Springwatch stars Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham reveal the wildlife they’re hoping to spot in the new series…

BBC2’s ever-joyous Springwatch is back for three weeks of live TV (showing Monday to Friday on BBC2 at 8pm). This being live telly, pretty much anything can go wrong – and a certain part of us loves it when it does (sorry Springwatch).

Here we talked to presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan, who reveal which species they’re keeping a special eye out for this year when Springwatch returns to Sherborne Park Estate in the Cotswolds for one last Watch…

Chris Packham

Chris Packham is ready for a festival of wildlife

Raptures

Michaela says: “Sherborne has been a great place for raptors so hopefully we’ll get a lot more this year. It’s a place we’ve very familiar with so it’s great to go back and see what’s happened with the wildlife we’ve been following all year.
Chris says: Yes, last year we had our rapture festival and we’re hoping for some new raptures this year. But obviously we can’t give any guarantees…”

Badgers

Badger, looking cute in the wild

Michaela says: “We were really disheartened last Spring when we tried so hard and hardly saw them. Then we saw loads in Autumn and Winterwatch. I think that’s the lesson we’ve learned – you can’t give up; you’ve got to keep trying!”

Chris: “Our cameras allow us a privileged insight into the lives of animals that you couldn’t see in a lifetime of watching just by yourself.”

Bats

Bat in flight in UK

Chris: “They’re preforming brilliantly. There were extraordinary scenes in the bat roost in Winterwatch so you never know – that’s the joy of it really! Springwatch is a festival of wildlife. Over the three weeks it gains momentum and you become really involved with the characters and take them to heart – or not, as the case may be!”

Farmland birds

Chris says: “We’re concentrating more on farmland birds like yellow hammers, buntings, jackdaws and kestrels this year. Nationwide our farmland birds are in big trouble and suffering more than any others. On the Estate there are a couple of farmers who are putting a lot of effort into encouraging these species. It highlights how you can farm alongside wildlife if you take a little bit more care.”

Otters

Otters on the bank of the river Trent, East Yorkshire, UK - Jul 2017

Chris: “We’ve put our cameras out [on Windrush River] but it’s a lottery. That’s why it’s really exiting when we get them.”

Michaela says: “The wildlife really writes the story in Springwatch. Sometimes we get our most interesting stories out of something we think is standard stuff but suddenly becomes the highlight of the series.”

Peregrine

Chris says: “The peregrines in Salisbury Cathedral are doing really well. Our tagged female is still there and another male and female have turned up so there’s a lot of friction taking place. Our camera is in place and it will be interesting to see how it pans out!”

Michaela says: “Springwatch is my favourite Watch because everything’s a surprise. Every year we make a plan and it completely changes!”

Badger pic: Design Pics Inc/REX/Shutterstock. Bat pic: Malcolm Schuyl/FLPA/imageBROKER/