BBC Winterwatch returns to BBC Two from Tuesday January 17th at 8pm, and will deliver an extraordinary double helping of live programmes over two weeks.
The stories of this season will be revealed by presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan, live for their second winter from Wild Ken Hill in Norfolk, whilst Iolo Williams and Gillian Burke will be in one of the UK’s greenest cities - Edinburgh.
Cameras will be trained on a very active wild badger sett in the heart of Edinburgh Zoo whilst in England a multitude of live cameras will focus on the marshland and farmland of northwest Norfolk.
In Norfolk, Chris and Michaela will be exploring a whole host of wildlife, both near to them in the east of England and also stories from further afield in the UK. They will be taking a look at the latest breeding season of Norfolk’s Grey Seal populations as they seemingly go from strength to strength. Michaela will be looking for treasure along Norfolk’s beaches and learning what mermaid’s purses can tell us about the health of our seas.
Chris and Michaela will be uncovering the hidden secrets of the birds that come to our garden feeders over winter. We’ll also be enjoying two super flocks that make Norfolk their home in colder months, as we revel in the pink-footed geese and corvids that put on an epic show when they go to roost.
In Edinburgh, Gillian and Iolo are exploring the thriving urban ecosystem of Scotland’s greenest city. From the ancient volcanic peak of Arthur’s Seat in the heart of the city to the expanses of the Forth Estuary, they will get a privileged view inside our fastest changing habitat.
Here they will also uncover exciting new research along the Water of Leith, Edinburgh’s very own wildlife highway - home to secretive otters and marathon migrating eels - as well as charting the fortunes of a badger clan tucked away in the grounds of Edinburgh Zoo.
Winterwatch 2023 will bring viewers two very different live wildlife hubs and stream live cameras across our digital platforms.
In Norfolk with Chris and Michaela, we’ll be deploying our cameras across the estate’s range of habitat. The winter rains have brought life back to the grazing marsh and the waterfowl and waders will provide a seasonal spectacle. The remote thermal camera will be deployed to bring us incredible scenes, allowing us to watch the behaviour of Wild Ken Hill’s cast of nocturnal characters.
Viewers will see how the beavers maintain their dam in the winter now the water levels have risen and hope that their pond continues to deliver to be the exceptional raptor-fest it’s been for us so far with goshawks, sparrowhawks and buzzards seen regularly.
The bird feeders are sure to be busy throughout too, with an array of garden and farmland birds visiting to see them through the cold. We’ll also run a “mini” carcass camera in the hope we can tempt a hungry weasel or stoat out of hiding.
In Edinburgh we’ll have live cameras trained on a busy wild badger sett in the heart of the zoo. A badger family has been making its home at the zoo for more than a hundred years and we’re hoping to capture footage of these mustelids as they go about their wintery business.
We’ll be witness to all the signs that the badgers are active from their latrines to scratching posts, from the areas they use for social interaction and to seeing the holes they make to increase the sett’s circulation.
Winterwatch returns Tuesday 17th January at 8pm on BBC Two.