Last night saw the final #Winterwatch broadcast live all week from our fog-swathed RSPB Arne. RSPB's Jamie Wyver shares the Top Ten Wild Facts he learnt from episode four - so for the last time...Lights, Camera, Action! 
The fog which had been clinging to the Arne peninsula for most of the week finally lifted in time for the last Winterwatch show of the series. And what a show! We had bickering badgers, elusive Eurasian cranes, and the resurrection of Robo-Spoonbill.
Photo 1: Robo-Spoony by Terry Bagley
So, what did we learn tonight? Here are my top ten facts!
(1) Barn owls can’t hunt in wet weather including fog, which quickly dampens their soft feathers. They need to eat three to four voles a day, so foggy days without hunting are very bad for them.

Photo 2: Flying barn owl by John Bridges (
(2) The bite force quotient (a measurement of the force of an animal’s bite relative to its body mass) of a badger is 109. That’s stronger than a leopard at 93 -ouch!
Photo 3: Badger by Ben Andrew (
(3) RSPB crane man Damon Bridge took Chris to RSPB West Sedgemoor in search of roosting cranes. Cranes will roost with their feet in water, which gives them some protection from ground predators.
Photo 3: Crane in water
(4) Although Chris and Damon didn’t see the cranes (although they heard that amazing bugling call) they did witness thousands of other birds.The Somerset Levels are home to over 10% of the country’s teal, wigeon and shoveler.
Photo 4: Shoveler
(5) Poole harbour, one of the world’s largest natural harbours, has hosted an incredible 327 bird species!
(6) New science suggests that spoobills may be using their sensitive bills to detect vibrations in the water, enabling them to grab their prey in murky water.
Photo 5: Spoonbils by Terry Bagley
(7) Hedgehogs generally need to weigh half a kilo to survive the winter. 
Photo 6: Hedgehog by Ben Andrew (
(8) Tanks can help conservation! They are great for getting rid of big thick gorse roots, so that new growth can start. The new plant growth is great for RSPB Arne’s rarer inhabitants like smooth snake, sand lizard and tiger beetle. Martin congratulated the RSPB’s Mark Singleton for coming up with the idea of turning a weapon of war into a tool for conservation.

Photo 7: Tank by Pete Exley
(9) It’s always exciting to be introduced to an animal you’ve never heard of, and it was great to meet the cellar-dwelling firebrat. They’ve been around for 400 million years, before we even had cellars…
(10) In the great Winterwatch bird food experiment the birds clearly preferred the non-coloured food. These generally insect-eating birds stayed away from the red food as red is a warning colour in the natural world. The blue feeder had some success, and it was thought that this is something to do with birds being able to see a greater range of colours than we can, with blue at the middle of their spectrum.

Photo 8: Blue tit by Terry Bagley
Overall this has been a really enjoyable series with so many interesting stories to follow. It’s been fantastic to have the Watches team back at Arne and we hope to welcome them to one of our reserves again soon!

Photo 9: Winterwatch Crew by Terry Bagley