Monday, 17 August 2015

Scotland: Land of Bird, Beaver and Biscuits. Nature Nuts draws to aclose.

Julian has travelled  all over the UK for the three-part series, utilising  some of the UK’s most talented natural history cameramen and women, who give  special gifts  to our Nature Nuts by capturing images  of their favourite creatures in ways they’ve never seen or imagined before.

New technology including starlight cameras from modified MOD technology, high speed, mini aerial and underwater cameras, the Nature Nuts are given once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch their favourite animals in their natural habitat.

In this final episode, Julian ventures into Yorkshire to meet  a very  talented  artist whose intricate paintings are inspired by his photos  of his local wildlife captured  by sitting in his tree house in the woods. Robert treats Julian to some spectacular views  of Badgers and Barn Owls and he even gets to help tag some owlets. I learnt that little spots on the stomach shows the bird is a female .

Robert Fuller’s latest  artistic muse is the beautiful  kestrel . Majestic birds, a pair nests nearby . They generally lay three to six eggs in a brood and often it is the availability of small mammals  particularly field voles that determine survival rates as many fail to survive , this lucky duo's larder is being supplemented Robert however who has a pocket full of voles.

 He  has been trying to capture a kestrel  in flight for some time, so Julian asks award-winning cameraman John Waters to step in. John’s high-speed equipment is well suited to the job, it can record 1500 frames per second, with ordinary cameras managing just 25 frames. The shot they capture becomes a truly beautiful painting.

Julian then  zooms off to the Scottish Highlands for a totally surreal experience in a  bathroom disco, complete with glitter ball with  the delightfully giggly female fish-packer Muirne Buchanan who is  in pursuit of film of  the elusive Pine Martin who visits her marigolds for a munch. She lives on Loch Torridon, 300 miles north of the Scottish border and her garden happens to be inhabited by these cat-sized cousins of the badger and the weasel. However she is slightly concerned that she had not seen her visitors for two night as the crew arrived.

With just 3,000 left in the UK, they’re a relatively  rare sight and it’s up to John to get the sharp-toothed fellas on film. But, will they care for the peanut butter and Jam sandwiches  that Julian and Muirne have so carefully laid out as a picnic for them?  As they sit with sizeable Gin and tonics, the wind starts to rise and john sits in the worsening weather as long as possible without sight of a Martin. Thankfully a  neighbour has a great viewing platform and they are lucky enough to see one scarper with a whole raw egg after throwing a goodly number of custard creams all over the floor, but it takes some time and an infra- red to capture a pine Martin outside the Buchanon bathroom discotheque.

Finally, our fairy godmother heads to Perth to catch up with Bob Smith, ‘The Beaver Man’, on a canoe. The beaver gnawed tree stumps  and a sizable lodge are in evidence, but  this Nature Nut has been hoping to see a baby beaver, also known as a kit, and Julian won’t stop until they’ve got the evidence they need to rest assured that this furry family’s lineage will continue.  Beavers were a familiar sight 400 years ago, but their soft waterproof fur was just too popular with milliners for hats and were hunted almost to extinction and were only reintroduced into our waterways ten years ago.

Bob's encounter with Julian is perhaps the most good natured of the series so far, Bob being totally unfazed by Julian and his Camp asides, and his chuckles Mark him out as a really good sport and his excitement when footage is captured is palpable, what a lovely man and a lovely way to bring the series to a close.


  1. Emma, another enjoyable post! With your illustrations & descriptions, I almost felt I was there. I am still trying to figure out what a "bathroom disco" is... A very tiny disco, perhaps?

  2. The lady has a spectacular loo, complete with mirrorball!