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Winterwatch | Preview (BBC Two)

Winter is a season of extremes – from frosty mornings and snowy days to grey days of endless drizzle – it can be a tough time of year for us and our wildlife.

With an overarching theme of Resilience and Renewal, Winterwatch will be shining a light on the wildlife and people who battle through this inhospitable season and come out the other side.

BBC Winterwatch is keeping the UK connected to our native wildlife with four nights of live programmes. The series returns to BBC Two from Tuesday 16 January at 8pm for four nights, with nature notes from a raft of the BBC Natural History Unit’s finest wildlife presenters based across the country.

Our weather is often unwelcoming and rarely encouraging but on Winterwatch we’re always determined to bring you the very best of British wildlife and on this series, we’ll be bringing live wildlife from the heart of the UK’s first Super National Nature Reserve - RSPB Arne in Dorset - part of the Purbeck Heaths Super NNR.

The stories of this Winter will be revealed by presenters Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Iolo Williams live from RSPB Arne in Dorset for their first Winterwatch since 2017 whilst Gillian Burke has been at the other end of the UK, the Orkney Isles, to witness the fascinating wildlife that calls the islands home.

The series will also feature wildlife stories that showcase the diversity of our UK habitats and species, stories from passionate people who care for our wildlife and mindfulness moments filmed by the country’s top wildlife camera operators.

In Dorset, Chris, Michaela and Iolo will be exploring a whole host of wildlife, both near to them in the south of England and also stories from further afield in the UK.

Winter is anything but a slow time of year at RSPB Arne. Badgers will still be busying themselves around their setts whilst Arne’s Sika Deer will be recovering from their Autumn rut exertions.

With our carcass cameras, we hope to see the area’s resident pair of White-tailed Eagles and get intimate views of these spectacular birds. A winter feast such as this is unlikely to go unnoticed by other opportunistic scavengers, with Ravens and Foxes very likely to make an appearance too.

We’ll have cameras based on Brownsea Island to check in on its population of Red Squirrels, whilst the surrounding Poole Harbour is an important overwintering site for thousands of wading birds that gather to feed on the invertebrate-rich tidal zones.

Hundreds of Avocet form mesmerising monochrome flocks with a diverse supporting cast of other species such as Redshank, Lapwing, Spoonbills, Egrets and Divers. The area is also a hub for raptor species. As well as the eagles, there’s the chance to see Hen Harriers, Short-eared Owls, Goshawks, Marsh Harriers, Peregrines, Merlins and many more!

Lucy Lapwing will also be back in the macro studio showing Michaela Strachan some of the fascinating bugs that battle through the season.

Winterwatch returns Tuesday 17th January at 8pm on BBC Two.

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