As the days lengthen in February, there are many signs of Spring and new life. Birds are engaged in energetic courtship display, some of the most spectacular involving ducks and mute swans. Grey herons return to their nest colonies and are busy collecting twigs to rebuild their nests. Meanwhile around the UK's coasts, wader flocks build up to peak numbers on estuaries and bays. February is also a good month to spot flocks of snow buntings, feeding on shorelines and saltings. With snow on the ground, especially in upland areas, tracks make elusive species such as the otter easier to locate, while squirrels and voles must actively forage to survive. In woodlands and hedgerows the first wildflowers emerge, and both hazel and willow catkins can be seen, while more moths are on the wing and fungi such as the scarlet elf cup decorate the forest floor.
Andy Sands / Short Eared Owl (Asio flammeus) perching on fence post in evening sunlight. Lincolnshire, England, UK, February.
Simon Colmer / Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) flowering, Brighton, Sussex, UK. February
Guy Edwardes / 2020VISION / A large flock (murmuration) of Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) coming in to roost at Shapwick, Somerset Levels, Somerset, England, UK, February 2011
Andy Sands / Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) perching among Cotoneaster berries. Hertfordshire, England, UK, February.
Ross Hoddinott / Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) flowering on woodland floor. Snowdrop Valley, near Wheddon Cross, Exmoor National Park, Somerset, UK, February.
David Tipling / 2020VISION / Barn Owl (Tyto alba) female hunting over grazing marsh, Burnham Overy, Norfolk, UK, February. Did you know? During flight, the left ear of the barn owl captures sounds below while the right ear focuse...
Fergus Gill / Goosander (Mergus merganser) male displaying as part of pair bonding ritual in late winter. River Tay. Scotland, February
Peter Cairns / 2020VISION / Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) perched on boulder, camouflaged against snow in winter plumage, Cairngorms NP, Highlands, Scotland, UK, February
Peter Cairns / Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) on a snowy rock. Scotland, UK, February.
Peter Cairns / Mountain hare (Lepus timidus) on horizon, camouflaged in winter coat on snow, Scotland, UK, February
Paul Hobson / Bewick's swan (Cygnus columbianus bewickii) flying across a full moon, UK, February 2011
David Tipling / Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) among flock of roosting Knot (Calidris canutus). Snettisham RSPB Reserve, The Wash, Norfolk, February
Nigel Bean / Cheddar Gorge after snowfall. Somerset, UK, February 2009.
Peter Cairns / 2020VISION / Three Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) perched on rock, camouflaged against snow in winter plumage, Cairngorms NP, Highlands, Scotland, UK, February
Alex Hyde / The Wool Packs, an area of weathered gritstone boulders. Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, UK, February 2010.
Andrew Parkinson / Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) male in flight over snow covered Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland, February. ~ (non-ex)
Peter Cairns / 2020VISION / Silhouette of Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) perched on rock against winter sun, Cairngorms NP, Highlands, Scotland, UK, February. Photographer quote: 'At -20c and with fog rolling across the mountain...
Andrew Parkinson / Song thrush (Turdus philomelos) foraging on snow covered ground. Derbyshire, UK, February (non-ex)
Fergus Gill / Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus), cock bird in winter. Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, February
Peter Cairns / 2020VISION / Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) male displaying in pine forest in snow, Scotland, UK, February
Peter Cairns / 2020VISION / Rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) female in flight in winter plumage, Cairngorms NP, Highlands, Scotland, UK, February. 2020VISION Book Plate.
Peter Cairns / Coal Tits (Periparus ater) on feeder in winter. Glenfeshie, Scotland, February.
Alan Williams / Willow Tit (Poecile montanus) perched on a branch. Staffordshire, UK, February.
Alan Williams / Blue tit (Parus caeruleus) perched on twig with catkins, Essex, UK, February
Andy Sands / Blue tit (Parus caeruleus) perched among Pussy willow, West Sussex, England, UK
Andrew Parkinson / Robin (Erithacus rubecula) perched on a snow covered branch, Mid Wales, UK, February.
Peter Cairns / Robin (Erithacus rubecula) perched on snowy twig. Glenfeshie, Scotland, February.
Fergus Gill / Yellowhammers (Emberiza citrinella) coming in to land of a sheaf of oats in winter. Perthshire, Scotland, February
David Tipling / Three people watching common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) arriving to roost at Palace Pier Brighton. UK, February
Gary K. Smith / Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) hovering over coastal feeding area, North Norfolk, England, UK, February
Andrew Parkinson / Snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) adult perched on ground, February, Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland, UK, February.
Ernie Janes / Flock of Snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) in flight, Norfolk, UK February
Ernie Janes / Flcok of Snow buntings (Plectrophenax nivalis) landing on coastal grassland, Norfolk, UK. February
Robin Chittenden / Snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) portrait, Norfolk, England, February
STEVE KNELL / Mute swan (Cygnus olor) Pair in courtship, male on right, Gloucestershire, UK, February 2007
John Waters / Mute swan (Cygnus olor) courtship, Somerset, UK, Spring 2009
Andrew Parkinson / Mute swan (Cygnus olor) breeding pair of adults during part of their courtship ritual, Nottinghamshire, UK, February
Andrew Parkinson / Mute swan (Cygnus olor) pair engaged in a courtship dance, Nottinghamshire, UK, February
Terry Whittaker / 2020VISION / Flock of Dark-bellied brent geese (Branta bernicla) flying over wetlands, Wallasea Island RSPB reserve, River Crouch, Essex, UK, February 2011