NATURE show Winterwatch will be hosting its latest series at a Dorset nature reserve next week. 

The BBC show starring Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan will be broadcast live from RSPB Arne in Purbeck starting on Tuesday, January 16. 

The series, first launched in 2005 by Bill Oddie and Kate Humble, will be returning to the nature reserve after its stint with Springwatch last year. 

Dante Munns, RSPB area manager for Dorset, said the charity is “really excited” to welcome back the BBC show to Arne. 

She added: “We’re delighted that audiences will now be able to discover winter at RSPB Arne from the warmth and comfort of their sofas.  

Bournemouth Echo: Winterwatch teamWinterwatch team

“We hope this series will demonstrate how resilient our wildlife has to become during these colder months, where daily survival becomes so much harder for them. 

“The series will be aiming to show that this time of year is anything but quiet with cameras poised to capture some of the amazing flocks of waders spending winter in this area of the south coast, from avocets to golden plovers, black-tailed godwits and spoonbills.  

“They’ll also be on the lookout for raptors, hoping to glimpse the magnificent white-tailed eagles featured during Springwatch, as well as hen harriers, goshawks, short-eared owls and marsh harriers, along with sightings of Arne’s sika deer, badgers and foxes.” 

Naturalist Chris Packham said: “There’s always this lingering misconception that winter is a time of death and decay, where everything has hibernated or migrated, and it couldn’t be further from the truth, there’s always an enormous amount of activity. 

“Practically, there are no leaves on the trees. It makes it easier to see some species. We get an enormous influx of waders and waterfowl from further north in Europe.  

“Poole Harbour, Brownsea Lagoon, and the estuary areas around Arne itself will be filled full of those migrant birds. 

“We probably won’t see some species which 20 years ago, 30, 40 years ago would have been quite common in that area because it would have been much colder further north in Europe, but it isn’t this year. So that will that will have an impact. So we’ll be able to discuss that as well.” 

Welsh ornithologist Iolo Williams, joining the team, said he is happy to be back at Arne, somewhere the show hasn’t been since 2017. 

He said: “We can look forward to seeing Arne at its brilliant best. Winter in and around Arne is a fantastic time.  

“Some of the summer highlights are not there, the nightjars have gone back down to Africa. A lot of the reptiles will have disappeared underground into hibernation.

“But the shallow lagoons and the harbour there just comes into its own now because it’ll be alive with thousands of waders and wildfowl. And that’s what I’m looking forward to seeing more than anything else.”