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Announcing Autumnwatch 2010

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Tim Scoones Tim Scoones | 10:13 UK time, Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Autumn is one of the most dramatic, spectacular, beautiful - and unpredictable - times of year. I'm sure you've already sensed that autumn is in the air, with that gorgeous September light picking out the reds of rose hips and firethorn berries and the flash of red admiral butterflies on the last of the summer flowers. My daughter even had her first kick-through-fallen-leaves on the way to school this morning.

It therefore gives me immense pleasure to announce that Autumnwatch is back! Autumnwatch returns to BBC TWO on Thursdays (yes, Thursdays, not Fridays, this year) from 7th October at 8.30pm to 9.30pm, immediately followed by Autumnwatch Unsprung (hoorah!) every Thursday from 9.30pm to 10pm. Once a week for eight weeks, we'll be watching autumn with you from the beginning to the end of this exhilarating season.

(Update 30th September: Please tell Martin and the Unsprung team about your wildlife stories, observations, questions, photos and videos here.)

Chris Packham and Kate Humble

Autumnwatch is back. Join Chris and Kate from 7th Oct on BBC Two, Thursdays, 8.30pm.

The presenters and specialist camera teams will be back on the road, tracking the key events of autumn across the UK, visiting new places, and revealing new and surprising wildlife stories, as they happen. Each week, we'll be giving you all the latest news and views and encouraging you to get out and enjoy autumn's wildlife treats for yourself, whether you live out in the wilds or in the depths of the city.

And of course we want to hear from you about what you're seeing, what questions you have, what photos you're taking and what amazing video footage you've captured. As in previous series, what you tell us - through surveys, debates, the blog and the messageboard - will be at the heart of what we do on TV and on our website. It's your show, so we're really looking forward to hearing from you.


Much of what we are doing this year follows a similar pattern to our re-format of Autumnwatch in 2009... though of course nature always writes us a different script and contributions from our viewers constantly add surprise and variety. Chris Packham and Kate Humble will be off on autumnal adventures in a different part of the country each week, whilst Martin Hughes-Games will be keeping a close eye on what the viewers are up to, chasing down topical stories each week and, of course, hosting Autumnwatch Unsprung, our viewer-led, informal gathering at the end of each Autumnwatch.

However, there are a few key changes to announce this time. Simon King has announced that he is leaving the Springwatch/Autumnwatch presenter team to pursue other interests. Simon is a legend in his field, of immense skill and experience. He's been an integral part of the team for the last six years and we wish him well in his future ventures.

So, new for this year, each week we'll get an expert view of autumn in a set of special feature reports appropriate to each stage of the season. Delving deeper into some of autumn's key characters, events and experiences, this will be an intimate and personal view, brought to us by people who know it the best. Look out for some old friends and some new faces. Gordon Buchanan's back, as is Charlie Hamilton-James (now of Halcyon River Diaries fame) and our sound-wizard Chris Watson; Nick Baker joins us for a week; our Welsh viewers will recognise their very own Iolo Williams and those from Northern Ireland will welcome Darryl Grimason.

More on these and other special guests and friends of Autumnwatch - on this blog over the coming days. Look out also for details of Chris, Kate and Martin's upcoming adventures, from the heart of London and the stunning coast of west Scotland, to the glories of an autumn woodland and the wilds of Northern Ireland; and our famous live webcams will be back, this time in the Orkneys in northern Scotland, bringing you all the family dramas of the grey seal pupping season. We have a veritable feast for you!

We're delighted to announce that we'll be continuing with our regular live link to our friends at the BBC Weather Centre who will give us our very own wildlife-watching weather forecast. Weather has a huge effect on migration - one of the great spectacles, and natural wonders, of the autumn - with an incredible 60 million birds on the move around the UK. In a weekly "Migration Watch" report, we'll give you the latest news on our migrants, explain how to track these arrivals and departures, and what to expect where. You can start following this autumn's migration news on our website right now, courtesy of our friends at the British Trust for Ornithology.

What has this year of extreme weather - from snow to floods and drought - meant for our wildlife around the UK and how will all of this shape autumn 2010? Back in August, our friends at the Woodland Trust were suggesting that our late spring is likely to shunt our autumn a bit later this year. Experts at the Forestry Commission, looking back at records of similar years, have been hinting at the possibility of a good year for autumn colour. And just today, the National Trust are predicting a bumper year for the wild autumn harvest of nuts and berries due to favourable conditions at the right times during the summer. How will the autumn turn out? We'll be there to find out and we hope you'll join us.

Autumn is one of the most dramatic, spectacular, beautiful times of the year. Photo: autumn mist by Darrell Jordan

There's already lots of stuff on the Autumnwatch/Nature UK website to get you in the mood, and there'll be more coming as we approach the start of the series. We've suggested our top 20 autumn nature activities; early signs of autumn to look out for; a celebration of all things rotting and decaying in your garden, as well as some of our favourite fungi photos and gorgeous early autumn photos from our already active BBC Autumnwatch Flickr Group.

So what are you looking forward to most this autumn, and in this year's Autumnwatch? Do tell us below.

More from me and the Autumnwatch team soon, as our rapidly-evolving plans emerge and as nature begins to declare its hand.

Bye for now...

Tim Scoones, Autumnwatch Executive Producer


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  • Comment number 1.

    Welcome back Tim & co. I'm really looking forward to Autumnwatch this time (always love it actually)although Simon will be missed he's doing some great stuff that we can look forward to in the future and i'm sure i'm not alone in wishing him good luck with these.
    The programmes sound great,i thought it was a brilliant idea to spread the series out last year so that we could enjoy Autumn to it's max.Some new presenters too,new blood,new ideas...great!
    Autumnwatch Unsprung brilliant,being on late again will no doubt ruffle some feathers.. but i'd rather have 30 mins of Martin on BBC later than not at all or even on red button.
    Good Luck with the new series.
    When does the message board start up?
    Pippi Strelle x

  • Comment number 2.

    Brilliant news and welcome back. Been looking forward to it since Springwatch :)

  • Comment number 3.

    Yay! Autumnwatch is back in only a few weeks. Time for some schedule shuffling to accommodate this!

    Shame there will be no Simon - but I look forward to seeing whatever he is up to at some future date.

    Personal suggestions for this series - more urban wildlfe watching (city girl forever) and perhaps an article on Grey Wagtails, the best looking birds on the planet.

    And more on poo, obviously ; )

    welcome back AW!

  • Comment number 4.

    Thanks for the kind words all!

    @Pippi Strelle, the messageboard will be up and running just before the start of the new series.

  • Comment number 5.

    i would like to see less on the red deer, more on forest animals please like the wild boars of the forest of dean and deer there, and urban foxes i saw one on my way home last night, it crossed the road just in front of the car and just stood there and watched us, think it was a dog fox as it was quite large, really looking forward to you guys x

  • Comment number 6.

    Thanks for choosing my squirrel pic as pic of the day! Would love to know one of the teams thoughts on how rare that is.

  • Comment number 7.

    YAY AW is back!

    More Gordon - plus Charlie and Bugboy Baker - Martin keeping order (?) in the Unsprung grotto...ooh can't wait!

  • Comment number 8.

    without wanting to sound like a madman, noooooooooooooooo! simon can't leave!
    the show has developed into a perfect symbiosis and his departure would simply upset the balance of nature :-(
    plus, my partners' love of his soothing tones appeases her frustration at might S/A-watch obsession every 6 months :-)

    seriously though, i can imagine he is high demand and his time must be stretched as it is but surely with the programme as popular as it is now you could've thrown him a bigger chunk of change?

    of course i wish him the best of luck, and look forward to seeing his other projects.

  • Comment number 9.

    Its a great shame Simon won't be on this year's autumnwatch. How else will travel to Rum for this year's deer rutt?

  • Comment number 10.

    Why does it have to be on so late? My daughter loves AW but 8.30 is too late for her to stay up with school the next day.

  • Comment number 11.

    Im gutted there will be no more Simon! I've always been enthralled with his enthusiasm for nature, but great our fab duo of Chris & Kate will continue to fly the nature flag. Keep up the good work chaps. I also never thought a grown woman would find herself unable to tear herself from watching the Cams! Fascinating

  • Comment number 12.

    Simon will be very much missed, I have huge respect for him, and he added a great deal of interest to the last springwatch series for me.

    On the upside though, really looking forward to seeing chris and kate and gordon and the rest of the team doing what they do so well. Absolutely cannot wait for the new series to begin!

  • Comment number 13.

    Am looking forward to Autumnwatch and think that the eight weekm format last year is much better as we can follow the developments of the season. Sad to see that Simon has left as his filming is brilliant and he concentrates on the wildlife rather than fooling about and making bad jokes.

  • Comment number 14.

    Welcome back team, I am looking forward to the new series immensely. Although Simon will be much missed he's doing some very interesting projects which I am also looking forward to and wish him the very best of luck in these new ventures. Meanwhile we still have Kate, Chris and Martin as well as Gordon, Iolo, Charlie and others to look forward to. The programme certainly promises to be diverse and more interesting than ever. In fact, it looks like we may be rather spoilt :D Roll on 7th October.

  • Comment number 15.

    Sorry to hear that Simon King is leaving the programme, he's one of the BBC's strongest assets and I hope he's not off our screens for long.

    The format of Autumnwatch last year was perfect, so here's hoping for more of the same this year.

    Just one thing - during Springwatch there were interactive contests at the end of each programme accessed through the "Red Button" - but I wasn't able to get onto any of them, and know many other people who couldn't get onto it either. I wasn't in the end too bothered about it, but it would have been nice to take part and I hope if you do this again during Autumnwatch that any technical issues that caused these problems will have been sorted.

    Also - don't be ashamed of presenting more scientific or technical terms (like in Springwatch where these are hidden behind a jokey facade) - be up front and proud of being able to explore the natural world in a deeper way. This part of Springwatch made the programme much more interesting and I would like to see you continue with this theme, but be unashamed about presenting the information in a more straightforward manner!

  • Comment number 16.

    looking forward to the new series, I do like the 8 week duration and it will be interesting to see new presenters. Its a real shame that Simon wont be there though, his expertise and calm gave a nice balance to some of the quirkier elements of the show. Cant wait to follow Simons new ventures on the web though!
    good luck for the series!

  • Comment number 17.

    Hello team, cannot wait for the programme.
    Quick question... will there be any web cams available for us to see..? Or have I missed anything posted this already.?

  • Comment number 18.

    Sorry about the rubbish Grammar. :-/

  • Comment number 19.

    This is a question for the team. I've been unsucessful in finding an answer. We live on the outskirts of Coventry on the 25/09/2010 @ 11.15 in the morning we saw quite clearly saw 15 buzzards, in a clear blue cloudless sky, soaring, circling & tumbling for 15 - 20 minutes. We were awestruck. Is this tipical of the time of year, adults dispersing youngesters or what? But 15 and what were they doing?

  • Comment number 20.

    Can't wait! Going to miss Simon it will seem a little strange without him. Maybe they can get Steve Backshall as a guest presenter. A little bit of eye candy for the ladies.

  • Comment number 21.

    Well I don't want to see any Deer this year, as there have been overplayed year in year out, there are plenty of other animals and plants etc, which you have not eeven touched upon.

    So lets see those this time round.

  • Comment number 22.

    @Seacarrot yes the webcams will be back, this time from the Orkneys in Scotland following the pupping grey seals. More info in this soon.

  • Comment number 23.

    Glad to hear Autumn Watch is coming back. Sorry to hear Simon will not be on.

  • Comment number 24.

    Really looking forward to Autumnwatch after springwatch was so good.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hello Team,
    I have a 2 to 3 year old male badger eating in my garden for the last 5-6 weeks. He eats peanuts, peanut butter/jam sandwiches and dog food. He comes between 9-11 p.m. and is magnificent. Would you like to come and film him and would anyone who is serious like to come and watch/film him from my conservatory or workshop. Excellent views as he is well lit from the workshop lights. He sits down and eats for about half an hour at a time. I think he might be building his own set at the end of my garden or my neighbours which is overgrown and may provide good cover. If you want to contact me please call Lindsey on[Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]. Any advice on how to keep him well fed and healthy during the winter would be most appreciated.
    So excited Lindsey xx

  • Comment number 26.

    Sounds fantastic! Obviously Simon King will be missed very much, like Bill Oddie is!

    I do look forward to seeing those mentioned to present for Autumnwatch, and any other special guest to come along - it will jazz things up - should be interesting and great viewing, something to curl up on the sofar to.

    I just hope it is not going to be a case of "too many cooks spoil the broth" sort of thing... ;-)

    I am pleased that Northern Ireland is going to be one of the places in Autumwatches focus, I bet some people got the impression it was forgetton about.


  • Comment number 27.

    This has to be the ideal place for Martin to film
    It used to be 3 slag heaps from the mining era that were demolished in the '70's and developed planting wooded areas,building a lake,a very busy bird feeder station and recently ponds.
    The racetrack is used for meetings most weekends and hasn't affected the wildlife at all.

  • Comment number 28.

    Excellent!! Can't wait for the new series! Will be great to see Nick Baker (I'm a big fan!) and Iolo Williams too!

  • Comment number 29.

    Can we have more on mushrooms and which mushrooms appear where? ie Fly Agaric doesnt seem to turn up in Beechwoods!

    Also some basic mushroom ID. Perhaps some Faerie tales for the younger viewers of what happens if you fall asleep in a faerie ring! There are some fantastic tales... ask me!

  • Comment number 30.

    It's a shame Simon is not involved this time, but understandable given the scope of his new Wildlife Whisperer project - good luck to him, and maybe he will return for AW 2011.

    How great to have the prospect of Gordon, Charlie and Nick - now there's a selection of eye-candy for any lady! Seriously, the areas of expertise of these three amazing men, and the others involved (I know little of Iolo or the Irish guy - sure they will be great too) AND the awesome Chris Watson will bring new life to the series. Add to the above - Packham being geeky, Kate being beautiful and funny and clever, and the inestimable Mr Hughes-Games creating mayhem, giggling and pretending he's keeping order.....Autumnwatch 2010 sounds FANTASTIC!

  • Comment number 31.

    Great!!!! cant wait. Sorry Simon wont be there. Is there any word of the great bill oddie returning?

  • Comment number 32.

    I am so happy its time for autumn watch! It will be great to watch wildlife and nature over the coming few weeks with the team and everyone at home! Of course it is so sad that wonderful Simon is leaving, he was the highlight of Spring and Autumnwatch for me. However, i will really look forward to watching his work on tv, his love of nature and his amazing talent is quite unique. Perhaps he will come back to the show in coming years or film one or two 'specials' for the show - if he has time - oh Simon who is going to tell me what the stags are up to!
    Anyway, despite the sad news of Simons departure ---- it will be just wonderful - time for hot soup, cosy slippers and beautiful autumn scenes. Big hello to all at autumnwatch and all the lovely viewers too!! kit.

  • Comment number 33.

    I am really looking forward to it this year, though obviously a shame we won't get to see Simon King on this years autumnwatch. Will the photoclub or the quiz be returning?

  • Comment number 34.

    @JohnTweedie and @Billy Clapham, because we have an hour of Autumnwatch and then half an hour of Unsprung straight after, sadly there won't be any Photo Club or Pub Quiz for this year's Autumnwatch.

    We are however working on something slightly different for Autumnwatch Red Button but it won't be featuring the presenters.

  • Comment number 35.

    It's a terrible shame Simon King will be missing from Autumnwatch. His enthusiasm and passion, mixed with his charming persona, keeps the show ticking and I hope the new presenters can do a good job, although they can never fill Simons shoes, no one could. Is this a one off and he'll be back next year or has he left the series for good?

    Which areas of the UK will you mainly be focusing on this year? As my neck of the woods, the New Forest, is often overlooked by nature programmes and documentaries, but it is a fabulous part of the country and autumn is a brilliant time of year in the forest. It would be great to see my own back yard featured more prominently on TV for a change.

  • Comment number 36.

    I do hope Simon will be back one day. He was the star of Spring/Autumn watch for me. My complaint about the show in recent years was -not enough Simon. Simon focused on the animals, their secrets and his joy and love of nature was so infectious. I do like the rest of the team, but there are too many in jokes -------- and fun though that is it has in the last 2 years detracted from the program.
    Perhaps one day Simon will do his own regular nature watch program in the uk ---------------- i will be its number one fan. Looking forward to Autumn watch --- but please a little more nature and a little less of the presenters.

  • Comment number 37.

    I wonder if the format of Spring/Autumn watch has been a factor in loosing its most valuable asset. Simon King was/is in a class of his own, i have loved his contributions to the show.
    In the past couple of years i have found the format of Spring/Autumn watch becoming more and more irritating and childish. I do like the presenters but i think the in-jokes, the giggling, flirting, slipping song titles into the show etc etc etc has really gone too far. I like humor and i love nature - the two gotogether very well ....... but this is just too much now.
    Simon King on his website states, ''I have decided not to continue working on the live broadcasts (spring/autumn watch). The reasons behind this decision are personal and complex''.
    I really do wonder if he feels like i do ------ not enough nature on this nature show!

  • Comment number 38.

    Just a week to wait for one and a half hours of great television, a welcome and much liked format with all accessible to those even with only a TV to watch, but tis recordable and on iPlayer for viewing any time so no-one of any age will miss a minute.

    Now just waiting for the Autumnwatch message board link to say it's open for contribution, contentions and catching up with old friends ... click to open .... click to open .... click to open ...........

  • Comment number 39.

    @Ryan Wallace: in regards to your wish about the New Forest, you might have a pleasant surprise!

  • Comment number 40.

    Can't wait for Autumnwatch to start but devastated that Simon King has left. I'm sure he will be doing terrific things to show us, such a lovely kind and enthusiastic man. Looking forward to the Humble/Packham double act!!! You all do a fantastic job and keep us going through the horrible dark nights.

  • Comment number 41.

    Nature is global. Why is it impossible for anone outside the UK to view BBC wildlife videos from programmes such as Springwatch and Autunwatch? I can understand football matches etc beng restricted but since many bids need to survive in more than one country, why restrict these types of films?

  • Comment number 42.

    Catherine sadly I have to agree with you. Hopefully your comments will be taken in the best possible way and some adjustments made.

  • Comment number 43.

    Catherine, you are spot on. It is a real shame that Simon is leaving. The show has now lost its two greatest presenters. I am only pleased that Martin has come in front of the camera now.

  • Comment number 44.

    Autumn Watch is back great news, factual TV does'nt get any better than this . Long may it coninue

  • Comment number 45.

    You've probably already got it all worked out but I just want to let you know about a great place for wildlife in Belfast seeing as you'll be coming to Northern Ireland this time around.

    Victoria Park is in the East of the city- quite near the RSPB Harbour Reserve. It's an areas of special scientific interest (ASSI) and without any effort (at low tide) you can get close to - Godwit, Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank,Ruddy Turnstones and loads more. I've seen a seal there as well as guillemots. All only a stones throw away from the City Centre. The park is surrounded by a dual carriageway and the City Airport which makes it all the more unusual for such a rich wildlife hotspot :)

  • Comment number 46.

    Catherine and others,totally agree re no more Simon,their loss + ours. Very dedicated + totally weatherproof!!. If Iwant to see flirting can see plenty in the animal + bird world.

  • Comment number 47.

    I love your programme and the current set of presenters, but why, oh why, do you call this "Autumn Watch"and continue to project the myth that Autumn begins at the Autumn Equinox. By your standard (and that of the idiots who compose our calendars) Winter doesn't start until Christmas Day (or thereabouts), when this has since time out of mind been the mark of MIDWINTER, just as MIDSUMMER NIGHT falls at the Summer Solstice.
    Autumn starts in early August, just as Summer starts in early May, Spring starts in early February (when the daffodils appear) and Winter starts in early November, when the ancients marked the onset with bonfires to say farewell to the leaf cover of the forests and the end of growing grasses – rather important when winter marked the onset of times of potential starvation.

  • Comment number 48.

    Hi Chris, good to see you back. But, but, but, but, where did you get that magnificent haircut?

  • Comment number 49.

    Missed Simon King! Found Martin's hair really irritating, no wonder the starling landed on his head, mistook it for a nest!!!

  • Comment number 50.

    Last night having anticipated it eagerly, I watched Autumn Watch and was very disappointed. Simon King was a key member of the team. His red blooded enthusiasm was infectious, and without it, the programme has become an anaemic ghost of its former self. To see a red deer in Richmond Park with onlookers close by is no repacement for the magnificent spectacle of the red deer rut on Rhum. The Richmond Park red deer bellowed, but did he move? It was frankly a zoo experience rather than anything to do with genuine British wildlife. Simon King got out there and observed in the often cruel, wet and demanding places where genuine experiences could be had. Frankly, although urban wildlife may appeal to those forced to live in cities, it is affected by so many factors. People feed urban badgers and foxes, so they cease to be free of human inter action. Yes, it is easier to film, but it lacks the reality and rawness of real wildlife observations. Yes, I regret to say, last night I saw a ghost of what had become a greatly loved seasonal experience. Maybe there is less money, but without the full blooded naturalists' experience and the required patient hours of observation and film making, I predict the public will switch off.

  • Comment number 51.

    Am currentlly working up in Shetland and have had the pleasure of watching Otters on many occassions but must congratulate Charlie on those underwater shots-truly stunning!

  • Comment number 52.

    I checked the TV listings yesterday and saw that Autumn Watch was back. Oh joy, the second part of my twice yearly immersion into all things wild was upon me. I sat myself down in anticipation, the lights dimmed, the screen flickered into life and it began. Firstly, no Simon... I spent the first part of the programme trying to explain to my children that I had no idea where he was. I kept watching...I had to agree with my wife that there was something really annoying about Martins hair....still watching...kids lost interest at the slow moving pace and left the room...still watching. Watched deer in a park, otters, a man with a dog, more otters, a badger and a fox eating slop and a slightly pervy Packham rubbing bird muck around his hands. I was almost at the point of changing channel when the short film about otters (I like them but how many times!!!)under the water came on, then back to the struggle with my emotions. I have watched and loved the programme since its first episode and in my heart I truly wanted to believe that this first show was a one off disaster however my head was saying...maybe its time to call it a day... I am sure that I will follow my heart and watch next week...I hope that I am wrong.

  • Comment number 53.

    Watched AW last week. No Simon!!! The show really missed him, as did the viewers. AW seemed to really miss the drama of his presentations. What a shame, but all the best to him and new ventures!
    I hope Charlie will gain more confidence as a live presenter. His VT of the otters was lovely.
    AW was a bit shakey, but I was enthused enough to go to Richmond at the weekend to see the deer, which was magnificent. Maybe we could have a greater diversity of animals - which springwatch manages well. Also, maybe more on different areas of the UK? Good to see the Derby peregrines, if only a tiny tiny snippet of the excellent work there. PLus they are at the top of the cathedral, which woul dmake good viewing. Wild boar sound interesting, never seen them before...

  • Comment number 54.

    Congratulations to all on a great programme. It's wonderful to have such knowledgeable presenters and photographers, and the content is fabulous.

    That said, I do have a couple of comments which I hope will be helpful.

    Firstly, when recommending the programme to friends I've had a couple who say they cannot watch - because they think the approach is too "dumbed-down", or slanted to appeal to an urban and/or juvenile audience.

    I think they have a point. On a peak-time transmishion do we really have to constantly refer to animal droppings as "poo"? It just sounds so childish, and, dare I say, so "urban". Surely if David Attenborough has never needed to resort to such prissy figures of speech to engage an audience there is really no need for this programme to do so? His animals produce dung or droppings - and what's so wrong with that?

    So my plea is to treat the audience of a serious nature programme as adults - then I may get some of my friends to watch and they will not miss the real treats Autumnwatch has to offer.

  • Comment number 55.

    Thanks for all your comments everyone. We will pass them all on to the producers.

    Sam :)

  • Comment number 56.

    So glad to hear that Nick Baker is with you for a week. Have really missed him on the BBC.

  • Comment number 57.

    Get Simon King back along with Bill. Kate is good but the others irritate me to bits........

  • Comment number 58.

    Autumnwatch and Springwatch are eagerly awaited in our house. So glad it's that time again!
    Right, here's a question .............. Our school has an ideal location to develop a 'wild area' into an area for studying wildlife (pond, nest boxes etc)but don't really know how to go about it. Can the team give some advice please? We are a large rural primary school and it would benefit our children hugely. We could do our own Autumn and Springwatch!
    It would make a great TV programme!

  • Comment number 59.

    Great to see Autumnwatch back on our screens.
    Happy 21st birthday to your cameraman Lindsay McCrae for Sunday 17 October
    Have a great day and dont get too drunk, never good for camera control!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    Hey guys,
    Great job - loving this - wish something was done like this in Ireland.
    Just wondering if you would put up the video/picturess from the guy on the ship? Loved the fact he came up on deck and was surrounded by birds!!
    Keep up the GREAT work.
    Luv from Ireland!!

  • Comment number 61.

    I had a similar Buzzard experience as David Mc Kelvie. I was working at the Nottingham University Campus today and heard bird calls. I looked up and saw 4 Buzzards; one was soaring higher than the others. The other three were calling and locking claws and tumbling before breaking free and flying free again. This continued for fifteen minutes. The contact looked playful, not aggressive, was it an adult showing juveniles how to pass food? Ros Beacham

  • Comment number 62.

    Has anyone heard the term "kettling" referring to a group of birds flying in a circular motion on thermals? Unsprung on Oct 14th made reference to this sight but didn't actually refer to the word "kettling".
    I first witnessed this while on the ferry at Brodick, Island of Arran where our local RSPB group were doing our summer ferry runs "showing people seabirds" on their crossings. While docked, we saw this long funnel-shaped column of birds circling in unison, as if they were encased in a collar, and counted 82 birds consisting of corvids and gulls "kettling". It was an amazing sight. I don't know where the word originated but when you see steam rising from your boiling kettle for that lovely cup of tea it certainly captures the idea.

  • Comment number 63.

    Please please pleeeeeease can you ask the BBC God to give Autumnwatch/Springwatch an earlier time slot next time as I know lots of kids who are gutted that they can't see it this time - the kids absolutely adore the programme as the passion for nature that everybody involved puts across is infectious and we need to keep up the momentum of kids' interest before they go back to their computer games!

  • Comment number 64.

  • Comment number 65.

    We were staying on Anglesey for a few days when I noticed an unusual looking bird I managed to photograph it the following day. On our way home we called at Conwy RSPB Nature Reserve and found out it was a Glossy Ibis not often seen in Britain and the first on Anglesey, apparently over the last couple of years, some have appeared in late summer. This one was ringed with and number R9T in 2007 in southern Spain where it originated, and seen in the south of England last month.
    I have posted three photographs on your Flicker page

  • Comment number 66.

    I was interested to see the scorpion on Autumnwatch tonight. I saw what I thought was a "Devil's Coachback" beetle many years ago in Grasmere, Lake District and looked it up in a local bookshop, but now think it was a scorpion! It was certainly the same size as your scorpion. It took me by surprise as I was sitting eating my sandwiches! Linda Moss

  • Comment number 67.

    I am enjoying AW very much so far, though missing Simon King's contribution. I was in south Oxfordshire at the weekend, and was stunned and awed by a red kite wheeling around above the houses and calling with it's striking and beautiful cry. It carried on for some minutes before disappearing behind the roofline. I saw and heard it again the following day, and again later on about a mile away, on the other side of the town. Same kite? As I drove down the A34 over the Downs there was another flying around, so beautiful with the distinctive tail shape and action. I thought red kites were rare and elusive birds, is this unusual behaviour? I have never seen any in where I live, can they be found in all parts of the UK?
    ps more on fungi, insects and food webs please, put the wildlife in context.

  • Comment number 68.

    I really enjoy sw & aw & can't wait for them to come on tv but last night when i heard that The Exmoor Emperor stag had been shot to hang his head on someones wall it made me so upset are they not protected during the rutting season? & if not why not.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi, cannot believe what I have just read that Emperor, Britains largest stag has been shot dead by trophy hunters I am so upset by this . How this cruelty can still go on is beyond me.

  • Comment number 70.

    why is for the first time i have seen a fox out in the daylight around this estate they are usually nightfeeders here

  • Comment number 71.

    I really like autumn watch and the quizzes are my favourite bit.
    I hope I will get some questions right though!

  • Comment number 72.

    Hi. I think i heard correctly on tonights show, that beech nuts are poisonous to humans.
    Since a child i have peeled the nut once out of its husk and ate them by the score.
    Nearly 50 years young now, its not done me any harm.
    is it true they are harmful to humans???

  • Comment number 73.

    Yesterday we heard two starnge birds in our local woods. After seeing Autumn Watch we are convinced they were Waxwings.

    The woods are Sandall Beat Woods adjacent Doncaster Racecource.

    It would help further if you had a recording of the sounds they make. Our intial thoughts were that these birds sounded somewhat parrot like but visually we are almost certain they were waxwings.

  • Comment number 74.

    2 : Water Bird

  • Comment number 75.

    4 : poo or hoof print

  • Comment number 76.

    I've seen swans fight to the death at the Irvine estuary. It was a resident cob versus a visiting bird, probably just a year old, and, at least an hour long - on and off - it took the form of a rather protracted chase of the visitor by the resident, and even after the conclusion, the resident watched the carcass of the other as the tide washed it upstream past the pair's nest.

  • Comment number 77.

    Kate stated that Beech nuts were totally poisonous to humans. I hope not cause I used to eat them when I was a kid - they tasted similar to hazelnuts. I even showed my step-daughter how to peel back the husks to get to the nut. I am 46 now and I have been feeling a bit peaky recently. Am I going nuts?

  • Comment number 78.

    How smart is that Yew tree that Chris told us about last night?.It's bark,trunk,branches,and leaves are all toxic but it covers it's toxic seed with a delicious fruit so that it's seed gets free delivery by postman birds to fertile ground elsewhere.Amazing!!incredible what intelligence, or is there realy a God in Heaven. Love the show, great team.

  • Comment number 79.

    Welcome back Autumnwatch! As usual, I'm really enjoying the show and love the chaos of unsprung!
    It's a shame that Simon has decided to leave, but I wish him all the best in his new ventures.
    I find Chris's science bit very interesting and enjoy learning more about poo!

    Thank you team for a brilliant and informative programme.

  • Comment number 80.

    I just wanted to say what a pleasure it is to watch Autumnwatch and Autumnwatch Unsprung!The presenters all appear to be having a great time and often refer to the amazing skills of the people behind the scenes. What a wonderful place and atmosphere to work in! The banter between the Terific Trio enhances the programmes which have produced outstanding viewing material which is presented in a unique way. I'll be sad when Autumn is over but look forward to Spring!

  • Comment number 81.

    chris needs to come back to west wales the first flock of starlings arrived in Pembrokeshire on the 28/09/10 and they are still arriving.

  • Comment number 82.

    Can anyone recall the term that Chris Packham used to describe the motion of flocking starlings, in his science geek facts on Autumnwatch 2009?

  • Comment number 83.

    With regards to waxwings. Aflock of approx 40 descended on Inverary Primary School last week.

  • Comment number 84.

    Please could you mention the plight of the endangered albotross. Love the show. Kelly

  • Comment number 85.

    Why was the pale common buzzard not a rough-legged buzzard?

    It appears to have all the relevant characteristics; pale grey head, white upper tail - with black edge tail band and prominent dark carpal patches on the underwing? It was stated that the bird was also seen hovering (a strong behavioural trait of rough-legs). Admittedly this is a very pale bird, even for a rough-leg, especially the underparts which are very white indeed. Mull must be fantastic, excellent photography - brilliant stuff, thank you for a great programme.

    Kind regards,


  • Comment number 86.


    I just passed a magnolia tree where I work in Cambridge. i was struck by the sound of miaowing coming from it so in true Simon king style I miaowed back and sure enough the miaowing continued. I thought I was about to have to rescue a cat when a flash of movement revealed it was in fact a grey squirrel making the feline-like noises. I've heard them 'barking' before but never miaowing in such a plaintive way. Can anyone shed any light on this?



  • Comment number 87.

    Firstly, love the program and probably the only program on tv thats 100% real just like it should be..now to the point...i have many birds that come to my feeders...Greater spotted wood pecker, finchs (gold,green) etc, long tailed,blue,great and coal tits, nuthatch and even a treecreeper and many other more common ones too. Now lastyear i even saw a white hooded black bird....it had a hood like on a sea eagle lol and also spring before last i saw a butterfly tht i still cant identify...this butterfly was a bit larger than a cabbage white. It was brownie yellow/orange with perfect brown circles....not cheques..i tried to get a photo of it and even catch it but tht did not go well lol, wonder what this is?

  • Comment number 88.

    I did ask last night but did not get an answer. I wish to know what Mr Packham has in the viv on his kitchen side. is it Beardys?

  • Comment number 89.

    i am an avid watcher of your programme though frequently on playback ,time constraints etc. anyhow this is in regard your comments on blackbird behaviour we have a 'resident' blackbird who visits morning and afternoon for munchies and has done so for the last eight years, it is the same bird all year round he does not emigrate for whatever reason. he does attract a different mate each year but cannot hold on to them. i believe it is because they are unable to raise any young due to a family of magpies who are consistent in stealing either eggs or hatchlings. next season things may change as the large silver birch tree nearby has been removed,this is where the magpies used to perch and scoff there ill-gotten gains. the house chimney is unavailable as a pair of wood pigeons use it to perch and its theirs a no one elses during the daytime and they defend it against allcomers.

  • Comment number 90.

    This is the first time i've tried anything like this so I hope it gets to the right person !
    On Program 5 of Unsprung you held a quiz and a member of Phillipa Foresters team was a guy named Andy ? who was also a menber of the crew.
    As soon as he came on I said 'Thats Darren Beasley, the head keeper of childrens corner at Longleat on Kates 'Animal Park'
    If its not then he's a dead ringer...can Kate confirm please.

  • Comment number 91.

    I've taken a fab picture of a badger drinking from my birdtable in the middle of the day. I would like to send it to the Autumnwatch team before this series ends. Can someone explain to me how to do this please ! Regards

  • Comment number 92.

    Dear Chris And Kate.
    I am impressed as you are about the fantastic ariel displays of the starling population that annually invades our countryside at this time of the year.I think you should also comment on the dirty filthy mess that they leave on farms. They infest feed troughs for cattle where maize is included in the diets for milk producing animals, they leave a mountain of muck on cubicle rails,on feed troughs,in the feed,and also on the backs of cows. If you want to glorify this winter visitor as you do I feel you should give the full story.

  • Comment number 93.

    Lospinos -- What has happened to my post?

  • Comment number 94.

    There is definitely a problem with a reduction of insects in the wild these days either that or they've learned the Green Cross Code.

    I remember trips to Whitby, Lake District and Scotland in the 1970s and 1980s when there was so many insect strikes that we had to use the windscreen wipers a couple of times during the journey. One day, we even had to stop and wash the windscreen. This summer I was driving along, when I was surprised by an unfortunate insect striking the windscreen and it suddenly occurred to me how rare this had become. Yet I have spend many hours this year in our small garden watching numerous insects and sparrows scrabbling in the euonymus after creepy crawlies. If the decline in birds, frogs, etc is to be reversed, something definitely needs to be done about the smaller creatures they feed on. Our gardens may prove to be sanctuaries for some, but the wider environment needs to be protected and restored. With more green areas being used for housing and business parks, this is going to be a challange. I'm only in my early 40s, but like someone twice my age, I find my self thinking, "I remember when all this used to be fields."

  • Comment number 95.

    Last night on Autumnwatch/Unsprung someone mentioned a Sparrowhawk flying into a window - ours has learned to drive small birds into the glass & catch them on the rebound!
    Also if a bird does fly into your window - if they land the right way up they seem more likely to survive, if upside down they die, so it's worth gently putting them the right way up then leaving them to recover.

  • Comment number 96.

    hi peps wats up

  • Comment number 97.


  • Comment number 98.

    wow there clever i never knew they could do that!!!

  • Comment number 99.

    This is a message for Chris the presenter of Autumnwatch.

    Thank you for a great and entertaining show your team are brilliant however i have to take exception to you promoting your religious beliefs on national television.

    You spoke about "Evolution" as fact when there is no actual proof of evolution whatsoever, not in the fossil record or any eveidence of what you say happens. Charles Darwin actully did not believe his own "Theory" himself when he stated "To assume the Eye evolved is ludicrous".

    After viewing the incredible miracle we call Life as you do i am at a loss to understand how you do not see the inteligent design behind everything like Scientists are beginning to agree on. The bigger the telescope or Microscope the more design is seen, the more complexity is opened up to us.

    So Chris, please keep your outdated beliefs to yourself and acknowledge an inteligent designer that has given us the planet, life and a hope for the future. There is more eveidence of Jesus Christ than the falicy known as Evolution.

    And keep up the great shows


    Russell Banks

  • Comment number 100.

    Dear Chris, Kate and all the team, Love the programme, sad that its the last in the series. I live in the Scottish Borders up in the hills and see loads wildlife up here. Buzzards, hawks, woodpeckers, herons, curlewsto name but a few and I think oyster catchers.Do they eat anything other than mussles or is there a similar looking bird? They appear every year down around the stream here. Hope you are doing Spring Watch nxt year also, it was brilliant.


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