Springwatch 2016: a hatching sparrowhawk, a brave mother stoat and a jazzy shirt ensured the series went out with a bang


Thursday night saw the last episode of Springwatch for the year. It's been an emotional three weeks of nature with Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games, along with all the fluffy friends we've met along the way.

To ensure the series went out with a bang, Chris wore his jazziest shirt yet. Wonder what inspired this black and white number?

The talk of the episode was our sparrowhawk friend, who finally got to see the fruits of her labour as the first of her five eggs hatched.

Her tiny fluffy chick was captured getting his first glimpse of the world on Springwatch's nest cameras, and viewers were thrilled.

Two more eggs have cracks in. Sparrowhawks don't want all their eggs to catch at once, they like to have different sized offspring so that if there is a shortage of food, the smallest and weakest will die quickly. It sounds savage, but it means that there is less fighting over food and it maximises the chances of a number of little ones surviving.

In other less morbid news, we were all delighted to see a gang of baby stoats happily romping about.

Lots of viewers enjoyed the sprightly youngsters, whose impressive mother went the extra mile to look after her young.

They may look fluffy and cute now, but those babies will be making their own kills in just a matter of weeks.

For a moment we thought that we might witness yet another Springwatch tragedy when a sly adder approached the nightingale nest. But just as we prepared ourselves for heartbreak, the brave mother of the nest struck out and defended her chicks.

It was a moving end to an emotional series. We're not crying, it's just hayfever.

That's it until next time everyone, see you on Twitter for Autumnwatch.