Posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2010
The BBC have been back on the Plain filming our bustards for possible inclusion in a programme due to be broadcast on Wednesday 13th Jan at 20:00 called 'Snow Watch'.
Fronted by the very popular team of Kate Humble, Chris Packham, and Simon King that brings Springwatch and Autumnwatch to our screens, the aim of the programme is to look at the effects this very severe winter is having on British wildlife. To quote from the BBC website, "As the whole of the British Isles faces up to what is now the coldest and 'whitest' winter for decades, our wildlife is forced to endure huge challenges. As we struggle to cope, how does nature survive and adapt?"
Wildlife cameraman Manuel Hinge shivers in a makeshift hide to get footage of bustards in the snow. Fingers crossed we make it through the edit!
Talking of 'the coldest and whitest winter for decades' I'm sure many members are keen to know how our bustards are coping with the weather. We'll actually be looking at this in more detail in the next issue of Otis (due in early February) but rest assured the the birds do seem to be coping well. As we know from studying Great Bustards in Russia and Ukraine they are hardy birds used to this sort of weather. The exceptional temperatures here of -10C are actually quite typical of Russian winters. Deep snow cover is ordinarily a trigger for them to disperse in order to find food, but with snow in Wiltshire just a few inches deep there are green shoots such as oil seed rape poking through so they're having no problems finding food either.
Our Site Manager Al Dawes took the following excellent photographs at the release-site this week: