Key stories unveiled in BBC One's new wildlife series - Wild Isles

PHOTO: In Spring Orca (also known as killer whales) visit the Shetlands to hunt for seals (Image: BBC/Silverback Films/SCOTLAND: The Big Picture/



New/Remarkable Behaviour

Lords and ladies plant pollination – filmed in Bristol, this plant heats up and releases a foul-smelling scent that is irresistible to flies, tricking them to enter its flower. The fly lands on a slippery leaf and slides down, becoming trapped inside. The plant keeps it hostage before showering the fly with pollen then allowing it to escape.

The team had to make tiny windows in the sides of the flowers to film the structures within. Thermal cameras captured glowing images of plants heating up to lure in the flies and the team could also feel the heat by placing their face next to the plant. It required carefully timed observation, as each plant heats up for just four hours before it starts to wilt the following day.

Camerawoman Katie Mayhew said: “Surprisingly the ripe flowers only stayed hot for a few hours during their life cycle and at their hottest they really did smell - you could even feel the heat by touch. Capturing the colour to thermal transitional shots was a complicated task, like filming a puzzle. First, we captured a series of images on a low light colour camera which we then could stitch together to create a very large image. Then we had to capture exactly to the sequence of images with the thermal camera so that the overall stitched images from the colour and thermal would match. These master images could then be transitioned from colour to thermal to take the viewer from what we humans see and what really is going on with the flower.”

Filming Feat/Remarkable Behaviour

White-tailed eagles hunting geese – first time the whole hunting sequence has been filmed. White-tailed eagles have a two-metre wingspan and are the largest bird of prey in Britain. Formerly extinct in the British Isles, around a dozen now spend winter in Islay. Britain is listed as the worst country in the G7 for wildlife and wild spaces lost due to human activity*, but these eagles are a good example of how the restoration of habitats and the reintroduction of species has enabled us to film behaviours once lost to our isles*.

Capturing the whole hunt required a co-ordinated team of specialist long lens camera people and wildlife spotters. The white-tailed eagles ranged over vast areas, so the team had to keep in close communication working in hides positioned at eagle hot spots around Islay. It took several trips and more than 70 days filming.

Filming Feat/Remarkable Behaviour

Orca - Britain’s largest marine predator, can reach lengths of almost 10 metres and weigh up to 10 tonnes. Shetland is the only place in the British Isles where orca breed. We filmed a remarkable feeding strategy in which the orca appear to go silent as they approach the seals, in an apparent attempt not to scare them off.

The team filmed this footage over three years using drones and specialist camera equipment on board their boat. The crew were in contact with a group of about 250 local people who helped them to trace the orca along the coast and were able to film the hunt in its entirety.


Date: Sunday, 12 March, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Updates: Confirmed for BBC One on 12 March at 7pm to 8pm.

Source BBC One

March 8, 2023 4:59am ET by BBC One  


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