Monday, 5 January 2009

Swarm: when worlds collide

Followers of my blog will know just how much I enjoyed Mark Cocker's book, Crow Country in 2008 (see bookshelf below). I was fascinated by his intricate descriptions of airborne corvids along the river Yare in Norfolk, where I was privileged to spend part of my childhood. It will come as no surprise that when I saw a TV listing for Swarm: nature's incredible invasions, I was keen to watch the programme. (BBC1 Sunday 4 January 2009 - with part two next Sunday: click link for BBC iPlayer)

In terms of photography it certainly met my expectations. We saw locusts and crabs, starlings in Rome, mayflies in Winsconsin, mice in Australia - quantities of mice - and cicadas in the USA, to name but a few examples of the swarm phenomenon. We were introduced to an entomologist who was covered from head to toe in honey bees. He had been studying the species, and knew how to behave like their queen! We saw midge cakes - or rather burgers - in Africa, which apparently are very popular in some regions, and full of protein.

I wonder what delights are left in store for programme two: rats, spiders and jellyfish perhaps ...

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