Whos keeping an eye on me....

Friday, 22 March 2013

Black Grouse and moorland mist

An early morning trip to witness a Black Grouse Lek. Mission accomplished .... just.

We left home to relatively bright early morning light and as we progressed through the county it even threatened some sunshine, alas this was all a very false dawn. As we neared our destination the rooftops were now all dusted in snow..... up on the moors the dusting had changed to a few inches . The moorland road was virtually impassable but we were lucky to see 6 male Black Grouse in a clearing that we managed to drive close to.

The moorland mist had already made sure that any photos would be record shots only


the six males seemed to  pair off to set about their courtship dance to the hidden females (they apparently sit tight in the undergrowth and watch this display before picking the prime male). We were close enough to even hear all the bubbling noises that accompany the Lek
the mist rolled in lower and thicker 

after 40 minutes they were spooked probably by a fox and quickly flew off.
We were in ever falling snow so had no choice but to call it a day.
The light was poor but the mist failed to dampen the spectacle.
For good measure 2 Red-Legged Partridge were added to my year list.


Mary Howell Cromer said...

Wow Dave, what neat looking birds. I do not believe that I have ever seen photos of Black Grouse before this~

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Lovely bird -- you worked hard to catch him! That's what makes you an expert and a professional. That and the fact that your pictures are fantastic! Thanks for sharing with this rank amateur birder/ photographer.