A sighting of the lesser-spotted Bill Oddie

By Blog on the Box on Mar 20, 08 09:18 AM

One of the most popular sights in nature is that of the lesser-spotted Bill Oddie or, to give its Latin name, the Bilious Oddicus.

The species is as common as horse droppings, at home in varied habitats, and can be seen in all parts of the country.

But don't let its frequent appearances distract from the appeal of this strange creature

The bearded presenter was last seen in the Farne Islands, Northumberland, for the last in the BBC2 series Bill Oddie's Wild Side,

He could be clearly spotted bothering a colony of puffins on one of the islands. There he was, sticking his snout in puffin business with his camera and sound equipment capturing the intimate details of puffin life.

But what if the shoe was on the other foot and Bill was the subject of a wildlife film maker?
(Feel free to put on a silly voice in impersonation of David Attenborough at this point)

This creature is small so it can easily hide in the grass to watch its prey. It has a wild shaggy coat, most prominent about the face, to keep warm outdoors.

It has an inquistive nature and is prone to make strange noises to mimic the sounds of other species. And it is exciteable, barking like a seal occasionally, flapping his arms like a bird, running in circles.

You would almost think it was showing off for the camera,

Seriously, though, it was an entertaining programme.

Bill challenged sound recordist Chris Watson to record the sounds of often-seen but rarely-heard puffins.

He captured some great shots of the birds in flight accompanied by the surprisingly loud sound of beating wings.

Even more fascinating were the shots recorded in the underground burrow of Mr and Mrs Puffin and their children.

Using sophisticated technology, a camera and microphone stuck on the end of a wire coat hanger nicked from a one-star hotel, Chris caught puffins talking to each other.

It was a sort of aaargh, aarrgh, arragh, Bill couldn't resist his own impersonation of the noise and may have left himself open to the attentions of hundreds of female puffins responding to a chat-up line.

For all we know it could have been the puffin way of pulling a bird,

And at this point our cameras are switched off to give the Bilious Oddicus a bit of privacy at this intimate moment.

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