||Earthflight - S01E03 - Europe (Aired: 2012-01-12) |
Rome, Venice, London … Earthflight departs on its grand European tour, and takes filming to new heights. Using a host of extraordinary techniques that include filming imprinted birds from microlites, we soar with birds over the Grand Canal, the white cliffs of Dover and Edinburgh castle. It’s the world from the air as never seen before.
Take to the wing with grey cranes and white storks as they head north for their breeding grounds, riding high on the thermals created by these world-famous sights.
Discover how cranes take the shortest route across the narrow Straits of Gibraltar and many stop off in the South of France for a spot of R&R. But the famous Camargue white horses kick up a fuss around these hungry new arrivals, many push on again up the Loire Valley – where 50,000 cranes may fly by in a single day.
Navigating by the sun and magnetic fields, birds also follow well-known landmarks – from chateaux along the Loire valley to the tulip fields of Holland.
Meanwhile, thousands of male white storks have left Africa behind and set their sights on Istanbul – their entry point into Europe. Next they must reclaim their ancestral homes – the chimney pots of Germany – and do a spot of nest DIY before the females arrive.
In Rome, the heat of the city lures in 20 million starlings that perform nature’s greatest aerial display – one that outwits the world’s fastest bird predator, the peregrine.
Barnacle geese strike out over Britain, but bad weather sometimes pushes them over London – normally a no-fly zone. Just over the Scottish border is Bass Rock – home to 40,000 gannets.
Finally, geese touch down in Svalbard and start to raise a family. But ravenous polar bears threatens to wipe out their colony, and the plucky birds rally together to see off the world’s most dangerous predator.