Due to delayed implantation, Badgers will be giving birth towards the end of January and into February. Lots of fresh bedding will be taken into the breeding chamber and will need to be regularly changed with the presence of cubs. February sees a high percentage of Badger casualties on the roads as the sows having given birth, will soon be ready to mate again. The boars therefore are busy defending territories.
Great Crested Grebes begin their elaborate courtship in the form of head shaking, neck arching, followed by both diving for weed and then performing the "weed dance" both grebes tread water and rise like penguins with beaks full of weed and more head shaking. Song Thrushes can be heard singing out their distinctive tunes from high vantage points. Rooks can be seen collecting twigs and carrying them to their nest sites, high up in the bare trees.
Gorse is alive with colour at this time of year, English Yew trees are full of pollen and tiny violets add some colour to the garden.
Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Brimstone are generally the first butterflies to emerge on warm sunny days this month, coming out of hibernation to feed on early flowers. keep a look out for queen Bumblebees flying too. In coniferous woodlands, you might spot large ant hills constructed of twigs, leaf-stalks and pine needles. Built by southern wood ants, these mounds can be quite a size, it is this month the ants themselves begin to emerge and can be seen in trails to their favorite feeding trees or linking nests.