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the Springwatch team

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  1. Hope springs eternal

    What a spring it's been here at RSPB Minsmere. We've witnessed drama upon drama in an action-packed three weeks. 

    And while nature has provided us with scenes of suspense, battle and even death, perhaps it's most fitting to end with one of the last moments captured on the 2016 live cameras – our long-awaited sparrowhawk chick having its first ever feed. Welcome to the world, little one...

    Video content

    Video caption: Witness the moment the Sparrowhawk chick gets it's first feed.

    Scroll down this page for reams of wildlife facts, stunning photos and expert analysis. And watch all the best moments of Springwatch 2016 in this handy highlights collection.

    We hope you've enjoyed this spring as much as we have. See you in the autumn for many more wonders from the natural world.  

    Cameraman walking into sunset
  2. And the poo belongs to who?

    Yes even the ever graceful and beautiful swan has to answer the call of nature sometimes! 

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  3. Your best brush strokes

    We've been blown away but your brilliant artwork. Here's a few of our favourites... 

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    Jasmine White's art
    Image caption: Art from Jasmine White
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  4. We have a winner!

    The Drawn to be Wild award goes to Wolfgang and Martin

    So there it is, the beautiful, abstract effort of a sparrowhawk egg, created in tough conditions on Thursday (the Wales vs. England game was on in the background!) by Wolfgang and Martin has taken the top prize.

    With two of them working on it and an artist on the team perhaps it's no huge surprise, but we do think it's a worthy winner of this year's challenge. 

    Sparrohawk egg drawing
    Image caption: No flies in this nest

    And just for fun, here is a selection of some of the others that we have seen the past three weeks... featuring the Good, the Bad, and the downright Ugly!  

    In joint second place were Lliana Bird and Billy Stockwell. Lliana made a 3D masterpiece featuring a woodpecker coming out of a tree, and Billy came prepared with his own paints to create his beautiful piece. 

    Woodpecker picture
    Image caption: In your face
    flower painting
    Image caption: Stay classy

    Will Young really went for it with the spray paints, creating this somewhat abstract scene and a right old mess to boot

    Spray painting
    Image caption: Migrating south
    Will Young with paint on his hands
    Image caption: Feeling blue

    The Young'uns were at the top of the leaderboard for a long time with this effort featuring Lapwings, which tied in nicely with the beautiful song that they recorded for us exclusively on the reserve.

    Lapwing drawing
    Image caption: Two birds are better than one

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    Video caption: The Young'uns: Song for the Lapwing

    In week two, Georgia Locock and Martyn Ware both chose bold colours and abstract shapes for their challenge. Georgia chose to portray her beloved swifts, and Martyn went for a parents eye-view of a gaping chick. 

    Swift painting
    Image caption: A swift effort
    picture of a chick
    Image caption: In my face

    And lastly, and very much at the bottom of the table (in fact, off the bottom and on the floor), was Ed Byrne. He felt inspired to attempt a picture of one of our camera vehicles... and Chris Packham felt inspired to pull it apart and consign it to the rubbish heap! Bad luck Ed.... but it was pretty bad! 

    picture of a tv camera
    Image caption: No words
  5. My favourite moment: the amazing guests

    Joseph Fenton

    Researcher, Springwatch Unsprung

    My highlight of the series has been the amazing guests on Unsprung. From pop star Will Young to the Hive designer Wolfgang Butress and his collaborative partner Dr Martin Bencsik.

    The range of people we have had on, and their enthusiasm towards nature, has been both surprising and reassuring. With a new slot and new spin on the old Unsprung, it was a joy to hear our viewers joining in with the debate and making a change.

  6. It's never been easier to Do Something Great

    So you want to make your garden wildlife-friendly, but you're not sure if you have the space? Don't worry - you can make pond worth of a froggy prince with just a few basic materials.

    Grab a tin bucket, sand, pebbles, plant pots, some water-friendly plants and a few rocks or slates, and assemble as shown in the video below - and don't forget, you should only fill your new aquatic home with rainwater.

    And if you do get into that garden start exploring and do a bioblitz - record all the species you find and send your data in to the Wildlife Trust! 

    Video content

    Video caption: Do Something Great: Make a mini garden pond.
  7. What do you think of George's challenge?

    The Drawn to be Wild art challenge continues. The oak leaves didn't really cut it for Chris! 

    Leaf painting
    Image caption: Fallen Leaves