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Springwatch 2017

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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 10:21   #1
Telephoto Paul
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Springwatch 2017

Today is the day and the streams has gone live. I haven't spent long watching the streams and I only caught half of the morning show. So far they've shown the following cams:

Bullfinch, Bluetit, Barn Owl, Jay, Swallow, Chiffchaff, and an underwater camera at a weir. Also expect badgers.

Main show at 8pm. Red button shows at 8am, 1pm, 4pm. The show runs for three weeks but Unsprung runs only for the second two.
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 12:20   #2
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I'll expect badgers when I see them. Shots of holes is what we usually get.

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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 14:36   #3
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Looking forward to it
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Old Monday 29th May 2017, 15:23   #4
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Expect some Long Eared Owlets.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 05:58   #5
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I actually enjoyed it last night The hour flew in fast.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 06:41   #6
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Interesting how they, rightly, celebrated the revival of Red Kite's fortunes without mentioning that the recovery has been seriously stalled by illegal persecution is some areas. I wonder if it will get a mention at all during the coverage of the kites. It seems to me to be a very germane and relevant point so not doing would look perilously like self-censorship to appease the powerful shooting lobby.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 10:54   #7
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Good to see the move away from reserves and in to a managed working environment.

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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 11:12   #8
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Given worked farmland is the bulk of our non urban land, IMO there's a lot of value in them giving it some focus. However I suspect given 'the unique way the BBC is funded', Springwatch will have to continue to bite their tongue over the causes of so many problems. Hopefully they will at least hammer home the problems even if they can't point fingers.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 12:56   #9
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Don't usually watch much but last night's was much better, good Peregrines and Hairy footed Flower Bee and nice to be away from a reserve. Hopefully not too many badgers to come!!
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 15:08   #10
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I was pleased with last night's programme and the standard of content and presentation. I agree it was good to get away from nature reserves and more into "real" countryside. Important to realise that whatever we think about the National Trust it is a significant landowner and therefore a major player in conservation.
Enjoy the way the team work well together.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 16:57   #11
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However I suspect given 'the unique way the BBC is funded', Springwatch will have to continue to bite their tongue over the causes of so many problems.
Yes. The BBC is becoming increasingly paranoid about upsetting the government to the extent that it's beginning to look like politicisation.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 18:45   #12
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They will struggle to trump last Spring’s awesome footage of what has to be the finest Mum a stoat could wish for! Even when watching this killing machine decimate the offspring of my favourite bird, the green woodpecker, I marvelled at her hunting prowess.

Clearly that won’t have gone down well on a birding forum but you have choices albeit I suspect a call to “control” songbird predators will receive a less than enthusiastic response.

LGM
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2017, 21:07   #13
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Interesting how they, rightly, celebrated the revival of Red Kite's fortunes without mentioning that the recovery has been seriously stalled by illegal persecution is some areas. I wonder if it will get a mention at all during the coverage of the kites. It seems to me to be a very germane and relevant point so not doing would look perilously like self-censorship to appease the powerful shooting lobby.
Genuine country folk are different. When Kites were confined to mid-Wales I was there watching one at one time. A car drew up, and a rather concerned man asked me if I was from Birmiingham. Apparently a car description and number had been circulated (egg collectors or chick robbers I suppose) and he was checking on me. After a while he realised I was harmless, and mentioned a roost opposite his house. When I visited the area I met him again at his house and was lucky to see 16 Kites arriving at the roost.

The trip had its lighter moments. One day I met a farmer and when we got chatting mentioned I was in the area looking for Kites. "Oh, we don't get them round here", he said, unaware that one was visible at that moment above his head, circling the field behind. Good on them both.

Cheers
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Old Wednesday 31st May 2017, 00:44   #14
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Genuine country folk are different. When Kites were confined to mid-Wales I was there watching one at one time. A car drew up, and a rather concerned man asked me if I was from Birmiingham. Apparently a car description and number had been circulated (egg collectors or chick robbers I suppose) and he was checking on me. After a while he realised I was harmless, and mentioned a roost opposite his house. When I visited the area I met him again at his house and was lucky to see 16 Kites arriving at the roost.

The trip had its lighter moments. One day I met a farmer and when we got chatting mentioned I was in the area looking for Kites. "Oh, we don't get them round here", he said, unaware that one was visible at that moment above his head, circling the field behind. Good on them both.

Cheers
Hi RS

I have to say that I have across the same views from so called country folk, who I thought where well educated enough to know a Red kite when they see one in flight - like the saying of 'its behind you' !!! REALLY !!!!

Going back to 2003, while I lived close to Callander, Scotland we had Red Kites flying about the area above our Farm house all day every day. As locals to the area where advised never to tell anyone of the Red Kites existance in the area - like a secret society on patrol in the BoP world - to protect the Red Kites as they where not so populated at that time

The farmer who lived in the area never noticed the Red Kites - but he did notice the local Foxes who he deemed as vermin, and he 'happily' told us that he got a person (weekly) to shoot the Foxes to protect his sheep and lambs.

Not an acceptable thing to do in my eyes.

So much for country folk and wildlife together
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Old Wednesday 31st May 2017, 00:50   #15
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Love Springwatch as always and the favourite article for me has to be the Jays this year. That angled nest - I shut my eyes and prayed for the chicks to move on, and move on they did - bless them all

Hope that the Blue Tits are not Woodpecker Fooder (as they where with Jays last year) - poor mites. Talk about getting a rough start in life.

Carry on with the good work Springwatch team
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Old Friday 2nd June 2017, 06:56   #16
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Overall a decent first week with an interesting mix of subjects. It is noticeable there's less cutting away to live cameras because something has wandered in to shot.
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Old Friday 2nd June 2017, 09:18   #17
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Has been a great week looking forward to Unsprung though wish it was on after the main show and bit before but overall it's been great.
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Old Friday 2nd June 2017, 12:04   #18
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Originally Posted by Loud Green Man View Post
They will struggle to trump last Spring’s awesome footage of what has to be the finest Mum a stoat could wish for! Even when watching this killing machine decimate the offspring of my favourite bird, the green woodpecker, I marvelled at her hunting prowess.

Clearly that won’t have gone down well on a birding forum but you have choices albeit I suspect a call to “control” songbird predators will receive a less than enthusiastic response.

LGM
Actually most people on here are more balanced than you suggest and understand the word "ecosystem". Stoats predate other animals and are a part of - to use a really hackneyed phrase - "the balance of Nature". Calls to "control" songbird predators tend to come not from birders but game management interests who could do with being "controlled" themselves in the interests of the ecosystem.

John
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Old Friday 2nd June 2017, 14:43   #19
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Actually most people on here are more balanced than you suggest and understand the word "ecosystem". Stoats predate other animals and are a part of - to use a really hackneyed phrase - "the balance of Nature". Calls to "control" songbird predators tend to come not from birders but game management interests who could do with being "controlled" themselves in the interests of the ecosystem.

John
Well, as a Wildlife & Conservation Officer with zero "game management" agenda or brief, all I would say about "balance" is I fully acknowledge we’ve well and truly messed that up. However the blame for this cannot be attributed in anything like its entirety to those organisations you clearly allude to and so obviously despise.

This clearly won’t please you but for the record my number one target species for control happens to be the non-indigenous Grey Squirrel and not just for the terrible damage inflicted upon trees but because I’ve witnessed the destruction a single family can inflict on nesting birds within a 70 acre wood each Spring. I also believe that if more bird lovers witnessed what I have they may be more disposed to the concept of significantly reducing Grey Squirrel numbers. If however they remain unmoved by such evidence and vehemently opposed to the taking of any creatures life I commend them for their principled position but they cannot be surprised if songbird numbers further decline in areas with a large Grey Squirrel population.

A similar debate is to be had re corvids but for now I would simply ask why there has been such a significant increase in Magpie and Jay numbers over the last 20 years and to the further detriment of songbirds?

LGM
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Old Friday 2nd June 2017, 15:18   #20
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This clearly won’t please you but for the record my number one target species for control happens to be the non-indigenous Grey Squirrel and not just for the terrible damage inflicted upon trees but because I’ve witnessed the destruction a single family can inflict on nesting birds within a 70 acre wood each Spring. I also believe that if more bird lovers witnessed what I have they may be more disposed to the concept of significantly reducing Grey Squirrel numbers. If however they remain unmoved by such evidence and vehemently opposed to the taking of any creatures life I commend them for their principled position but they cannot be surprised if songbird numbers further decline in areas with a large Grey Squirrel population.

A similar debate is to be had re corvids but for now I would simply ask why there has been such a significant increase in Magpie and Jay numbers over the last 20 years and to the further detriment of songbirds?

LGM
I'm not clear from your post who you hold a brief for, but from what I've read over the last thirty years, Red Squirrels before Grey Squirrels brought their transatlantic pox to annihilate them had a significant and similar effect on forestry and its inhabitants, to the point that they held the "vermin" status you now attribute to Grey Squirrels. The significant difference between the two as you correctly suggest is that Grey Squirrels are an invasive alien deserving of removal by the shortest means, leaving the niche completely vacant for the restoration of the original "vermin": the underlying truth however is that in an ecosystem not being constantly robbed of its essential predators there are no vermin, just a set of organisms interacting in overall long-term balance.

Hence, of course, my comment on the game "management" interests. Fish being taken - shoot herons and cormorants. Pheasants (invasive aliens that are now known to be responsible for declines in native reptiles) being taken: shoot Buzzards and anything with fangs and four feet. Grouse being taken: shoot all raptors and of course all mammalian predators. Lord knows its not so long since this extended to man-traps for poachers, which says it all about the kind of people who hunt shoot and fish.

It has been demonstrated that a good part of the answer to Grey Squirrels ought to be Pine Martens at their proper range and density. It is known that a good part of the answer to corvids is a natural range and density of Goshawks. It is a no-brainer that the answer to the over-population of deer is lynx and wolf taking a proper toll and also exerting the effect of keeping deer moving so that e.g. riparian woodland can regenerate instead of being constantly hammered by deer invulnerable to predation (and causing downstream flooding and injury to people who do not enjoy the beneficial end of the feudal landlord system still extant). All of these things are opposed by game management interests many of whom flout the law in order to promote their own ignorant self-interests and by the law of unintended consequences distort the ecosystem further.

Conservation - not game management - is not always about being nice to animals or even excluding killing, and I along with many others recognise that fully. But the interests that lay waste to elements of our ecosystem selectively for their own, distorted view of the countryside are the ones that most urgently need controlling and I now have a neutral view on whether that should be by effective legislation and enforcement or the sort of management that they themselves prefer to mete out.

John
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Old Friday 2nd June 2017, 18:07   #21
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I'm not clear from your post who you hold a brief for, but from what I've read over the last thirty years, Red Squirrels before Grey Squirrels brought their transatlantic pox to annihilate them had a significant and similar effect on forestry and its inhabitants, to the point that they held the "vermin" status you now attribute to Grey Squirrels. The significant difference between the two as you correctly suggest is that Grey Squirrels are an invasive alien deserving of removal by the shortest means, leaving the niche completely vacant for the restoration of the original "vermin": the underlying truth however is that in an ecosystem not being constantly robbed of its essential predators there are no vermin, just a set of organisms interacting in overall long-term balance.

Hence, of course, my comment on the game "management" interests. Fish being taken - shoot herons and cormorants. Pheasants (invasive aliens that are now known to be responsible for declines in native reptiles) being taken: shoot Buzzards and anything with fangs and four feet. Grouse being taken: shoot all raptors and of course all mammalian predators. Lord knows its not so long since this extended to man-traps for poachers, which says it all about the kind of people who hunt shoot and fish.

It has been demonstrated that a good part of the answer to Grey Squirrels ought to be Pine Martens at their proper range and density. It is known that a good part of the answer to corvids is a natural range and density of Goshawks. It is a no-brainer that the answer to the over-population of deer is lynx and wolf taking a proper toll and also exerting the effect of keeping deer moving so that e.g. riparian woodland can regenerate instead of being constantly hammered by deer invulnerable to predation (and causing downstream flooding and injury to people who do not enjoy the beneficial end of the feudal landlord system still extant). All of these things are opposed by game management interests many of whom flout the law in order to promote their own ignorant self-interests and by the law of unintended consequences distort the ecosystem further.

Conservation - not game management - is not always about being nice to animals or even excluding killing, and I along with many others recognise that fully. But the interests that lay waste to elements of our ecosystem selectively for their own, distorted view of the countryside are the ones that most urgently need controlling and I now have a neutral view on whether that should be by effective legislation and enforcement or the sort of management that they themselves prefer to mete out.

John
Agree completely
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Old Friday 2nd June 2017, 18:12   #22
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Yes. The BBC is becoming increasingly paranoid about upsetting the government to the extent that it's beginning to look like politicisation.
Seems not, they reported on raptor persecution the other night, seemed quite upset at the deaths of Golden Eagle and i'm wondering if the number of raptor nests being shown is subtle 2 fingers up to the shooting brigade!! Showing the public how raptors fit into the ecosystem is definitely a good way of undemonising them, interesting highlighting the peregrine taking the GSW after showing the GSW sniffing around the blue tits box!! Good Stuff
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Old Monday 5th June 2017, 23:45   #23
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Seems not, they reported on raptor persecution the other night, seemed quite upset at the deaths of Golden Eagle and i'm wondering if the number of raptor nests being shown is subtle 2 fingers up to the shooting brigade!! Showing the public how raptors fit into the ecosystem is definitely a good way of undemonising them, interesting highlighting the peregrine taking the GSW after showing the GSW sniffing around the blue tits box!! Good Stuff
Great to see that all the Blue Tit chicks fledged. Due to the GSW's 3pm visits to the box all of the chicks (but one) survived the fledging to move on to adult hood,
The 'canny' Blue Tits decided that early morning was the best time to make a safe journey from the bird box, and they did - all of the cuties together

8 out of 9 Blue Tit chicks survived, and the runt of the litter did not survive the battle to keep alive - sad times
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Old Tuesday 6th June 2017, 10:30   #24
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I enjoyed the return of Unsprung last night though, wish it was on after the main show was good to see Kate Humble back as a guest. I enjoyed the Beavers section in the show.
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Old Tuesday 6th June 2017, 13:42   #25
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I enjoyed the Beavers section in the show.
I think the chance of seeing live Beavers would have been higher if Martin hadn't been standing on the bank opposite, talking loudly and waving his arms about. Although, even if they had it wouldn't have been that exciting - the effect on the habitat and other species is more interesting than a few seconds seeing the top of a Beaver's head swimming away.

Good though that they raised the issue of landowners shooting them in advance of legal protection - I don't know how much effect this is having on the size of the population in the Tay catchment.
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