Natural History on BBC Radio 4

Sunday 31/05/09 at 6.35am

Grass snakes grow to a surprising five feet long (1.6m) - they are our largest native snake, almost exclusively hunting the ubiquitous frog and toad and yet we hear very little about them. Here Lionel Kelleway tries to get close to this most retreating animal and find out a little more about their private lives.

Presented by Lionel Kelleway
Produced by Julian Hector

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Sunday 31/05/09 at 2.45pm, presented by Brett Westwood
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Brett Westwood is joined by keen bird watcher, Stephen Moss, on the Somerset Levels. With the help of wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson they identify wet meadow waders like Lapwing, Redshank, Curlew and Snipe. This is the first of five entertaining and practical guides to identifying many of our freshwater birds found on ponds, rivers, reed beds and wet meadows. Not only is their advice on how to recognise the birds from their appearance, but also how to identify them from their calls and songs.

Presented by Brett Westwood
Produced by Sarah Blunt

NATURE: Seabirds - The canaries on the cliff
Tuesday 02/06/09 at 11am (Rpt Wed 03/06/09 at 9pm)
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The British coastline is alive with seabirds from April until June; thousands upon thousands breed on our cliffs and rocky shores, making us an internationally important site. But now worrying trends are being detected on the cliffs. Birds are not breeding, and those that do often can’t feed the young. The young that fledge are getting fewer and fewer and most concerning of all; the adults are leaving the breeding season exhausted and starving. What is happening? Are our seabirds the equivalent of the miner’s canaries and indicating big changes out at sea?

Presented by Chris Sperring
Produced by Mary Colwell

LIFE STORIES (Part 1 of 20) - Sloths
Friday 05/06/09 at 8.50pm (Rpt Sun 07/06/09 at 8.50am)
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"What would you like to be?" David Attenborough is often asked. "A Sloth" he replies. In this the first of a series of personal stories about the natural world, David Attenborough muses about the natural history of the sloth - perhaps the most lethargic beast in the animal world.

Produced by Julian Hector

Image from hanleedeboer.com

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