until midnight.


    A nice close up of a rodent's bottom on the mammal stump!


    Our oldest barn owlet has, after a bit of flapping, clambered back into the nest.


    Success - all four young barn owls are back together!


    Is our barn owl trying to reach its siblings?

    2130: Did you know?

    To celebrate our emerging butterflies shown earlier this evening, we've been sharing some unusual facts about Lepidoptera.

    Here's our final fluttery fact of the night:

    Did you know: there are moths that drink the tears of elephants?

    An African moth species called Mabra elephantophila feeds on elephants' salty eye secretions, which also contain water and trace amounts of protein.

    Other species like to feed on the tears of other large hoofed mammals and sometimes birds.

    These moths have even been known to drink the tears of people as they sleep...


    Paula Shepton writes on Facebook "the pied flycatcher chick - runty # 2. i can't stand it."

    The smart money appears to be on our chick leaving early tomorrow morning. How many of you agree, or are you less optimistic?


    We just witnessed the first barn owl feed of the night, and much earlier than usual. The adult brought in a vole for a chick up in the nest and didn't seem to notice that there was one missing!

    2114: Eyes in the dark

    All our live feeds are now coming to you in infra-red so that you can stay tuned in until midnight.

    2113: Fledge replay
    Barn owl fledges Springwatch cam captures barn owl fledging

    Just in case you missed it, here's the barn owlet fledging its nest.


    Jenna Taylor asks on Twitter: "on the barn owls live cam you can hear a noise like a hissing noise, is that a barn owl chick making that noise?"

    Hi Jenna. Yes that is the chicks. Barn owls are often referred to as "screeching owls" because of the noises they make.


    Fisherman Michael Wood tweets "Brilliant film by Roy Dennis on the difficulties faced by our seabirds including puffins and guillemots."

    2058: Fledge watch

    What will become of the lone Pied flycatcher still huddled in its nest? Any more thoughts on its fledging time?


    Springwatch has just been covering our inland comorants. Did you know they are related to pelicans and tropicbirds?


    Doting parents

    Our little flycatcher is still being fed. The female has been in with caterpillars twice in the last hour.

    2051: Did you know?

    A sand eel shortage around our shores has led to a decline in Britain's popular puffins.


    "Do otters have any predators?" asks Rachel Nurse on Facebook.

    Apart from humans, otters in the UK have few predators.

    Otters elsewhere have to be more guarded. For example, sea otters are predated by predatory sharks, including the great white shark, and eagles.


    What did you think of the mammal stump action just now - is it love actually or a mini fight club?


    Shelley Malin asks on Facebook: "One barnowl has fledged but where are the others"?

    Hi Shelley - The other three are still tucked away under the roof rafters. They are younger and all less developed than the one who just left - we don't expect them to fledge today.


    If you enjoyed Charlie's night filming of otters, take a look at this film of otters feeding during the day on the Shetland Isles.


    We just saw our barn owl take its first flight.

    Here's a good guide about what to do if you come across a barn owl fledgling, from the Barn Owl Trust.


    Just last year otters finally returned to every county in England, after two individuals were seen in Kent.

    2027: Flutterbys

    Britain's most beautiful butterfly?

    Matt from BBC Nature is going for the Adonis Blue.

    How about you?


    Treecreepers are also known as tree mouses, because they look similar hopping up a tree trunk.

    If you liked the slow-mo footage, we have some more treecreeper videos for you on BBC Nature.

    goats on the Isle of Mull Filming goats on the Isle of Mull

    Many of you were surprised to find out that there are goats on the Isle of Mull. Here's the proof!


    Poppy Lurcher writes on Twitter "I didn't know Woodpeckers were predatory!! ‪#Springwatch‬ ya learn something every day!!"


    If you were shocked by that earlier footage of the Great spotted woodpecker launching an attack on the Pied flycatcher chick, take a look at this video of a woodpecker proclaiming its territory.

    2005: Did you know?

    Some male butterflies use anti-aphrodisiacs to stop their female partners from going off to mate again elsewhere.

    Males of a UK species, the green-veined white butterfly, transfer a pheromone to females, which makes them distasteful to other rival males.


    Just two minutes to go until Springwatch starts. Stay tuned!


    Another quick tip - butterflies absolutely adore buddleia, plant it and they will come!


    Kizzie Atkinson asks on Twitter "how can I help encourage butterflies in my garden. Is there certain plants or flowers they might like?" Hi Kizzie, yes there are lots of things you can do like leaving fallen fruit under fruit trees and taking care of caterpillars in your garden. Take a look at this guide from the RHS for more tips on the sort of plants you should grow.

    1949: Camera shy

    Our barn owl chicks have been hiding away by the roof rafters all day. Could it be that the smell of their nest has become too much for them or just that they feel safer tucked out of sight...


    Our bird feeder is a hive of activity at the moment. Finches are very amongst our most regular visitors.

    Did you know?

    Finch chicks have markings to help their parents find their mouths in a dark nest.


    Charlotte Piper asks: "how often each hour is the last flycatcher getting fed in the nest?" on Facebook.

    Hi Charlotte, our last little nestling got fed today as follows:

    2-3pm = 8 feeds; 3-4pm = 8 feeds; 4-5pm = 22 feeds; 5-6pm = 8 feeds; 6-7pm = 4 feeds. The parents are still feeding and although the chick is cheeping a lot he should be perfectly fine until the morning.

    Owlets hiding Owlets hiding up in the eaves

    Nice picture of the owlets huddling together in the eaves just now. Sinead Corrigen writes on Facebook "i love the barn owls!"

    1920: Song time

    Thanks Mark Bosworth on Facebook for posting these fledgling song lyrics from Jesse Labelle:

    Oh fledgling take your time,

    there's a world here beneath those skies,

    all yours when you feel its time,

    close your eyes, and say goodbye

    1916: Did you know?

    Our last little Pied flycatcher may grow up to be a bigamist.

    Bigamy is quite common in this species, with single males often keeping two nests, trying to raise two broods by two different females.


    Geerda from the Netherlands writes on Facebook "I follow springwacht every year. I had a day off from work so I was lucky to see the flycachers fledge. I think the last one will fledge tomorrow. Maybe he wants to enjoy the space for one night ;)" We think so too Gerda!


    Please send us your photos of amazing British butterflies to the BBC Springwatch Flickr group.

    We're also having a debate here among the Springwatch and BBC Nature teams: which is the UK's most beautiful butterfly?

    Which species do you think tops the beauty charts and why? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter, and keep placing your Fledge watch bets.


    Both male and female great spotted woodpeckers have just spent time on the bird feeder. They might be back soon.


    Back over on the other webcam...

    Sometimes our little Pied flycatcher looks like it's setting itself to make that final leap...


    Five minutes away from her brood.


    When will she be back...


    Next train due in two minutes, we know you all get very eager to watch the sandpiper at this time of the hour...

    Wren chick Newly fledged wren at Castle Espie, Northern Ireland

    Richie L in Northern Ireland uploaded this great picture onto Flickr of a grumpy looking wren just after fledging its nest. Thanks Richie! Do share your other fledging pics with us on the Springwatch Flickr page.

    1849: Fledge watch competition

    "Baby flycatcher to fledge live on tonight's programme - I hope!"

    says Debbie Kings on Facebook.


    Things are looking calm at all our nests at the moment.

    The proverbial calm before a storm?

    On second thoughts, maybe we've had enough of those...

    1834: Fledge watch competition

    Many of you think our lone Pied flycatcher chick will spend one last night in its nest before fledging. Natalie Marsh writes on Facebook "Think the Pied Flycatcher nestling will go 7.30 am tomorrow." Marilyn Lindsay says "7.13 am in the morning for the last little pied flycatcher to fledge, but will he be warm enough overnight in the nestbox. Think we should call him Buster cus he was the smallest." Keep your guesses coming in.

    1828: Did you know?

    More than 90 per cent of the sperm produced by male butterflies is non-fertile.

    Male butterflies, which belong with moths in the Lepidoptera, produce two types of sperm: normal fertilising sperm, and much larger non-fertile sperm.

    It's not known why, but the non-fertile sperm may help activate the smaller fertile sperm, or help them on their way through the female's reproductive tract.

    Most likely though, is the idea that these larger sperm "run interference", blocking, displacing or inactivating any sperm left by other competing males.


    Congas Jones in Bristol tweets "great news in Bristol female Avon gorge peregrine fledged today." Let us know if you've spotted any other chicks fledging and where you saw them via Facebook and Twitter.


    raptor441 tweets:

    "@BBC_Springwatch How many different species of butterfly do we have in England and which is the most common?"

    We think there are around 55 resident species of UK butterfly, the majority of which live in England, which tends to be warmer, especially in the south.

    Butterfly Conservation and UK Butterflies have some great information about our residents.

    1813: Fledge competition

    We're having a little competition to see when the last Pied flycatcher chick finally bucks up the courage to leave the nest. Both parents are still feeding the single remaining nestling. As evening sets in, it may be that we have to wait until tomorrow to see it fledge the nest. Let us know when you think it might happen via Facebook, twitter or in the comments box below. The winner gets a big shout out from BBC Nature.

    1804: Spot the difference

    Here's the answer to our previous question about how to tell the difference between the male and female goldcrests. The male in the photo is at the back with the orange crest, the female is at the side with the yellow crest.

    Goldcrest family
    Butterfly Painted lady butterfly emerges

    In case you missed it, this was the moment our first butterfly emerged from its chrysalis this morning - a stunning painted lady.

    1753: Did you know?

    In honour of our lovely commas and painted ladies, we'll be sharing some weird and wonderful butterfly facts with you throughout the evening.

    Here's the first: did you know that oxygen can be fatal to butterflies?

    Although they need some of the gas to stay alive, they cannot process it in the same way as larger animals.

    Mammals or fish, for example, transport oxygen around their blood in proteins such as haemoglobin, which allows them to limit how much of the gas reaches their muscles.

    Insects can't do this, as they breathe through a series of branched tubes that delivers oxygen straight to their tissues.

    If too much of the gas gets in, it becomes toxic.

    1748: Fledge watch

    For those of you who missed the action in our pied flycatcher nest earlier, here's a quick update. Six of the chicks fledged the nest earlier today and now there's only one chick left. We're expecting it to leave any minute so keep your eyes glued to our webcam...


    We've had some fantastic footage on our webcams of the painted lady chrysalis butterly. Martin Gypps on Facebook asks "How long does a butterfly live?" Does anyone know the answer?


    "That Pied Flycatcher babe is definately too comfortable in there!" writes Ginny Brant on Facebook.


    Our butterflies are doing well, but the same can't be said for butterfies around the country.

    A study published earlier this month by the charity Butterfly Conservation shows that numbers of the insects fell by more than 20% between 2010 and 2011.

    What is your experience, are you seeing fewer butterflies this year?


    Goldcrest family

    Our single chick is being fed and nurtured by both its parents. Can you tell them apart in this photo?

    Goldfinch family

    Hi there, Matt and Hannah from BBC Nature here. We'll be with you for the next five hours to chat about all things wildlife. Do send us your comments and questions via Facebook, Twitter or in the comment box below.


    Back to our butterflies

    One of our commas has emerged. We will keep scanning around to be sure not to miss any movements.


    Gareth Thomas has just shared this fantastic photo of an albino blackbird on Twitter. Thanks Gareth. White blackbirds do well to survive given how conspicuous they are to predators. Read more about albinism in birds on the RSPB site.

    Albino blackbird A not so black blackbird

    Hannah Cass tweets: "Am so addicted to watching live cams on @BBC_Springwatch . Wandering when the little pied flycatcher is going to fly xx"

    Thanks Hannah - So are we!


    Jack Davidson asks: "how long does it take for a butterfly to hatch?" on Facebook.

    Hi Jack, the ones that we have watched so far have taken about 10-20 minutes to emerge from the chrysalis and then another hour or so inflating their wings before flying off.

    Fascinating fact

    This process of 'inflation' is quite literally that, the butterfly swallows air to increase its internal pressure forcing blood through the veins in its initially limp and wet wings. Once inflated, the wings dry and harden and the butterfly is ready to use them.

    1622: Tree mouse

    The treecreeper is often nicknamed the 'tree mouse' because of the way it hops along and up tree bark searching for beetles, earwigs and woodlice.


    By popular demand

    We go back to our sandpiper nest, where the adult is still incubating four unhatched eggs and has been leaving the nest during the passing of the train.


    So far none of our comma or small tortoiseshell butterflies have started emerging. Thanks to nuthatch1000 for sharing this lovely photo of a comma on our Flickr group.

    Comma butterfly

    Our butterfly camera is currently focused on a painted lady chrysalis. The vivid colours are quite visible through the tissue now, indicating the butterfly should emerge very soon.

    With their colours, attraction to flowers and association with summer, butterflies are popular british treasures. Unfortunately though, the number of UK butterflies is in decline.


    A few of you are asking about how we set up our butterfly station. Find out here how to grow your own butterflies.


    After a bright start to the day, it's now grey and raining at Ynys-hir - Maybe this is why our last flycatcher is reluctant to follow its siblings!


    Caroline McCluskey asks on Twitter: "do birds have a brood patch all year round or just during the breeding season?"

    Hi Caroline, thanks for your question. The brood patch normally forms at the end of the egg-laying season. Most birds shed the patch's feathers automatically but interestingly ducks and geese pluck their feathers out and add them to the lining of their nest.


    As the female goldcrest rummages around and rearranges her nest, you can catch a glimpe of her brood patch, the featherless pink patch on her underside which keeps her eggs and chicks warm whilst incubating.


    We're seeing a range of birds on the feeder at the moment, including siskins, chaffinches, and great tits. They usually all feed harmoniously side by side, until a great spotted woodpecker or a squirrel turns up...


    Our last pied flycatcher nestling is still sitting tightly. It looks like the adults will need to try a bit harder to coax it out.


    Eileen McIntosh tweets

    "Amazing butterflies #springwatch... And good to see that Colin the M&S veggie caterpillar is also now a beautiful butterfly! :)"

    We're glad that you're all enjoying them so much. We've still got seven painted ladies still to emerge, as well as five commas and five small tortoiseshells - so watch this space! They are all due to emerge by the end of the day tomorrow.


    We're going to leave the busy bird feeder for a while and catch up with the latest activity at our goldcrest nest.


    Cherry Phypers has asked a question on Facebook

    "How long until the butterflies will fly away after they have popped out? Its quite addictive isnt it - waiting for that one."

    Thanks for the question. The time that it will take them depends on a variety of factors but it will normally take them a couple of hours. First they need to 'inflate' their wings after being curled up inside the chrysalis and then they will need to get warmed up and ready to fly.

    Once they are on the move, they will only live for a few months at the most. Painted ladies wouldn't survive winter.


    Apologies, technical issues took us offline there for a while but we're back now!

    Did you see two more of our pied flycatcher chicks fledge the nest?

    The last chick seems a bit more reluctant. How long will it be before this one goes?


    It's been a busy day on the bird feeder so far!

    At the moment we're seeing a great variety of birds including siskins, chaffinches and the occasional great tit.


    Fourth butterfly on the way...

    The chrysalis that we are currently focusing on looks like it may open soon.

    If you look really closely you can actually see some movement inside!


    A game of sardines?

    It now looks like all four of the barn owl chicks are exploring the rafters around their nest box!


    Kathy Dunn on Facebook has asked about our bird feeder

    "what seed mix do you use in your bird feeders? they are very popular!"

    Thanks for your question Kathy. We actually use quite a mix of things and change it around fairly regularly. We use dried mealworms (sometimes live ones), regular feed pellets, a mix of seeds (including sunflower hearts) and we also put fruit in there sometimes which seems to be very popular!


    Spot the barn owl!

    Two of our barn owl chicks are exploring outside of the nest box. It isn't the oldest of the four this time though. Can you see them?


    The fourth pied flycatcher chick is checking out the outside the world.

    Will it decide that now's the time?


    Squirrel fail

    So far the squirrels have made two failed attempts to launch themselves onto the bird feeders from the surrounding trees...are they going to square up for a third attempt?


    Time to fly the nest?

    Our pied flycatcher chicks are still keeping us guessing!

    Sometimes they look like they're about to go and then the next minute they settle back down in the bottom of the nest.

    Will they go at some point today? They haven't got long left now until the last show tomorrow night!


    The squirrels have found their way back onto our bird feeders!


    This third butterfly is taking a bit longer to emerge.

    Come on, you can do it!

    1054: Breaking News

    A third butterfly is emerging - it's another painted lady!


    Lots of you out there on Twitter are enjoying the butterflies emerging

    Elizabeth Greenough tweets

    "Watching the @BBC_Springwatch butterflies emerging on the webcam is brilliant!"

    Nicki tweets

    "@BBC_Springwatch Brings back memories of the caterpillar I raised to a butterfly in school years ago :)"

    Beverley Teague tweets

    "@BBC_Springwatch Wow, that was amazing to watch. Thank you!"

    We're glad you're all enjoying our butterflies so much - thank you for your comments.


    Oliver Newman has been enjoying all the action this morning

    " I love watching the pied flycatcher especially when they are feeding. Hope that the Sandpiper eggs will hatch. Amazing news about the butterflies!"

    Thanks Oliver - we're glad that you're enjoying it as much as we are!


    How to grow your own butterflies

    It's so exciting watching our butterflies emerge here at the Springwatch studio.

    We set these pupae up with some of our cameras a couple of days ago and have been eagerly awaiting their arrival. Why don't you give it a try? It's really simple to set this up yourself at home.

    1019: Breaking News

    Another painted lady is emerging!


    Will they? Won't they?

    Another pied flycatcher chick is having a good look at the outisde world. They're keeping us on the edge of our seat again!


    A couple of you, including Denise Dee Den O'connor, have been in touch via Facebook about our sandpiper nest

    "springwatch; if the sandpiper eggs don't hatch, when will the adult give up and leave the nest?"

    It is hard to give exact timings, but the adult will eventually leave the nest, probably due to hunger. Last year we had a heron that was incubating eggs that weren't going to hatch. This adult sat on the eggs for weeks before leaving them.

    Sadly, we are beginning to fear the worst for our sandpiper eggs, as they should have hatched before today.


    The sun has not long come out here and we're getting a lovely view of a grass snake emerging from the compost heap.

    The grass snake is the UK's largest reptile but its fast speed means it's pretty hard to spot usually! This is a good time to watch them as they are slowing warming up for the day ahead.


    The pied flycatcher chicks are off!

    Three of the young nestlings have already left the nest this morning. You can see the remaining four chicks inside the nest at the moment.

    The adults are continuing to feed the chicks in the nest and we have seen the adult male focusing his attentions on the fledglings. This is reflected in the feed counts - in the nest box the adult female is now feeding more than the male.

    0912: Breaking News

    It's a butterfly!

    One of the painted ladies has just emerged from its chrysalis.

    What a beautiful sight!


    Joanne Reavey has been avidly following our goldcrest nest this morning. She tweets

    "@BBC_Springwatch got loads to do today but can't take my eyes off the Goldcrest nest!"

    Thanks Joanne! We're glued to the screens as well - hoping for more happy endings in time for the last show tomorrow night.


    There goes the train!

    The train has just been by and, although the adult sandpiper was only off the nest for a moment, we got a clear shot of those four unhatched eggs.


    How do you spot a sandpiper?

    The common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) is quite a numerous bird with an estimated 24 thousand breeding pairs in the UK.

    They are easiest to locate along upland rivers during the summer and its habit of bobbing up and down as it moves, helps when identifying it.


    Last night Colette Lavery asked about greenfinch populations in Northern Ireland.

    Kate Kelly has helpfully come to the rescue with this comment "A couple of years ago greenfinches were struck by an illness that decimated them. We saw non in 2010 or 2011 but this year we had a pair visiting our garden for a short while. Hopefully that means they are breeding again and increasing in numbers."

    Thanks Kate for your comment.


    We're going to leave the flycatchers for now, as the remaining chicks don't seem to be too active at the moment.

    Let's catch up with our sandpipers.


    Fidget fidget!

    As some of you are noticing - the goldcrest adult seems to be very fidgety this morning. This could be for a number of reasons but maybe it is because the chick is begging for food. Although there is only one chick, the adults have only been feeding three or four times an hour, which really isn't very much.

    Let's hope things work out for this small family.


    It is interesting to observe the hierarchal system on the bird feeder.

    When the great spotted woodpecker arrives, he clearly dominates the smaller birds, causing them to all fly away.


    We've just seen two adult males around the pied flycatcher nest. Only one male seems to be coming in to feed the chicks however and the second male is getting chased off.


    We're getting some lovely views of green finches, gold finches and siskins on our bird feeder at the moment.


    How many treecreepers?

    It's hard to see how many chicks are in the treecreeper nest.

    We've seen four chicks so far but there could be more. How many can you spot?


    Despite the unfortunate news that our goldcrests seem to have only one chick, the population as a whole has experienced a big increase in the UK over recent years.

    In January last year, a survey run by the RSPB showed a massive 103% increase in goldcrest numbers in the UK!


    Sonora Case has been in touch via Facebook

    "‎'Morning team! Just the Sandpiper leave the nest a little due to the train but return immediately. Is that because it's raining or she's getting used to them? :)"

    Thanks for getting in touch. We have seen the adult staying on the nest more and more over the last couple of days, which is great. Sadly though we're beginning to get concerned about the eggs as they should have hatched by now - fingers crossed for the sandpiper family!


    Will the sandpiper eggs hatch?

    The adult sandpiper is still committed to sitting on the nest and incubating the four, unhatched eggs. We estimated that the eggs should hatch around the first two weeks of June, today at the very latest.

    With some long periods spent off the nest during the incubation period, we are wondering if these eggs are still viable.


    It seems like the pied flycatcher chicks have settled back down for the moment so let's catch up with our sandpipers and see how they're getting on this morning.

    Two adult treecreepers feed one of their emerging chicks.

    The adult treecreepers move so fast that they are often hard to get a good look at as they go in and out of the nest. In case you missed them, here is a beautiful picture, sent in by Barry Crowley via Flickr, of a male and female treecreeper feeding one of their chicks as it emerges from the nest.


    Between 5am and 6am, the adult pied flycatchers have fed the chicks 34 times.

    This is a lot less than the feed counts we have seen over the past few days and is a good strategy when it comes to encouraging the chicks to leave the nest.


    We're going to leave the barn owl chicks now for a while as they are beginning to settle down for the day.

    Let's catch up with the smallest bird in Britain, the goldcrest!


    We can only see four chicks left in the pied flycatcher nest. It looks like the other two may have left before we arrived this morning.

    An early start for these young fledglings!


    The remaining pied flycatcher chicks are looking pretty lively. Maybe some more of them will be tempted to leave the nest soon!

    0512: Breaking News

    One of our pied flycatcher chicks just left the nest box!

    Are the others soon to follow?


    How old are the barn owls?

    Expert Colin Shawyer estimates the oldest barn owl chick to be about 50 days old now.

    The typical time between hatching and fledging, for a barn owl chick, is about 60 days. This one seems well developed and is wing flapping a lot.

    We may well see it taking its first practice flights around the barn over the next couple of days so, watch this space!


    The female pied flycatcher is up early and making a start on feeding those seven chicks.

    Both adults have been doing an amazing job over the last few days, bringing in an incredible amount of food. It is common for male pied flycatchers to have more than one nest at any one time. For this reason, it is unusual to see the male bringing in more food than the female. Is he only tending to this nest or is he maybe just an exceptional forager?


    In these close up views of the oldest barn owl chick, you can really see how developed the flight feathers have become. It's looking more and more like an adult everyday!


    Good morning!

    Sara, Jo and Ryan will be with you until 2pm for a full morning's live webcam activity.

    Let's catch up with all the latest goings-on, starting with the barn owls, pied flycatchers and the mammal stump.


    Nos da

    After only four feeds for the barn owl chicks, it is time for us to say goodnight and switch off. The morning team are back at 4am to kick off another full day's webcam action, and our penultimate live show goes out at 8pm on BBC Two, don't miss it!


    Considering they've hardly been fed tonight, the owlets are surprisingly still and quiet.


    Owlets get their second feed - a vole for the youngsters.

    As well as rodents, barn owls also eat other small mammals, such as young rabbits and moles, and they also catch frogs and small birds.


    "The owlets aren't being fed much tonight so far." says Kathryn Kelly on Facebook.

    It's true, only one feed for the barn owls so far this evening. This time last night they'd already had six feeds. The adults must be finding it harder to hunt tonight.


    British bullfinches in trouble

    We seem to see fewer bullfinches on the feeder than the other members of the finch family. Sadly, the population of bullfinches has declined by 62% in the past 35 years.

    Perching bullfinch

    Thanks to kenb142 for sharing this photo on our Flickr group


    Vicky tweets: "the barn owls look like they're doing a funny dance when they practice their pouncing and wing stretches.. Fun to watch!"


    First owl feed of the evening


    With the night well and truly settling in, we say goodnight to our treecreepers, goldcrests and sandpipers. Be sure to tune back in at dawn to see how all of them are getting on...


    Sound sense

    Barn owls have exceptional hearing, it is their most important hunting tool.

    2201: Goodnight

    That's it from BBC Nature for another night, we'll be back tomorrow at 5pm. We are handing you back to the Springwatch team who will keep you up to date with all the nocturnal action as it happens.


    The consensus from Facebook is that our mystery bird of prey is a buzzard - possibly a rough-legged buzzard.


    It's all quiet on the nests for the moment, so switch to the barn owls and listen to their wonderful hissing.


    The peregrines were popular tonight as Kayleigh Fisher tweeted "Loving the Urban Peregrines! We actually have a pair nesting on Wrexham's Police Station :)"


    The pied flycatcher chicks haven't been fed for about half an hour and are looking quite settled now. The adults will probably be roosting in a nearby tree for the night.

    2135: snail alert!

    Watch the sandpiper nest now as there is a snail making a guest appearance.

    2131: Do you know your birds of prey?
    Mystery bird from Flickr

    Pyte has asked the experts in our Flickr group if they can ID this rooftop bird he photographed. They seem to know what it is but do you? Answers via Twitter, Facebook or comments please.

    2127: Mouthful

    Did you guess the animal's mouth earlier? Robert de Crecy and Luke Kelly on Facebook did - it is of course a lamprey.

    Did you know they use their jawless mouths to attach to a host fish by suction before sucking out the living tissues.


    pmfordham tweets "Some lovely pictures from the butterfly house my favourite one is the Tortoiseshell."

    If you want to know more about how the team put the studio together for our latest webcam you can read about it on the Springwatch blog.


    We've switched to the infra red camera on our pied flycatcher nestbox as the light begins to fade. All the birds seem very settled except for those adventurous owlets!

    2111: Memory lane

    You've been sharing some wonderful stories with us tonight, please keep them coming in. Here's one from Wayward Street on Facebook:

    "I used to go to school on Mull, ( I lived on Ulva ) and one day while out in a rowing boat with my brother and Dad, a Basking shark swam round us a few times. I'd forgotten about this until now. Cheers Springwatch for jogging my memory."

    2106: Who am I?
    What am I A bit of a mouthful: what is this animal?

    If you were watching Iolo and the basking sharks earlier then you'll know whose mouth this is, answers by Twitter, Facebook and comments please.

    2103: Peregrines at Parliament

    If you enjoyed the Bath peregrines then you might be interested in this video of the birds living high up on the houses of Parliament.


    Just look at the difference between the oldest and youngest of the barn owlets! In shot now.


    If you've been enoying the feeder cam, Martin has a treat for you on the show right now - super slow motion footage of the birds competing for space.


    Lots of love for the film about Dungeness on tonight's show. emmy1602 tweets "I was at Dungeness last weekend watching the Harriers - gorgeous birds. Good to see that amazing place on the BBC".

    Have you ever visited the area?


    Sharks now on the live show. Are you watching?

    Adder from the BBC Springwatch Flickr group The adder's recognisable diamond pattern

    This great photo from abzzy on the Springwatch Flickr group shows is a great reference for any keen adder spotters. If you see a snake in the UK, remember to send your records into the Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK.

    2029: Help

    Colette Lavery from Lurgan in Northern Ireland would like to know "Has anyone seen any Green Finches - would love to know about their population, I used to see so many in my garden, now non the last 3 years?"

    Can anyone help Colette?


    If you're one of the people desperate to hear more about the peregrines in Bath, there's an update on tonight's show.

    2021: Spot the difference

    Adders and grass snakes have just been on the live show, can you tell the difference? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and comment


    Now's a good time to remind yourselves of some of the wildlife that is to be found in the Ynys-hir nature reserve. Bookmark the page so you can explore and watch a video or two.


    "The barn owls grow more lovely by the day" says Linda Stubbs on Facebook. We agree!


    Have you ever seen a pied flycatcher? Martin Hughes-Games just mentioned that 40% of the UK's population live in Wales.


    If you were wondering when the barn owls would fledge then Chris just mentioned that the 'magic' number is 56 days, so keep watching.


    Late availability on Twitter asks: "Pair of Ospreys in their eyrie near us this evening. How do you tell if male/female from a distance?"

    Thanks for your question. As with most birds of prey, the female is usually slightly larger than the male. She will also sport brown streaky feathers across her chest, known as the "necklace". The males often have an all-white chest but can also sport a less prominent necklace, making it quite hard to tell the difference between the two.

    1958: Live in two

    It's that time again, get the kettle on and get ready for Springwatch. While you are waiting watch this lovely little video about the birds and the bees in a Welsh oak wood.


    We are getting some comments in of frogs climbing over the sandpiper nest, did you catch the action?

    A basking shark's gaping mouth as it feeds Open wide

    Here is the basking shark in action: this photo really illustrates their huge mouths. The fish prey on tiny plankton and can filter 1,000 tonnes of sea water every hour to get their fill.


    Earlier we asked what fish could be bigger than the mighty basking shark. First in were Sue Clayton via our comments, Ben Swallow on Twitter and Luke Kelly on Facebook - well done everyone that answered correctly.


    If you've been listening carefully you'll have heard our sandpiper 'piping' since the passing of the last train.

    1912: It's a squeeze

    This year our goldcrest parents are rearing a single chick, a few years ago though we watched a nest which couldn't have been fuller!

    1908: quick quiz

    If the mighty basking shark is the second largest fish, who knows the largest? Answers via Twitter, Facebook or comments please.

    1904: Big fish

    Anticipation is building for the basking sharks on tonight's Springwatch. They are the second largest fish in the world and can be seen swimming in British waters. If you've been lucky enough to spot one report your sighting to the Shark Trust. If you haven't seen one, here's an awe-inspiring video clip from the epic Blue Planet series.


    Neither of us have seen a firecrest but lucky Anya has and sent us this comment: "I saw a firecrest in my garden on my bird feeder. I think they are beautiful birds and have beautiful colours."


    The mammal stump has been vole central this evening. The breeding season for voles begins in March/April and ends in September/ October so a good meal is really important at this time of year.


    Plenty of you are still concered for the sandpiper eggs. Gail Kitchin on Facebook asks: "Can the adult birds (eg sandpipers) sense any movement in the eggs when they sit on them and would they stop incubating them if they couldn't?"

    Hi Gail. It is very difficult to say. It seems very unlikely that the parents would still be brooding the eggs if they knew they were lost. This suggests that either the eggs are still ok, or that the parents cannot tell. Last year our oyster catchers sat on their eggs for much longer than the normal incubation period, and they never hatched, suggesting that for these birds they were unaware to fact that the eggs had failed.

    1837: Firecrest
    Graham Flickr image Male firecrest

    This beautiful male firecrest was taken by Graham and uploaded to our Flickr group. The colours are simply stunning, thanks Graham!


    Have you seen a firecrest recently? Let us know via Twitter, Facebook or comments, even better upload a photo to Flickr if you have one.


    Yesterday we asked which bird competed with the goldcrest for the crown of the UK's most diminutive songbird and it is of course the firecrest.

    1811: Hammerblow

    If you like great spotted woodpeckers then you'll love this one drumming against a tree trunk.


    Our pied flycatchers are doing very well, with all seven chicks equally big and strong. We expect to see them fledge in the next few days.


    We have never been able to get a mini cam inside the nest of a great spotted woodpecker. We did however film them from the outside on Springwatch a few years ago - watch again the moment that they fledged.


    We've switched to the mammal stump now where a couple of voles are currently taking centre stage.

    1742: Woodpeckers

    Thanks to Fran via the comments, also Cassie Waterfield and Luke Paperchaisin Kelly on Facebook. The three species of woodpecker found in the UK are the greater spotted, lesser spotted and green woodpeckers.

    Judder1952's snail Flickr image snail shedding shell

    This detailed shot of a snail was taken by judder1952. If you have any unusual photographs to share with us tonight please join in the fun on the BBC Springwatch Flickr group.


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