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Live Updates

By the Winterwatch team

All times stated are UK

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  1. The ultimate Winterwatch chill out

    You can relive all the best moments from Winterwatch with a wonderful selection of wintery wildlife clips.

    There are also four episodes of Wrapped Up, our daily round up of all the activity here at Arne.

    We'll be back in spring for three weeks of natural splendour. We can't wait. But for now, it's all about finding a warming fireside after a week in a freezing production barn!

    We will leave you with four minutes of pure wildlife and the beauty of Arne... see you in a few months, Watchers.

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    Video caption: Enjoy four minutes of Winterwatch wildlife and beautiful scenery.
  2. Winterwatch buffet

    Some of the guests have no manners at all

    Here's a little film for you blog watchers only – thanks for scrolling. 

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    Video caption: Meet the guests at the Winterwatch buffet

    Stay in touch with the Watches all year round on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr

  3. Winter where you are

    Winterwatch on CBBC


    Here at CBBC we've been asking our viewers to send us their wintery photos in celebration of Winterwatch. Here are just a few; you can see the full gallery on the CBBC website.

    A girl holding her hands together to make a heart shape, in front of a sunrise.
    Image caption: Ellie loves to go on frosty morning walks, and takes photographs as she goes!
    Two children on a frosty walk.
    Image caption: Daniel and Amelie enjoying a wintery walk at RSPB Pulborough
    A girl standing gazing out over some hills during sunset.
    Image caption: This is Georgia on a sunny but very cold day in Northern Ireland
  4. Top birds to spot this winter

    Don't forget to keep your eyes out this weekend

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    Our friends at the Woodland Trust have put together a list of the top 15 birds you can spot this winter.

    Have you seen any of them yet? It also has handy tips on where to find them.

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  5. Badger noises

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    Video caption: We asked you to come up with a name for the sound of badgers fighting

    Out of all the questions we've ever asked, this is the most weird and wonderful set of answers we have ever had. Here are just a few of the many.

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  6. No reptiles were harmed in the making of this tank film

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    Before Martin rode in on his tank, the area was surveyed for hibernating reptiles several times before it was cleared for demolition.

    Arne is one of the few places in Britain that has all six species of our native reptile. These are the common lizard, sand lizard, slow worm, adder, grass snake and the smooth snake. 

    The smooth snake is rare in the UK and can only be found on heaths in south and south east England. Fortunately, they are doing well here at Arne. 

    Heathland is great for reptiles. Its well drained soils keep them warm and dry as they bask in the sun. As lowland heath mostly occurs in the south  of England, the climate is generally warmer. This is important for reptiles which need heat from the sun to warm up and stay active. 

    The heathland's warm soils are particularly important for sand lizards, who lay their eggs in sand and loose soil, often along the edges of footpaths. 

    Although reptile sightings are generally associated with summer, there have already been reported adder sightings in the south of England this year.

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  7. Update: Freya the golden eagle

    The Springwatch golden eagle chick is spreading her wings

    We first met Freya during Springwatch when she hatched from her egg in the Scottish Highlands. 

    In the summer Chris went to help the team satellite tag and ring her but how is she surviving her first winter?

    Well, she's not strayed far from the nest, patrolling the skies within a 20 mile radius. Come spring, she should start extending her range. We will continue to follow her...

    Freya on her nest.
    Image caption: Freya on her nest
  8. Winter on the Hoo

    A portrait of a landscape

    Over Christmas, cameraman Richard Taylor Jones left the warm fireside and headed out for two days of frost and fog to document the landscape and the wildlife of the Hoo Peninsula.

    Filming a frosty sunrise on the Hoo.
    Image caption: Filming a frosty sunrise
    Filming a frosty sunrise on the Hoo.
    Image caption: The fog descends

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    Video caption: Cameraman Richard Taylor Jones meets the winter wildlife of the Hoo.
  9. #ColdSnaps

    Brrrrrrrrilliant pictures people!

    We love seeing your cold snaps so do keeping sharing them with us. 

    The quality and quantity of the pictures we have been sent over the last week has bowled the team away. There have been more sent than we can share but here are some of our favourites...

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  10. Forecast for the wintery weekend ahead

    Nick Miller

    BBC Weather

    The Winter Gate, Wales
    Image caption: The Winter Gate, Wales

    Look out for the unexpected in the garden this weekend if you’re taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, especially in those parts of the UK that have been so cold recently. The temperature in parts of England didn’t get above freezing today and the cold could be bringing some unusual visitors to your bird feeders such as redpolls and siskins.

    There is a change in the weather on the way as we go into the weekend. Those areas that have been so cold will turn milder and all parts will see some wet weather at times, either in the form of showers on Saturday or rain in southern areas of the UK on Sunday.

    Looking ahead to the rest of  winter, the first half of February looks quite unsettled with spells of wet and windy weather. Whilst being generally quite mild, it could still be on the cold side at times in southeast England. There is a chance that colder weather will return more widely in late February so you if you feel you haven’t had your proper share of winter weather yet, keep a close on eye on developments!

  11. Help your garden birds this weekend

    Feeding your garden birds doesn't need the big bucks. Why not use this handy guide to create your own recycled bird feeder. 

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  12. RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

    This weekend!

    Image caption: Take part in the world's largest citizen science survey

    You can help out our friends at the RSPB by joining the Big Garden Birdwatch from 28 to 30 January. Last year, more than 519,000 people all over the UK counted an incredible 8,262,662 birds.

    You can find out how to get involved and request a bird-watching pack on the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch website.

  13. Tail in a tangle

    A tiny bird with big tail problems

    Winterwatch cameraman Pete was filming a small flock of long tailed tits in the woodland here at RSPB Arne when the one in the film below got its tail caught. It reminded us of when you get your coat caught as you walk past a door. 

    Luckily it didn't hold it back for too long and with a little bit of yoga-like contortions it managed to extracted itself.

    Long tailed tits are very used to manhandling their tails in awkward situations. Their tiny nests are too small for their long tails forcing them to fold it behind them as you can just about see in the picture below.

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    Video caption: Winterwatch 2017 - Long tailed tit gets its tail stuck in a tree!
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  14. Bird feeder experiment

    The results are in....

    Earlier in the week we asked you which coloured food you thought the birds would prefer, red, blue or natural?

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    Chris thought that they would like the red feed as many birds eat red berries at this time of year.    

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    But it turns out they didn't like the red at all. This might be because many of the birds on our feeders are insect eaters, and red insects are usually poisonous.

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    One of our viewers has already carried out a similar experiment and found that birds prefer natural and blue feeds. Impressive stuff, George!

  15. Firebrats in the cellar

    Firebrats are similar to the silverfish that you sometimes find in damp bathrooms. But unlike their silver cousins, these guys love the heat and are often found near boilers and furnaces.

    At  between one and four months of age, the female firebrat begins to lay eggs, but only if the temperature is right (32–41°C). They can lay up to 6,000 eggs in a lifetime of around three to five years.  

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    Video caption: A lesson in love for the firebrats in the cellar
  16. The Arne fox pecking order

    Chris and Michaela discuss the behaviour and pecking order of the Arne foxes

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    Video caption: Chris and Michaela discuss the behaviour and pecking order of the Arne foxes

    And meet our new fox...

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    Fox chart
    Image caption: Chris explains who's top dog in the fox group (AKA Carcass Crew)
  17. Tracking the gorse

    Before and after

    Gorse covered ground before the tank
    Image caption: Gorse covered ground before the tank

    Gorse can be great for wildlife but left to its own devices it can easily dominate to the detriment of diversity.

    So to manage the heathland gorse, the team at RSPB Arne are trying something different to rid the ground of the tough gorse roots and give other young colonising plants a chance.

    A tank is a rather novel way of dealing with the problem but it seems to be working, pulling up the tough roots with ease. 

    Within minutes of the tank leaving, birds like the robin and meadow pipit pictured below were picking over the fresh earth. 

    After the tank has passed - clear ground with Gorse roots lifted.
    Image caption: After the tank has passed - clear ground with gorse roots lifted
    A Robin picking over the freshly turned ground.
    Image caption: A robin picking over the freshly turned ground
    A meadow pipit picking over the freshly turned ground.
    Image caption: A meadow pipit picking over the freshly turned ground
  18. Roots Manoeuvre?

    Witness the.. tank dig up some gorse bushes

    Danger Tanks
    Image caption: Look out! Martin's got a new conservation trick up his sleeve

    Tonight, Martin took on a rather noisy mission. Tanks are used here at Arne to break down the thick, spiny gorse bushes as well as turn up the soil, allowing scarce plants to grow.

    Martin in tank
    Image caption: Martin is most definitely on a mission...
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