Tomorrow evening, BBC TWO, 8pm, the BBC return to RSPB Arne - this time to broadcast Winterwatch live from our stunning Dorset reserve. RSPB Arne is one of the most wildlife rich reserves in the UK and it proved a big hit with Autumnwatch viewers (hopefully that included you!) back in October 2016.

Winterwatch is the perfect opportunity for us to share with you  the beautiful seasonal changes that have occurred in both the landscape and wildlife of RSPB Arne over the last couple of months. For over 50 years the RSPB, our members and our partners across Purbeck have given nature a home in this special place and we can't wait to inspire even more viewers, of all ages, to give nature a home where they live too.

It's also really exciting to guess which wild stars of Winterwatch will steal the limelight! There's a whole host of new furry and feathered wild celebs practicing their best pouts in the wings right now! But the best news is...Robo-spoony is back by popular demand and this time, he’s bringing a robotic friend!

Photo by Terry Bagley

Winterwatch will also visit many of the sites in the Isle of Purbeck (of which RSPB Arne is part), which is an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) as well as Brownsea Island, looked after by the National Trust and the Dorset Wildlife Trust

The BBC have kindly given us a sneak peak of some of the highlights Winterwatch may include...

Visual Feast: With cameras on an array of different coloured bird feeders, Winterwatch hopes to conduct their own fun experiment to see if garden birds are attracted to a particular colour of feeder first.     

Studio Owl: Barn owls share the same buildings on the farm as the BBC studios. These owls are well used to the RSPB’s farming activities at Arne Farm and there was no impact on their behaviour during BBC Autumnwatch – in fact the owl was a regular visitoron set. So for Winterwatch, cameras have been hidden in the studio to see if they can film our friendly resident as he/she comes and goes on his/her evening hunting trips.

Photo by Terry Bagley

Woodland Waterhole: The Winterwatch team have discovered a woodland watering hole at RSPB Arne that could be a winter destination for an array of different wildlife. No one knows who congregates there so during the show we’re hoping to find out with a hidden camera monitoring activity round the clock. It could be a meeting place for Sika deer, badgers, foxes, and many more residents of the reserve.

Return of Robo (and friend): Viewers of Autumnwatch 2016 will remember fondly Robo-spoonbill – the robotic spoonbill fitted with a hidden camera. He’s back by popular demand for winter when even more wading birds are expected on the RSPB Arne mudflats. And in January Robo will be joined by a friend – decoy duck cam. Whilst our spoonbill films the overwintering waders from the shoreline, our duck cam will float out on the water, bringing a new perspective to this busy winter wildlife area.

In addition the presenters will also be out and about in Dorset looking at some of the winter spectacles including:

Hibernating Butterflies: Where do butterflies go in winter?  Gillian Burke will travel to some abandoned military pillboxes in Studland, Dorset to find out.

Avocets: In winter the shallow waters of Poole Harbour are a huge draw for waders – particularly avocets that come in huge flocks. But why? Martin Hughes-Games gets extremely muddy to try and understand how the delicate balance of the mud and tides in the harbour affects the overwintering success of the birds – and uncovers an incredible revelation...

The team here at RSPB Arne can’t wait to welcome back Chris, Michaela and Martin – there are so many more wild stories that we'd love to share with you, we’re really excited to have another opportunity to help youdiscover this unique and special part of Dorset.

RSPB Arne will be open as usual throughout broadcast week and our friendly team will be on-hand to welcome visitors and help them experience the full Winterwatch magic.

We're also dead chuffed that photographer Terry Bagley (our official Autumnwatch photographer) has agreed to You can keep up-to-date with all of the Winterwatch news, stories, photos  and back-stage goss, at:

Facebook: facebook.com/RSPBEastDorset

Twitter: @RSPBArne

Website: rspb.org.uk/arne

To find out more about photographer Terry Bagley, click here

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