Why have you been filming at Château de la Motte-Husson?
I was commissioned by the production company to conduct regular trips to capture a flavour of the wildlife around the grounds of the Chateau. The footage is then used to bridge various scenes for the television show, for example a transition from inside to outside or vice versa or to set an atmosphere to start the show.
Although I film the wildlife at the Chateau I don’t film with Dick and Angel. That is the job of the embedded Producers/Directors who spend the season on location and follow the story strands for the television show.
How long have you been filming wildlife at the Chateau?
I’ve had the privilege of being able to spend weekly trips throughout the year over the space of three years filming wildlife at the Chateau. These are usually around May, August and November.
What wildlife have you seen?
Spending time at the Chateau grounds is a naturalists dream. Throughout my trips in May, August and November there was wide range of species on offer to be able to film. I’d made log notes in the field, sometimes they were made in haste, but recently I tidied them up in to a neat list which is below.
There is a wonderful range of wildlife at the Chateau. My highlights were filming a wild boar at first light around 5am from the top floor window of the Chateau! Dick had an old drape with a hole cut in the middle which he lent me. I was able to poke the long lens right into clear view of the forested areas adjacent. For smaller critters such as red squirrel I used the doubler on my long lens to get really close. It was a joy to see this little red forest dwellers jumping amongst the beech nuts. I had never seen a red squirrel nor a wild boar before, and it wasn’t until a recent trip that I finally spotted them! The red squirrel is smaller than our common grey squirrels.
During winter my favourite sequence was filming starling murmations of some 200-500 individuals on cold November evenings. I shot them with a wide lens to get the shots of the Cheateau in the background with a fading crystal clear inky-blue sky to match.
Species at the Chateau
- Large tree dwellers
- Red squirrel
- Chateau wall dwellers
- Bees, wasps, butterflies and wildflower species:
- Speckled Wood
- Small Tortoiseshell
- Adonis Blue
- Cabbage White
- Hummingbird bee hawk-moth
- Bumblebee (species type not recorded)
- Milkweed Beetle
- Tree creeper
- Starlings and large murmurations throughout winter
- Wood pigeon
- Finch (juvenile) and adult
- Mallard and partner
- Adult Moorhen
- Juvenile coots/moorhen nesting
- Pond life
- Pond skaters
- Fish in the moat (possibly carp, roach, tench)
- Large mammals
- Roe Deer
- Wild Boar