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47 minutes | Jul 4, 2021
Nature Tripping Episode 14 - The Corncrake
Jo takes a trip up the west coast to the Inner Hebrides to join Cathy who is helping with the RSPB’s annual corncrake census on the Isle of Tiree. Locating these elusive birds involves listening for calling males in the dead of night. Join Jo and Cathy on a midnight journey to track them down, followed by an in-depth conversation with RSPB officer John Bowler who shares the story of the corncrake, why the Inner Hebrides remains one of the UK’s last strongholds for these birds, and what is being done to look after future generations.
42 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
Nature Tripping Episode 13 - Learning Birdsong in the Coronavirus Lockdown - Part 4
Jo and Cathy resume learning birdsong in lockdown, this time tuning into the calls of the blue tit, great tit and coal tit. With Spring fast approaching, gardens, parks and woods are alive with the sounds of these three common UK tit species, but it’s easy to be confounded by all their chirping and tweeting, and treat them as background noise. In this episode Jo and Cathy set about investigating their individual sonic signatures and explore how to distinguish and disentangle (most of the time!) one species from each other. (Blue Tit @ 4m 23sec; Coal Tit @ 16m 35sec; Great Tit @ 23m 45sec)
52 minutes | Nov 23, 2020
Nature Tripping Episode 12 - The River Colne
Setting out to explore the River Colne, Jo and Cathy start at its source on the edge of the moors and journey downstream through urban West Yorkshire to its confluence with the River Calder. Their trip takes in weirs, walls, abandoned mills, industrial pollution, combined sewer overflows, liminal space and river life. As well as exploring the historical and present day human impacts on the river, they begin to question more deeply our relationship with rivers and the role they can play in our lives.
48 minutes | Aug 10, 2020
Nature Tripping Episode 11 - The Grouse Moor
Vast swathes of Britain's upland are currently managed for grouse shooting. As the official start of the shooting season kicks off (12th August) Jo and Cathy finally decide to confront this controversial topic. Listen in from their local grouse moor to find out about the history of this peculiarly British pastime, the ecological and environmental consequences of managing the moors in this way, the range of stakeholders involved, and possibilities for the future.
40 minutes | Jun 11, 2020
Nature Tripping Episode 10 - Learning Birdsong in the Coronavirus Lockdown - Part 3
In this episode we take the opportunity to meet the warblers, millions of whom travel thousands of miles every year, returning to the UK to breed, and sing - possibly in a tree near you! We then reveal the often overlooked acoustic charm of the long tailed tit. [Timings: Willow Warbler @ 2mins 19secs; Blackcap @ 13mins 45secs; Long tailed Tit @ 25mins 03secs]
40 minutes | May 15, 2020
Episode 9 - Spring in the South Pennines
As lockdown continues Cathy and Jo go out to explore their immediate locality: a post-industrial valley cut deep into the South Pennine hills. They survey the landscape from the moor tops, with the skylarks high above them, then journey down to a small wooded valley to investigate what’s living in the stream. The episode wraps up with a visit to an area of nearby upland fenced off some 20 or 30 years ago for tree planting, and a chat about the positive impacts of this small ‘rewilded’ patch of the moor.
46 minutes | Apr 21, 2020
Episode 8 - April Dawn Chorus, Northern England
This episode is a long field recording of a dawn chorus made at the beginning of April, and accompanies our podcasts on learning birdsong in the coronavirus lockdown. We provide a short spoken introduction, but then just leave the birds to it.
37 minutes | Apr 14, 2020
Episode 7 - Learning Birdsong in the Coronavirus Lockdown - Part 2
Coronavirus lockdown continues, but song thrushes and blackbirds are singing away in parks and gardens. Join Cathy and Jo in this episode to listen to and learn about their distinctive songs. Meanwhile the first summer visitors are back (chiff chaff), and chatty goldfinches seem to be everywhere. (Song Thrush @ 1min 55secs; Blackbird @ 8 min 35 secs; Chiff Chaff @ 18mins 0 secs; Goldfinch @ 26mins 26secs)
35 minutes | Mar 31, 2020
Episode 6 - Learning Birdsong in the Coronavirus Lockdown - Part 1
Cathy and Jo can't go nature tripping, so instead they're listening to birdsong on their doorstep, and sharing some tips on how to identify song from three of the nations's commonest species. (Robin @ 8min 15secs; Wren @ 15mins 0secs; Chaffinch @ 25mins 58 secs).
45 minutes | Mar 23, 2020
Episode 5 - A Hebridean Beach in Winter
Storm Ciara has not long passed. Cathy and Jo are on a Hebridean Island and take a trip to the beach to experience wind, waves, stacks of seaweed and an encounter with the local seals.
50 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
Episode 4 - Big Garden Birdwatch
It’s the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch weekend. Jo and Cathy stock up the bird feeders and settle in to observe what’s going on outside the back door. With small microphones attached to the garden tree, close-up sounds of birds pecking for food, beating their wings and squabbling with each other are revealed. The podcast ends with an extended recording of activity at the bird feeders.
39 minutes | Jan 10, 2020
Episode 3 - Winter Dawn Chorus
As day is breaking Cathy and Jo visit the local allotments to listen to the winter dawn chorus and chat about identifying bird species by their song. After singing alone in the darkness, robins are joined by wrens, blackbirds and tits, as well as some less familiar British species, proving that although it's cold and dark, winter can be a fruitful time to listen out for birds.
35 minutes | Dec 12, 2019
Episode 2 - Caerlaverock
It's a windy weekend in December and Cathy and Jo are at Caerlaverock on the Solway Firth. They listen to the wild ducks, geese and swans over-wintering in the vast merse (salt marshes) for which this area is famous. It proves to be one of the nosiest wildlife experiences to be heard in the British Isles during winter. The podcast includes (at the end) a long recording of the busy wetland soundscape at dawn, featuring wigeon, whooper swans and even some curlew.
37 minutes | Nov 21, 2019
Episode 1 - Morecambe Bay
Cathy and Jo take a field trip to Morecambe Bay - a popular winter feeding ground for many wading birds and ducks. Join them as the tide rushes in for a discussion about this vast estuarine habitat and its different bird species, their feeding behaviours, and migratory patterns. Time is also spent discussing the plight of the curlew - present on the Bay, but also one of Britain's most endangered birds.
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