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Unsprung, your autumnal videos...and conkers

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Martin Hughes-Games Martin Hughes-Games | 09:32 UK time, Monday, 8 October 2012

Well, the leaves are starting to turn - the first signs of autumn are upon us and in just a few weeks we'll be "live" from the wonderful Scottish Highlands at our new base, Aigas.

Back at Bristol HQ we're busy preparing - currently discussing important questions like "do squirrels eat conkers?" - er....we're not actually sure just yet!

As ever we love seeing your superb pictures on the Flickr site. We're also fascinated by videos of British wildlife, particularly because you sometimes show us things we would never normally see - really astonishing behaviour.

This year we'd like to spread the net a little wider - so as well as your own videos we'd also love to know about any other wildlife clips you may have enjoyed recently, think "Youtube", "Vimeo", "Facebook" etc.

So if you have been browsing the web and discovered something fascinating, funny, dramatic or really intriguing to do with wildlife, please send us a link as a reply below or share them on our Facebook group, on Flickr, on Twitter @BBCAutumnwatch or just email us a link.

We have big plans for our one "Unsprung" - hoping to make it something of a grand finale to this year's "Autumnwatch" - we're going to need your help on that one so stand by!

So...what does eat conkers?.....


  • Comment number 1.

    Here's a video I took on Saturday in Dorset (from up my favourite tree!) which shows a very pretty young sika deer - nothing odd there except she's completely WHITE. Love the sounds of the sika stags in the background too! www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tgUldck2m0

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Autumnwatch and Martin. Looking forward to your series, although they are few. Now why is there just one Unsprung??? That's not fair! We all enjoy the banter and all the information gathered by the viewers and your comments on them. There is no such programm like it! It's a shame missing out on more. I'm writing this from The Netherlands where you've got quite a big audience! Please more Unsprung next time!!

    Love, Littlewatervole

  • Comment number 3.

    Well said Little Watervole...but I'm not going to complain on here...done enough of that over on t'other blog.

    Can't wait to see the delights that Aigas has to offer. Have been hearing some great comments about the location you've chosen....

    We do love Unsprung Martin......only so much you can cover in half an hour tho' !
    Not sure the conker dilemma can be sorted in such a short time but who knows....... us Watchers are a clever lot :-)

  • Comment number 4.

    Hello Martin, i thought you might like this, i found a bummblebee that looked dead and was going to just move it off the path when i noticed its leg move, and as i had seen something on youtube a while back about someone reviving a bee with some sugar water, i tried with some runny honey, and it worked great. I had my phone on me so decided to video it and you can really see how it recovered.
    I know you shouldn`t feed honey to a honey bee, but as it was a bumblebee it shouldn`t harm any colonys.
    Shame i missed it taking off after, but guess bumblebees are camera shy.

  • Comment number 5.

    Fantastic clip Mad Mark....thanks for sharing.
    Like you I've heard about bee revival but never actually seen it in action...well done you :-)
    Nice camera work too !

  • Comment number 6.

    I filmed 4 bottlenose dolphins on the 28th of September in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. I spent a lot of time with my camera taking photos so there isn't a lot of video footage that made the cut. There is a link to my Flickr account and the photos I took in the You tube video description.


  • Comment number 7.

    Yes, Littlewatervole, here another huge fan from The Netherlands!!

    And Martin, I know that horses eat conkers.
    And squirrels, jays, mice, crows, ( wild ) boars....

  • Comment number 8.

    Good evening to the Autumnwatch team! I'm really looking forward to the new series.

    Me too, I'm writing this from the Netherlands, although I'm here just on holliday on the beautifull island of Terschelling, amongst the migrating geese and other birds. Next friday I'm returning home, in Flanders.

    As for the conkers: in Turkey horses were forced to eat conkers (only from the red variety it seems) to cure them from coughing, fever or when a merry was expecting a foal. But it isn't very clear whether the mentioned cures used raw conkers or preparations like today in homeopatic recipes.

    I've read somewhere that wild boar do eat them spontaneously though.

    It's also possible that the seeds of the pavia are mistaken for conkers. Both trees are very similar as well as the seeds. (Aesculus pavia Aesculus hippocastanum)

    Anyway: if you want to spare your house of the visits of a witch, plant a horse chestnut tree next to it. The witch will rest there in the shape of an owl instead of hounting your home. ;-)

  • Comment number 9.

    Hello. We were visiting Aigas area at the week-end and heard of your imminent arrival up here in the Highlands. Thought I'd let you know about our nocturnal visitor to our front garden in Saltburn, Invergordon (about an hour from Aigas) - the "elusive" pine marten! He regularly comes around 8-9 o'clock, helps himself to the hanging nut chains out for the birds, generally follows the same trail every night, around our summerhouse and along by the fence. He can be in the garden for 5-10 minutes at a time. Sometimes he visits later, but we know he's been from the evidentiary trail of nuts / food. My husband is to try to get him on film. We were just amazed at the fact he would come into what is essentially a town garden - though at the end of Saltburn village - but he is thrilling to watch. And the lounge lights, and outside motion sensor light coming on, do not seem to phase him at all!

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Martin, I spotted these 2 deer going head to head while hill walking on Friday near Aberfoyle in Scotland

  • Comment number 11.

    In answer to your question about what eats conkers, I work as a gardener in West Sussex. This year nearly every conker in one of my gardens has been eaten by squirrels. They seem to peel off the outer coat, before eating the insides. The whole garden is littered with conker debris! I have never seen this before in such vast quantities, but this year there are no acorns at all on any of the oak trees, so I guess the squirrels are making do.

  • Comment number 12.

    Here's an amazing clip I shot this morning of Brown Hares boxing - in OCTOBER!! Imagine my surprise when they started showing a behaviour more commonly reserved for March: https://youtu.be/2nn4oWlwuyg
    Enjoy :)

  • Comment number 13.

    Okay this video was taken last year, but at this time of the year. I would like people to look at this video, especially Chris, as I believe it shows very important behaviour never captured before.

    I was just starting to film a Grey Wagtail feeding by my local river. When by an amazing coincidence a Sparrowhawk made a failed predatory attack on the Grey Wagtail. It was shot in 1080p 50 frames per second HD. So it slows down well. The linked to YouTube video, has a second part in slow motion because what happens is too fast to see at normal speed. Frame by frame is best.

    Just as the Sparrowhawk was about to hit the Grey Wagtail, the Wagtail did something quite incredible, and which I can find no other record of. The Wagtail dived into the river, completely underwater. However, this was not the most incredible thing. The Wagtail emerged from the water in completely the opposite direction to how it entered, meaning it must have basically done a somersault underwater. Although the Sparrowhawk did an incredibly tight turn, this allowed the Wagtail to outfly it. This was so instinctual that I believe it must be an evolutionary adaptation. I still have the original footage, which is much higher quality than the YouTube version. Watch in 1080 HD for the best quality.

    Here is a still grab from the video, showing how the Wagtail disappeared completely underwater.

  • Comment number 14.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/lyncat/8101174261/ this is a link to my photostream of the coal tits and great tit feeding out my hand. The coal tits follow me all around the great tit yesterday got up the courage to come in and eat from my hand as well the last week he has been hanging about in the background so glad he decided to join in amazing to be so close to nature. I used to go to bird ringing to get close to the birds now I just walk out my door

  • Comment number 15.

    I shot this video of something I've never witnessed before, a female raft spider carrying an egg sac across the large pond at Arne RSPB reserve in Dorset. Not sure why she would do this ?

    link :- https://www.flickr.com/photos/31864189@N07/7950559268/


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