Springwatch 2022 episode 8: We take a look at the beauty of a green, iridescent, overlooked invertebrate as well as a fascinating insight into the family dynamics of the long-tailed tits in spring.
Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan take us behind the scenes in Norfolk, showing us the inner workings of our live nest cameras. Iolo Williams is searching out seals on the Isle of Mull, and Megan McCubbin continues her seabird spectacle, looking at the spring visitors to Coquet Island on the Northumberland coast.
Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, sometimes known collectively as The Watches, are annual BBC television series which chart the fortunes of British wildlife during the changing of the seasons in the United Kingdom. The programmes are broadcast live from locations around the country in a primetime evening slot on BBC Two. They require a crew of 100 and over 50 cameras, making them the BBC’s largest British outside broadcast events. Many of the cameras are hidden and operated remotely to record natural behaviour, for example, of birds in their nests and badgers outside their sett.
Springwatch begins on the Spring Bank Holiday and is broadcast four nights each week for three weeks. After the success of the first Springwatch in 2005, the BBC commissioned a one-off special, Autumnwatch, which became a full series in 2006. Winterwatch began in 2012, broadcast in January or February.
Springwatch 2022 episode 8
Isle of Mull
The Isle of Mull is the second-largest island of the Inner Hebrides (after Skye) and lies off the west coast of Scotland in the council area of Argyll and Bute. Covering 875.35 square kilometres (338 sq mi), Mull is the fourth-largest island in both Scotland and the United Kingdom. From 2001 to 2020, the population has gradually increased: during 2020 the populace was estimated to be 3,000, in the 2011 census it was approximately 2,800, and in 2001, it was measured at 2,667 people. In the summer, these numbers are augmented by an influx of many tourists. Much of the year-round population lives in the colourful main settlement of Tobermory.
There are two distilleries on the island: the Tobermory distillery, formerly named Ledaig, produces single malt Scotch whisky and another, opened in 2019 and located in the vicinity of Tiroran, which produces Whitetail Gin. Mull is host to numerous sports competitions, notably the Highland Games competition, held annually in July. The isle is home to four castles, including the towering keep of Moy Castle. On the south coast, a stone circle is located in the settlement of Lochbuie.
The long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus), also named long-tailed bushtit, is a common bird found throughout Europe and the Palearctic. The genus name Aegithalos was a term used by Aristotle for some European tits, including the long-tailed tit.
This species has been described as a tiny (at only 13–15 cm (5–6 in) in length, including its 7–9 cm (3–3+1⁄2 in) tail), round-bodied tit with a short, stubby bill and a very long, narrow tail. The sexes look the same and young birds undergo a complete moult to adult plumage before the first winter. The plumage is mainly black and white, with variable amounts of grey and pink.