Rainforest: the secret of life

I thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s nature programme called “Rainforest: the secret of life” on ABC1 television here in Australia.

It was particularly pleasing to see so many of our birds featured on the programme. I enjoyed the long sequences showing the Albert’s Lyrebird and his extensive repertoire of calls and songs. Another feature was the Brush Turkey dispatching the carpet python from stealing eggs from the nesting mound by violently flicking leaves and sticks at the hapless snake.

The only criticism I can level at this lovely documentary was at the commentary. Whoever wrote the script needs a lesson in basic nature writing. It was far too lighthearted and anthropomorphic for the seriousness of the subject matter. The final few minutes highlighted the global importance of rainforests. They are being destroyed at an alarming rate. This is great cause for concern, but I fear the message was lost after the humourous sections earlier in the documentary.

Despite my criticism, this is a worthwhile show to watch. It’s not available from the ABC Shop Online as I write this, but will probably be available in the next few days.

UPDATE: the DVD of this programme is now available – click here.


8 Responses to “Rainforest: the secret of life”

  1. Sim' says:

    I was flipping channels and saw the bit about the Brush Turkey and the snake – I thought it was amazing seeing the bird react that way.

    I saw our resident Brush Turkey down by Artarmon railway station again on the weekend – haven’t seen it for a while.

  2. Trevor says:

    Yes – I agree – and even more amazing to capture it on film like that. I felt for the poor cameraman who was also covered in leaves – or so it appeared!

    Overall the camera work was superb. Pity it wasn’t matched by a good script. (Others on Birding-Aus agree with me on that point. Good thing I was not scathing in my comments as a number of the contributors to Birding-Aus know the film crew.)

    I’d like to see a doco on “the making of” The ABC website said the camera gear and crew were dropped in by helicopter to film the lyrebird sequences.

    And I’m jealous of “your” local turkey – I did look for it when we were over the Christmas time.

  3. wwdavid says:

    I was impressed with the programme overall (script aside, of course). Can’t say I particularly enjoyed watching that Wonga Pigeon get eaten, though!

  4. Trevor says:

    It was rather graphic in parts, but that’s ‘life in the raw’ out there. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Snail says:

    That commentary was a bit naff, especially the bit about the lyrebird call, but the images were wonderful. I wish they’d given an idea of scale when that baby pink-tongued lizard came out of the Pedinogyra (snail) shell. Those shells are 50mm across!

  6. Trevor says:

    Thanks Snail – that bit was interesting too – I remember thinking that I wanted a little more information at the time. Just further highlights the inadequacy of the script.

    The whole programme was brilliant filming spoiled by the script.

  7. Ken Rolph says:

    On the weekend we were visiting our grandson at Killcare Heights. On the drive back we saw two brush turkeys flashing across the road ahead of us. They are definitely making their way into northern Sydney. There was a suggestion in the Sydney Morning Herald that someone is putting them in cars and driving them across the bridges from the Cental Coast to let them loose in Sydney. Possibly annoyed gardeners.

  8. Trevor says:

    Yes Ken. I read the article too on the internet after the link was posted on Birding-Aus (a forum for birders). There has been many reports of Brush Turkeys moving further south in metro Sydney (see comment 1 from my son Simon above). Beautiful birds but they come with quite a burden – they are big on attitude.

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