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Monday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Tuesday 11:00
Nature offers a window on global natural history, providing a unique insight into the natural world, the environment, and the magnificent creatures that inhabit it.

If you like natural history and you're interested in the environment, why not visit Radio 4's first ever interactive blog here.

You can read, watch and listen as Natural History Radio make a new landmark series called Planet Earth Under Threat.

And being a blog, you can of course contribute to it...
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 02 October
Monday 02 October 2006
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson recording deep inside a lava fissure on the Galapagos islands. © Joe Stevens.
Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson recording deep inside a lava fissure on the Galapagos islands.  © Joe Stevens.

The Sounds of Galapagos
Galapagos - a major 3-part series on BBC 2 starting on Fri 29 September, follows the evolutionary journey of these islands. Two of the team involved in the television series are Joe Stevens from the BBC Natural History Unit and wildlife sound recordist, Chris Watson.

Together, Joe and Chris present an extraordinary journey in sound in this edition of NATURE, as they travel from the depths of the ocean, across the shore, over lava fields, up through thorny scrub and mountain vegetation to the forests on the rim of volcanic craters, capturing the sounds of the islands and their wildlife, in a fascinating and evocative audio portrait of Galapagos.

From the ocean depths, there are the sounds of grazing marine iguana and yellow-tail surgeon fish, whilst overhead are the eerie, banshee-like cries of swallow tailed-gulls, which hunt for food at night.

Underwater microphones capture the immersive rolling surge of waves as they break on the beach where territorial sea lions bark and growl at the human intruders.

Meanwhile, Waved Albatross, endemic to these islands perform their bizarre and noisy courtship dance.  This is where a pair nod to one another and compete in a sort of fencing match using their bills.

From deep within the fissures of vast lava fields, a tiny hermit crab scuttles down a lava tube, and the distant sighs of the waves can be heard breaking on the shore.

Elsewhere, an orchestra of Darwin 's Finches call from amongst the thorny scrub and from their cliff-side nest; and male Spectacular frigate birds produce an incredible melodic gobbling as they inflate their red throat pouches to attract a potential mate.

Higher up, in a vast volcanic crater, dawn turns to dusk, and nearby chattering Galapagos petrels perform synchronised high-speed aerial acrobatics at night.

Joe and Chris's journey, comes to an end when they join a colony of Giant Galapagos tortoises on the rim of Alcedo Volcano where the slow business of mating is accompanied by the most extraordinary bellowing groans and deep sighs as well as the sounds of grinding carapaces of mating pairs.

Further Reading

A book to accompany the BBC TV series:

GALAPAGOS - The islands that changed the world
By Paul D Stewart
Published by BBC Books, 2006
ISBN 0-563-49356-9
RRP £18.99

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