Red Grouse at Stanage Edge

Red Grouse at Stanage Edge, Peak District National Park, UK
As I mentioned in the last post I had a rare chance to get quite close to a female Red grouse. They don’t have the red "eyebrows" and blend exceptionally well with the heather. Usually as you walk across the moors, they burst to flight 2 meters away from you. Then it is of course to late to photograph them. But here I was positioned in front of a small boulder against the sun, so my outline was not visible and the bird apparently did not see me. It went on with his search for food raising his head every 2 seconds. The last picture shows the "I'm not here" phase - the bird noticed me and stood still, but since I knew where it was I could wait patiently for the light to change. As the sun rose a bit higher it shone nicely on the grouse. I did my part and withdrew quietly.

These photographs were made with a 70-200mm lens plus 1.4 converter. In the last picture I was about 2 meters away from the bird, hiding behind a boulder.


eARTh beneath your feet #2 and #3

The higher parts of the moors, exposed to wind, got a bit of a frost lately. Apart from producing these amazing art, the frost facilitates moving around the moors, which are incredibly soggy at this time of year. I also managed to get quite close to a female Red Grouse but that's for another post.
While driving to the Peak yesterday I was brutally reminded how slippery the road can be - the black ice - I saw a car in the ditch at the sharp turn on top of the hill as you approach the national park. I had no tow-rope but offered a lift. The lady answered that her Mum who lives in Hathersage is coming to give her a tow. As soon as I got back I bought a tow-rope. You never know when you will need help.


eARTh beneath your feet

eARTh beneath your feet, Upper Burbage Bridge, Peak District