The delta is introduced through the fascinating migration of the stickleback. This epic journey is captured for the first time on film, from the starting point in the North Sea through sea locks to their breeding grounds far upriver in a beaver pool. There we follow the work of a beaver family as they build dams and cut down trees to shape a new landscape. This is not only provides an ideal breeding ground for the stickleback, but also an expanding home to scores of new creatures, including the ring necked grass snake.
Thank you streams Rivers the sea melting snow fog the raindrops of a shower water is what shaped this land it flows from mountains thousands of kilometers away and from Springs closer to home.
It makes its way through countless streams Rivers canals and ditches ultimately to flow out into the sea it is soft and soothing gentle and invigorating yet powerful and merciless too it flows through the veins of all living creatures.
foreign the wetlands of the Dutch Delta are a Valhalla for countless animals a perfect home for the beaver and a stickleback they have lived here for millions of years.
foreign on a clear spring day a Shoal of sticklebacks navigates a course through the gently rolling sea Springtime sends them from their home in.
The North Sea to the Zealand Coast they have to go Inland to fresh water to a pool a ditch a small stream they will meet any challenge for their purpose is to breed it is a long exhausting Journey fraught with many dangers thank you.
not everyone has a taste for sticklebacks but there are enough to make the journey a knockout race that can only be won with luck just off the coast live sea horses and nudie Branch the jewels of the sea the strong current tests their Fitness.
But nothing can prevent the sticklebacks from making their Journey for they are bound by instinct they know that they're getting close but they can't find their way it's as if the river has been blocked wherever they go they find impenetrable obstacles.
Fresh water flows through a small gap between the barrier Gates and the sticklebacks smell it in an instant the current here is strong and demands the utmost effort foreign.
This one hasn't made it and he's not the only one for millions of years sticklebacks found their way effortlessly to their birthplace they've learned to live with their natural enemies but the barriers erected by man are often impregnable they are the answer to.
The disastrous floods that strike when Moon tide wind and water conspire the wind causes the water to Surge it pounds the dikes relentlessly not losing strength for a moment until the flood defenses are breached a state of emergency was declared in western parts of the country following extremely high tides the city of dorest.
Was inundated the Army faced an impossible task according to the latest reports the situation is desperate with people taking refuge on the roofs of their houses but the people refused to be defeated they were Furious and declared the water to be their Eternal enemy.
They decided once and for all to impose their will on the water understandable as that may be we could have learned lessons from the Beavers that have lived here so long the dams beavers build are strong yet they leave room for water to flow thank you beavers are faithful.
The male and female Stay Together For Life they're a bit awkward on land so they spend most of their time in the water to protect and groom their fur they use a kind of wax which is secreted from a gland between their hind legs and applied with great care Hair by hair.
The result is stunning thank you beavers are survivors they've lived here for thousands of generations in that time the beaver has seen the Delta change completely a million years ago the Dutch Delta was.
A subtropical Paradise hippo and Forest elephant lived alongside beaver and Eagle the rhythm of the climate is slow and gentle bitter cold and tropical heat dominate in turn during the 13th Ice Age Landis pushed up rocks and sand to form what are now called The uterest Hill Ridge and the.
Graberberg when the ice melted life flourished once more along the new Banks foreign once more an Ice Age forced the water back the Delta was a cold dry plain ruled by.
The mammoth Ten Thousand Years Later half of the Delta disappeared below sea level foreign then the sea and Three Rivers deposited sand and clay creating the first peat bogs and marshes for the first time it resembled the land.
Which we now know as Holland for all those millions of years the rhythm of the seasons invoked a cycle again and again thank you foreign.
Wherever you look in the Delta love is practiced with abandon it's as if the Pikes dance before they mate foreign s still have a long way to go before they can think about breeding.
Nobody is welcoming the Xander's nest and that's true of little sticklebacks too it's perfectly understandable that the Xander is unfriendly because his nest is filled with millions of eggs the female has already gone and he is Left Behind to protect them he fans his fins to supply the eggs with.
Fresh oxygen-rich water foreign s have found the turning that leads to their pool along the way they encounter the brook Lamprey working hard on his spawning.
Spot he's been doing that so much longer than the sticklebacks because the brook Lamprey is the oldest fish on earth the stream is becoming ever narrower and shallower the stickleback sense that it can't be much further and that gives them Renewed.
Energy the only thing left to do now for the brook Lamprey is mate for mating means death the ACT is their last foreign ly the flow of the stream slows and the sticklebacks arrive in a pool that has.
Been diligently created by a beaver family hacker foreign they have finally made it a journey of more than 100 kilometers.
Was tough but the stickleback's mission isn't complete they have to find a mate the males have never been this handsome there's no time to rest because in order to attract a female they have to offer her the best possible spot and they don't shirk a fight to succeed.
It's finally found a good spot and immediately starts digging foreign the bright sunlight awakens the occupant of this burrow from hibernation the grass snake smells the world using.
The tips of its tongue they also lead him to the source of those wonderful scents female grass snake unfortunately there's a rather large surplus of males when he finally finds the female it becomes apparent that quite a few others have beaten him to her.
The plumped female enjoys the attention she gets from her suitors in the end she herself will decide who will be allowed to mate with her today the Beavers take the day off to celebrate love beavers stay together for life but before they breed their bond needs to be.
Reasserted they love the ritual and leisurely take their time about it foreign beavers are true aquatic animals and so they make love not on Shore but in the water.
foreign foreign ERG a grass snake slithers out of its egg.
He's no bigger than a large earthworm his tongue leads him to the water dozens of meters below foreign snakes like to eat tadpoles and frogs like to eat baby grass snakes the frog is distracted by something an opportunity for the grass snake to Feast.
On tadpoles thank you the grass snake's tongue smells tastes and leads the way he can stretch his Jaws so that he can swallow large prey whole all right things.
the coot is busy with her newborn she spots a tufted duck approaching her territory and is not amused a coot doesn't tolerate Intruders the tufted duck has got to go and go now Panama in the animal kingdom no one is more.
Aggressive than a protective mother her Young have seen this squabbling before and are confident that no harm will come to them the final battle the coot seems to have the upper hand she holds the tufted duck underwater but.
Then the coot herself appears to be drowning all right then just as suddenly as the battle started calm returns as the sun goes down the rough squabble and the other water Birds scrape a meal together.
They each have their own technique with which to hunt their respective prey the Setting Sun is the starling's cue to flock together they do a little stunt flying before they go to sleep thirty thousand of them all.
thank you it's growing dark in the swamp Forest the animals head for their nests Burrows and flares at the same time other animals wake up they've decided it's best to be active.
At night the tree frogs mating call drowns out all other nocturnal sounds the flooded Forest holds an unexpected delicacy for the rat a muscle but how to open it the European polecat also feels at home in this wet territory.
They like to feed on the forest's other inhabitants just like badges and all this thanks to the beaver the architect of the territory foreign s of the Beaver family have constructed a dam 85 meters long.
As a result a couple of hectares of land have become submerged they created their own Paradise for the entire pool is their home each night the beavers carry out maintenance work to their Dam nothing is left to chance any weak spot is immediately reinforced they're incredibly tenacious.
They don't work fast but they're very meticulous and their work ethic is second to none they drag ignore build and seal for six hours Non-Stop the Beavers won't rest before Dawn the heavily pregnant female has a nice.
Little lie down the young in her belly have other plants in order to keep the Waterworks in pristine condition the beavers have decided to fell a tree it's three nights work the beaver's teeth are rock hard.
The orange enamel contains iron and with each bite its chisels are sharpened why is it that the tastiest bits are always highest up for dinner only the best is good enough cutting down a tree is no mean feat it.
Is a very delicate operation but the beaver has special techniques he can hear for instance when the tree is about to fall he claws away a little more at the back in order to ensure that the tree falls precisely where he wants it foreign.
benefits from the felt tree it provides protection and food for the other animals in this way the beaver brings a whole host of new life to its pool the male sticklebacks need to get to work the females are very fussy and demand an.
Attractiveness that will provide proper protection for their eggs foreign the males collect twigs and algae they dig a hole with their beaks and padded with the algae while the female of their dreams Waits pregnant with eggs foreign.
to reinforce the nest he sticks the algae together with a type of glue that he produces himself he Pats it down glues and Pats it down once more the female is getting on his nerves she refuses to understand that he hasn't.
Time for her at the moment so he chases her off foreign he burrows a tunnel into it this is where the female will lay her eggs if everything is to her satisfaction that is.
Foreign ly invites her to inspect the nest he shows her the entrance by lying on his side as soon as she's inside he Taps on her tail which makes her lay her eggs he then fertilizes them immediately and.
Chases off the female should another female full of eggs pass by he'll offer his attractiveness too sometimes he'll do so as many as four times the male stays by the nest for more than a week he continuously fans fresh water over.
The eggs he neglects himself and when the eggs hatch and his task is over he is hungry and exhausted really young Pikes eat anything that moves and they'll eat all day long they're insatiable feeding machines.
thank you thank you even before this Glutton has finished his roach he sizes up a young stickleback foreign.
Stickler back for nothing but it seems that the pike doesn't know that yet he's a bit stupid because the stickleback has thorny sides too foreign now the little Pike has learned its lesson.
Stickleback is off the menu forever the Delta's refuse collector has arrived it's the crayfish he doesn't actually belong here but he feels quite at home nevertheless it seems he's tasty too here come the spoonbills as if there's been a public announcement.
The crayfish season is now open thank you foreign this landscape was created by humans Once Upon a Time the land was used for.
Agriculture but its soil proved to be the ideal fuel for a rapidly growing population for centuries the peat here has been dredged dried and burnt in stoves this created new lakes and a whole new habitat for the grass snake and a multitude of other Aquatic flora and.
Fauna the baby beavers get swimming lessons they feel instantly at ease in the water with all those Little Nippers in the cramped Lodge the couple's three-year-old son decides it's time to leave home.
thank you early one morning the young beaver sets off on his journey he doesn't know where it will take him a beaver that wants to start his own family has to find his own territory that means traveling many kilometers.
The young beaver swims Upstream everywhere along the River Mass he sees signs of habitation after seven days he finds a spot he likes in a small tributary he starts work on his first Dam that very same night.
A rat is curious to know what this odd stranger is doing but the water is rising and starts to flow faster it's the first test for the new dam all night long the water level rises when it subsides again the dam still stands strong and the young beaver can start work on his lodge.
He has found a place for himself and for now he will stay thank you when it comes to breeding sticklebacks think big there are hundreds of new family members.
Each not half a centimeter long protecting his show is a full-time task for the father foreign busy with his children and rarely has.
Time to eat or rest he is exhausted his task is accomplished his life concluded this is the moment the crayfish has been waiting for how does it may seem in nature nothing goes to waste.
Thank you in six months time the young sticklebacks will start their long journey to Sea where they will stay until they are compelled to return to breed foreign the beavers have reared their young and at the same time created an ideal.
Habitat for countless other animals and plants the sticklebacks live in the beaver pool for six months they are then ready for their great journey to the Sea together they head off Downstream.
Foreign all right finally the sticklebacks smell the salty water it's not far now the current ushers the entire Shoal out.
Through the lock here the water from Brooks and rivers has blended with the sea for millions of years it is the water that has shaped the land it is the water that streams through all life in the Dutch Delta.
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