January Honeysuckle, an early harbinger of spring, shows signs of new growth. Bird sounds - great tit calls and mistle thrush song, for example - are increasingly heard as the days lengthen. Foxes breed during the early months of the year. Their presence is betrayed by barks after darkness falls.
February Great grey shrikes hunt over heathland from tree-top vantage points and other perches. Grey squirrels are often best seen in winter when deciduous trees are devoid of leaves. Red Admirals and other butterflies that over-winter as adults may be on the wing on warm, bright days.
Roe deer antlers continue to develop - they are cast and re-grown annually.
New Forest ponies
New Forest ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys are a popular part of the New Forest scene and an important element of the local economy. But in 2012, for example, 65 were killed and 18 injured on the roads.
New Forest 'what's on' - a small
selection of local events and activities
January 2016 Thursday, 7th - Lyndhurst Community Centre, Paraphernalia Fair, 10.00 - 4.00pm. Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th - New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, Digi Arc Weekend, 10.00am - 3.00pm. Thursday, 28th - Brockenhurst Village Hall, Phil Beer - one of the UK's top folk musicians - in concert, 7.30pm - 11.00pm.
February 2016 Wednesday, 10th - New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, Coppicing and Conservation in Pondhead Inclosure, a talk with Dave Dibden, 2pm - 4pm (Refreshments from 2pm, talk at 2.30pm). Booking required. Friday, 12th - Brockenhurst Village Hall, Film Night - The Martian (12A), 7.30pm - 10.30pm. Saturday, 6th February to Sunday, 1st May - New Forest Centre, Lyndhurst, Special exhibition: The New Forest Remembers - WWI, 10.00am - 4.00pm daily. View the full 'What's on' programme.