Autumnwatch team get wrapped up again

Tuesday:Autumnwatch; (BBC2, 8pm)

Monday, 25th October 2021, 5:00 pm

Some people say it’s when they switch from wearing shorts to long trousers, for others it’s when the heating first goes on after the summer.

For us, the moment we know autumn has truly arrived is when we see Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan, wrapped up to their ears and back on the box.

A welcome, week-long run of Autumnwatch kicks off with the presenters settling in at Wild Ken Hill in Norfolk, where they see what’s changed since spring, and soak up the Snettisham Spectacular, one of the highlights of the birding calendar.

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Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Gillian Burke

Over in Northern Ireland, Gillian Burke digs deep into how moles cache worms for the cooler months, and Megan McCubbin reports from the Isle of Mull, a place famous for its eagles, red deer and otters.

On Wednesday, there’s a woodland symphony composed using the sounds of fungi, while Chris and Michaela search for signs of the beaver kit, born at Wild Ken Hill.

Gillian gets stuck into the importance of mud at Strangford Lough, while in Scotland, Megan checks out how hedgehogs are doing on Mull.

Chris reveals images of animals at night taken by a thermal camera in Thursday’s edition, as Michaela heads to the east coast to find out why the Wash is – ahem – awash with migrating birds at this time of year. Megan takes a dip into shark-infested waters in Scotland (rather her than us) while Gillian looks into the genetics of red squirrels.

Finally on Friday, Chris and Michaela wrap up the series with a look at the wildlife dramas that have been unfolding all week at Wild Ken Hill.

Gillian examines the importance of wetlands for capturing carbon, Megan sheds light on the significance of marine bioluminescence, and spoken word artist Isi the Scribe gets inspired by the beauty of badgers and red squirrels. Plus, find out why an autumn hedgerow has such rich pickings – even for fish.

This year’s run also includes short, companion offering Mindfulness Moments. It’s an opportunity to switch off from the stresses of our busy lives and immerse ourselves in pure nature.

There’s no music or presenter voice-over, just natural sound and glorious pictures to take us to the places we’ve missed while we’ve been in lockdown.

Enjoy seeing red squirrels in their woodland habitat, badgers in autumnal colour, and flocks of wading birds displaying amazing formations in the sky, plus there’s the peace and tranquillity of the Kintyre peninsula.

As if that wasn’t enough Mother Nature for you, there’s also Autumnwatch Spectacles for those who like their seasons with a bit of oomph.

Leaves on the trees are displaying their amber, auburn and crimson hues and our wildlife is preparing itself for the harsh winter ahead but not before exhibiting some spectacular autumn behaviour.

In the hedgerows all kinds of wildlife are emerging to feast on berries that have ripened through the summer months, and cameras delve deep into the undergrowth for a better look. In the heathlands of Devon, a female wasp spider is setting her trap, aiming to snare any unlucky insect that crosses her path.

In Northern Ireland we meet Michael Prime, a man who listens to fungi by recording their bioelectrical signals, while over at RSPB Snettisham, one of Britain’s most dramatic and exciting spectacles is taking place – we’re there to witness the aerial show of hundreds and thousands of wading birds as they put on an incredible, swarming show.

Now, where’s winter?

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