Peregrine falcons and rival ravens go beak to beak in the latest series of Springwatch

An epic battle is about to play out on TV over the next few weeks. It’s not cops against robbers or soap characters at war, but a tale of rival birds that will unfold at Corfe Castle in Dorset. 

As BBC2’s flagship wildlife series Springwatch swoops back onto our screens for its 20th series, bank on fireworks when two species cross talons near the show’s base at RSPB Arne. 

‘It could be the drama of the series, peregrines versus ravens!’ says veteran host Chris Packham.

His co-host Michaela Strachan explains why. ‘We’re really excited about having cameras on a peregrine nest at the castle. 

‘There’s also a raven nest there so it will be interesting to see the interactions between the birds.’

Springwatch will have cameras set up at nest for ravens on the show and are interested in seeing the interactions between different species 

A Peregrine falcon sitting on a rock. Springwatch says they are excited about having cameras set up by their nests

A Peregrine falcon sitting on a rock. Springwatch says they are excited about having cameras set up by their nests 

Springwatch retains the ability to shock viewers. ‘Last year we saw extraordinary things, with our nightjars eating their own young,’ says Chris. 

‘No one’s been able to explain what was going on there, but that’s great because we love mysteries in natural history.’

The potential clash of the birds is one of many stories Springwatch will tell over the next three weeks. 

Iolo Williams, back on the series after missing last year’s following a heart attack, will investigate key wildlife sites across Dorset, looking at little terns nesting on Chesil Beach and dormice snoozing in woodland. 

Chris and Michaela will report on developments from the 30-plus cameras posted around RSPB Arne. All native reptile species can be found in Dorset, as can majestic sika deer and rare birds like Dartford warblers.

There’s a story about puffin conservation too – telling how new legislation banning the industrial fishing of sand eels (a vital food source for puffins) will help the bird’s numbers bounce back. 

‘We’re going to be filming some puffin nests on the coast,’ says Michaela. ‘It’s incredibly exciting that something so big has been done to help them.’

The series will also crown the winners of its first Wildlife Hero Awards from 1,750 nominations

of people doing amazing conservation work. ‘We want to show people that anyone can make a difference,’ says Michaela. ‘We can all be wildlife heroes.’

And Chris says we can all expect the unexpected from the series. ‘We can guarantee that we’ll see something we haven’t seen before – that always happens!’

Springwatch, Monday-Wednesday, 8pm & Friday, 7.30pm, BBC2.