Wildlife cameraman John Aitchison often finds himself in isolated and even dangerous locations across the globe filming wildlife, and in this series he reflects on the uniqueness of human experience, the beauty of nature, the fragility of life and the connections which unite society and nature across the globe.
1/5 Ancient Mariners: It's November and on Bird Island in the South Atlantic Ocean, wildlife cameraman John Aitchison watches as Wandering Albatross chicks attempt to fly for the very first time. It takes a year to raise an Albatross chick until its wings are the largest of any bird. As well as these 'young chicks', one of the world's oldest birds, a grey-headed Albatross, also lives here on Bird island. She still wears the ID ring which she was fitted with in 1959. A biologist on the island called Glen Crossin explains to John how it's only the skin on this albatross's feet which shows her great age. It's thin and transparent; like the skin on Glen's grandmother's hands. As a boy, this was how Glen knew his grandmother was old; by the skin on her hands. Watching, filming and hearing stories about the Albatross; long-lived birds and amongst the greatest of all travellers, John is reminded of his own grandmother and is filled with respect for these two 'old birds' as he considers their longevity and life experiences, in a tale of The Ancient Mariners.
Presented by John Aitchison
Produced by Sarah Blunt.