Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Elusive Black Grouse

Teesdale has a very famous black grouse lek and the numbers of this spectacular game bird seem to be increasing. In winter they sometimes disperse away from Teesdale and I occasionally see them in Weardale in winter, in rushy pastures. This one has taken up residence near Woodland, between Weardale and Teesdale, and I've being trying to photograph it for some time. I'm accustomed to seeing them on the ground but they also like to perch in trees and this one has a liking for the hawthorns beside the road. The first time I tried to photograph it I took the picture through the car window, which confused the autofocus and I got this fuzzy image. When I wound the window down ....

.... the bird immediately took flight, so all I got was a picture of its bum and a lump of black grouse poo (bottom left-hand corner of picture) in mid-air (is this a first?).

Today, when we were on out way down to Teesdale it was once again perched in the hawthorns, and once again it took flight as soon as I stopped the car ..... but at least this time it perched on a fence and I got this distant shot. 

Frustrated again .... but I'll be back. 

Meanwhile a walk along the Tees in the rain, downstream from Middleton-in-Teesdale, was notable for numerous velvet shank Flammulina velutipes toadstools - they are usually associated with freezing weather which they seem to tolerate, but this Christmas warm weather seems to have suited them very well too.

1 comment:

  1. At least you got pictures Phil.
    I've only ever seen a fleeting glimpse of one, as it flew away.