Image for Chough country

Chough country

Duration: 03:52

A headland by the sea with grass on top - a veritable sward cropped short by sheep - perfect habitat for a quintessentially Irish bird: the chough. But that isn't what Bill Oddie is seeing at the moment. These are Irish hares. There isn't actually a great deal of difference between English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish Hares I think this is sort of a sub species. The Irish are, quite rightly, very proud of these animals because let's face it they don’t have many mammals so let's hear it for the Irish hare. Bill continues his wild chough chase and finds plenty of meadow pipits and a little family of wheatears. They make themselves so conspicuous it's like they look along the horizon and think oh where can I perch where you'll get a really good view of me. It's because they like having a good view to look around for predators. It's one of the perks when you go out searching for a particular species that you're more or less guaranteed to see something else. Bill hears a chough and soon discovers them. They close their wings and literally just plummet. They are the same family as crows, most closely related to jackdaws. When they're flying they're easier to tell apart. You hear the call which is more explosive than a jackdaw and they've got those lovely raggedy wing tips and an extraordinary red curved bill, perfectly adapted for sticking into the turf and digging out little insects. That's why they like this soft ground and this is why they like Ireland I suppose because most of the ground is softened by the gentle rain.

Available since: Mon 7 Jun 2010

Credits

Presenter
Bill Oddie
Expert
Conor Kelleher
Camera Operator
Gavin Thurston
Sound Engineer
Chris Watson
Producer
Sean Christian

This clip is from

Bill Oddie Goes Wild Series 3, South West Ireland

5/8 Bill Oddie visits Ireland & the Skellig Isles to see some local wildlife specialities.

First broadcast: 07 Feb 2003

Image for South West Ireland Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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