In the latest Spy series from the BBC, wildlife producer John Downer has hidden cameras once again to film how a variety of animals cope in the snow. Narrated by David Tennant, this Spy episode reveals how a beautiful winter wonderland can actually pose real challenges to the animals that need to live there.
It’s not the only natural history programme airing that day – episode one of Cities: Nature’s New Wild is also airing on Sunday 30 December, at 9pm on BBC Two.
Watch the trailer for Spy in the Snow
Which animals and Spy Creatures are in this episode?
The world’s cleverest bird, and the only alpine parrot, the kea lives in the southern Alps of New Zealand. These remarkable birds are very cautious about Spy Kea, who is there to film their social gatherings, and are intrigued by SnowballCam.
Wallaby (and wombat)
In the mountains of Tasmania, Bennett’s wallabies are joined by Spy Wallaby. Like all the Spies, Spy Wallaby needs to be accepted by the creatures it is watching – which turns out to include bare-nosed wombats as well, whose strong claws allow it to unearth hidden roots.
We meet sea otters in Alaska, and Spy Otter. Overcoming their shyness, the real otters are intrigued by the Spy and we get an insight into their world.
Using the latest drone technology, Spy Eagle provides aerial coverage of the sea otters and their courtship behaviours, including some alarming behaviour by a dominant male towards a female and her young pup.
In the Antarctic, emperor penguins are spied upon by a variety of cameras including one that toboggans! The Spy Creatures capture a range of fascinating penguin behaviours, including what the adult penguins without chicks get up to. Watch a clip of penguin chicks facing a giant petrel.
In the Arctic, the cameras wait patiently for a mother polar bear and her cub to emerge from their den. Snowball Cam proves to be of interest to the polar bears, and the resulting clips are wonderful to watch. Watch a clip on the Spy in the Snow website.