In this special film for BBC One and iPlayer from Silverback Films, wildlife cameraman Hamza Yassin is on a journey to film his favourite birds of prey in the British Isles. The film airs at 7pm on Sunday 24 September.
Birds of prey and wildlife have always been Hamza’s passion but during filming for BBC One’s Wild Isles, the call came for him to join the Strictly Come Dancing line-up in 2022. Having been crowned the winner that year, he has become a familiar face to many, but for Hamza, home is his happy place.
Returning back home to the wild west coast of Scotland, he embarks on a journey around the British Isles to track down and film his favourite birds of prey, meeting passionate people along the way whose love for the natural world shines through. Joined by cameramen and women, Hamza finds out what it takes to capture these birds on film, meeting Simon King, John Aitchison and Katie Mayhew amongst others.
Hamza Yassin, Presenter and Wildlife Cameraman, said: “Birds of prey are powerful, majestic, beautiful, charismatic, intelligent – what I think of when I wake up, what I dream about”.
His journey takes him down south to the Avalon Marshes in Somerset to see marsh harriers and hobbies and all the way up to the Cairngorms National Park to track down osprey and hen harriers. Closer to home, he films a pair of peregrine falcons as they raise their family on a hospital building in urban London and has an unforgettable encounter with a wild tawny owl in a suburban garden.The film concludes with never before filmed footage of precious golden eagle chicks exploring the forest floor. These are the final bird on his list and also his favourite. The chance to get up close and personal to a golden eagle nest in the Cairngorms is the perfect way to finish his journey – these remarkable birds are starting to make a recovery thanks to long-term studies and the hard work of conservationists.
The British Isles boast over twenty species of birds of prey, including the largest bird in our skies – the white-tailed eagle and one of our rarest and most beautiful, the hen harrier. Yet these fascinating birds are often threatened with illegal persecution and habitat decline – this film explains some of the challenges faced by birds and wildlife in the UK and we meet people playing their part to protect it.