Friday, 3 June 2016

Springwatch 2016

Lade - cool, cloudy, drizzle, n 5 - This past week has been dominated by dreary, cool weather with a strong wind blowing out of the north keeping most land birds deep in cover. The Swifts have put on a fine show over the pits though, and this morning low over the Desert where they seemed to be plundering emerging insects and micro moths (probably Diamond Backs!). Apart from the Swift spectacle its been deadly dull on the birding front with only the `problem` gull at Dungeness, another appearance of the Laughing Gull and a Roseate Tern today to jolly things along.
  Despite the weather the flora on the shingle ridges hereabout looks set to break through with foxgloves shooting up through the long grass and great slashes of prostrate broom everywhere. If only the sun would return, although the forecast is good for Sunday onwards; infact these past couple of days the temperature down here has struggled to get into double figures, which compares to a respectable 14C - last Christmas Day!
Springwatch 2016 - Yep, its back again, on BBC2 for another three week run, and the usual trio have returned to Masai Minsmere again. Each year I say I`m not going to bother watching it, but what with the poor evening weather this week I`ve been lured to the Idiots Lantern like a moth to an MV lamp. The thing is there are some real gems within the Blue Tits and Badgers, but the trouble is you have sit through some right old drivel from the presenters who continue, year on year, to treat us like morons.
  For example, this week Packham was banging on about the pronunciation of Gyr in Gyr Falcon and rattling a tin to put money in, when him and Hughes-Games kept saying it incorrectly - whilst in the company of a falconer, with a Gyr on his fist; I thought any minute now that falcon is going to bate. And then the daft bugger (Hughes-Games) started yarning on about having a race with it on his motor bike; hang on a mo thought I, is this going to degenerate into Top Gear! And then we had light weight Michaela Strachen endlessly whinging on about the cold weather - "put a bloody fleece on then and tell us something interesting".
  I really don't know why I watch it, I`m my own worst enemy, it does my blood pressure no good, I`m like some sad druggy who can`t kick his addiction. But like I say, there is some good stuff in there, and I feel duty bound to pay homage to the unsung heroes of the show; ie the camera men/woman and nest finders who make it a worthy watch in parts.
  On a positive note the Sparrowhawk plucking post camera was entertaining, as the male bird worked his way through most of the passerines on the British list, and who could not fail to be impressed by the intimate shots of the Golden Eagle on its nest, with chick, in Scotlandshire. But its often the pre-recorded snippets that are the best; like the yellow ant colony item, and the large shoal of mullet `bathing` in front of a fresh water sluice in a Sussex river.
  So, come on BBC, let`s have more of the informative stuff please, and less of the dumbed down old cobblers and stupidity from Packham, Strachen and Hughes-Games.


  1. Paul,

    You described Springwatch perfectly, a potentially very good programme ruined by the presenters. What the Strachen woman is doing on there is beyond me, she just grins and nods alongside Packham all the time. He looks down his nose at most people and the other guy is an idiot.

  2. Derek, a spot on summary of the presenters` skills. Surely there must be others more qualified with the knowledge and ability to present in a grown up fashion. The programme must cost a fortune to produce, it`s just a pity it`s ruined by a CBeebies style presentation.

  3. I think it would be a good idea to have a 'highlights' package on the iplayer with the pre-recorded items and best-of-the-nests live segments with post production sensible voice-over.

  4. Everyone who knows a bit about wildlife agrees with you, but the beeb has dumber down everything to aim at the lowest common denominator, hence we have to put up with the cringingly awful Strachan and the other goon,Packham at least knows what he's talking about.I too have watched a couple of episodes, brilliant footage of the golden eagles.

  5. Phil, dumbing-down does seem to be the order of the day across the once mighty BBC, although there are one or two beacons of hope to be found on BBC4 and Radio 4. I think some of it must be down to the producers of the show telling them to act like fools, although Strachen and Hughes-Games certainly take it to another level due to their obvious lack of any underpinning knowledge of the natural world. I could think of a trio of naturalists down here who`d do a far better job...

    1. Yes Paul, but the three that you have in mind would not be able to broadcast pre-watershed!!

  6. That`s a fair comment Steve, but by heck it`d be a lively watch!!