Winterwatch 2022 is additional particular this 12 months as a result of it is the primary time the present shall be broadcast stay from three of our house nations within the winter months.
Over the following two weeks, the BBC2 present will see Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan again at Wild Ken Hill in West Norfolk. In the meantime, Iolo Williams shall be on the Isle of Mull in Scotland and Chris’ step-daughter, Megan McCubbin shall be primarily based at Fortress Espie Wetland Centre in Northern Eire.
Right here in an unique interview Chris, 60, tells us what fantastic wildlife we will anticipate to see from the staff’s respective bases, what topical points they’re going to be protecting, and which species to be searching for this winter…
Are you happy that ‘Winterwatch’ 2022 shall be broadcast stay from three totally different nations this 12 months?
Chris: “Sure, we’re all actually enthusiastic about that. Fortress Espie in Northern Eire is a unbelievable reserve and due to its location will get totally different birds migrating from locations like Greenland and Canada. Scotland has so many what we name ‘specialised’ species like pine martens, wildcats and golden eagles. And Norfolk is one other wildlife hotspot with winter migrants, like enormous flocks of geese, coming in from Scandinavia and Russia.”
What wildlife will you be retaining an eye fixed out for?
“I’ll be trustworthy and say Winterwatch is the toughest of all of the watches as a result of we’re broadcasting after darkish so for the stay ingredient of the present we’re principally nocturnal animals. To take the stress off, we’ve had cameras out since earlier than Christmas recording animals in varied places gathering a library of fabric. These cameras will proceed to choose up exercise from the day and night time which we will then present viewers in our stay exhibits.”
“In Northern Eire we’ve bought a digital camera on an egret roost so we’ll have the ability to present individuals the exercise occurring there. We’ve additionally put a digital camera up near an otter holt. Otters are usually not essentially the most dependable creatures so we get very excited once we see them. In Scotland we’ve bought cameras on carcasses, ’Carcass cams’, the place we put roadkill out to draw birds like ravens, buzzards and eagles.”
What topical points will you be protecting within the present?
“Considered one of them shall be hen flu. We’ve seen it ravaging our wild hen populations and inflicting issues for poultry too. We’ll be getting the updated science on why it’s been such a devastating 12 months for that. We’ll even be how local weather change and the hotter winters are impacting our wildlife. Everyone knows simply how heat December was, it broke information. All of us touch upon it however nature has to truly take care of it.”
Which animals are you enthusiastic about seeing on ‘Winterwatch’ 2022?
“Michaela and I shall be having a look at a bunch of polecats that stay down the coast from our base in Norfolk. Polecats are fairly cute wanting. They’ve beautiful white spectacles round their eyes however you would not wish to take one on if you happen to have been a rat or a mouse. They’re actually necessary in our ecosystem for managing rodent populations which is their principal meals.”
“The place Iolo goes to be on the Isle Of Mull there’s a lot wonderful wildlife to see. There are two species of eagle, the golden eagle and the white-tailed eagle and other people journey to Scotland from all around the world to see them.”
“We’re additionally wanting ahead to seeing some owls too. For tawny owls that is the busiest time of the 12 months. They’re very vocal now as a result of they’re pairing up earlier than they begin to breed. Barn owls will nest any time of the 12 months in order that they’re continuously lively and also you see them looking within the daylight in winter.”
What are a number of the particular options you are going to be operating this ‘Winterwatch’ 2022?
“Considered one of them shall be rockpools. Rockpools are nice as a result of you’ll be able to see an entire vary of species, every little thing from crustaceans, to fish, anemones, sponges, sea slugs, and algae as nicely. They’re an actual hive of exercise within the winter. When the tide goes out it is like a recreation of cover and look for all of the birds that wish to make the most of them. You see birds like turnstones on the lookout for shrimps and small crabs. You have bought oyster catchers taking mussels and curlews on the lookout for worms and bigger crabs.”
“Crows are notably good. They’re going to go down on the seashore, discover mussels, fly up into the air with them after which drop them again down on the stones to interrupt them open. Typically they even put them within the highway and watch for a automobile to drive over it to crack them open, then they’re going to sprint again out and eat them.”
Winterwatch 2022 begins on Tuesday 18 January on BBC2 at 8pm.
Stay cameras shall be streaming for 12 hours a day from Norfolk, the Isle of Mull and WWT Fortress Espie in Northern Eire.
You’ll be able to tune in on BBC YouTube, iPlayer or at www.bbc.co.uk/winterwatch to see a number of further content material.