Well, they’re back. Yes, the TV’s favourite 3 naturalists, Chris Packham, Martin Hughes-Games and Michaela Strachan are back gracing our screens once more in the latest BBC series of Springwatch. Given the perilous state of the weather of late, there was a real danger that there might not have been that much ‘spring’ to watch, but we took some comfort from the fact that any lack of outdoor activity was more than compensated for by the increased exposure on the BBC set, and that of course meant more opportunities to see TV’s most famous leather chesterfield sofa. Fortunately the weather has picked up somewhat after the damp and dismal start, so we guess that good news for the birds and the bees, but possibly less so for us. Granted we’ll get to see more coverage out in the field as the Ospreys soar high above the RSPB Nature Reserve at Ynys-Hir, but sadly it also means less footage of the nation’s favourite chesterfield settee.
So what new gems have we learned about nature so far? Well, nature remains as red in tooth and claw as ever, but life goes on as normal. The osprey is proving to be a real ladies-man: would we were all so spoilt for choice when it came to the opposite sex. Imagine how much more pulling power he’d have if he could manage to secrete a chesterfield sofa in his nest. His suitors would be queuing round the block we reckon. The water rails and the wagtails obviously have some form of inbred death wish building nests so close to the water’s edge and the resident predators. Red deer may freeze in the headlights, but not in front of camera lenses, crows, ravens and other members of the Corvid family are smarter than the average bear and only seriously hungry predators would ever consider eating moles. Not bad for just 4 days of coverage.
What about the presenters? Well, Michaela still appears to have unnatural levels of energy for a woman of her years, though her enthusiasm remains as infectious as ever, Martin is obsessed with bugs and burying his hands in dirt at every available opportunity and Chris is just as protective of his treasured chesterfield settee as ever. Once he gets settled on his leather chesterfield sofa, it takes something special to get him to move. He did ‘generously’ relinquish his seat for the lady with the red deer fawn, but by the look on his face it was pretty obvious he wasn’t best pleased. If looks could kill? Still, it wasn’t long before the natural order was restored and Chris was back on his throne quicker than the ferret in the bird’s nest.
What does the rest of the series have to offer the keen nature lover? Well, it’s an open book we guess. You can script all you like, but it’s the animals that write the story, not the editors. Springwatch follows where the animals go, and, let’s face it, that’s the real beauty of the series. So expect the unexpected by and large. However, one thing we can predict with some degree of certainty is that Chris faces a fight for custody of that settee. We’ve seen Michaela jealously eyeing up the chesterfield sofa, and we get the feeling she’ll make her move before the end of play. Given she’s one fiercely determined women, we wouldn’t bet against her ousting the alpha male before the week is out. The king might be about to lose his throne, but the new queen is standing by ready to be anointed.