A new month, a new year and seemingly a new sort of weather if the strange glowing orb in the sky was anything to go by yesterday. Having spent the last couple of days in December tramping across Ilkley Moor whilst enduring driving rain, hail and the occasional upwardly flowing waterfall, it certainly made for a pleasant change. The reason for my being there were the numerous Red Grouse that live in the area and to which I am drawn each time I find myself visiting Leeds. There is something quite endearing about their character and the way in which they advertise their position so readily for a bird whose life tends to involve being shot at. That’s not to say that they are at all tame however, especially when accompanied by the family dog.
Having produced nothing but a couple of blurred frames thus far I was hoping that the sun would finally give me an advantage. A few errant clouds did their best to crop up unnervingly in synch with the appearance of each Red Grouse, but in the end I did finally get some results on Burley Moor. The female bird below was particularly approachable and even started to feed within a few foot of my position. The males however were much more flighty so I was pleased to get at least one of them on camera.
I had planned to take some video of the Grouse calling but a strong wind and rapidly failing camera battery put paid to that. As a result I have another great excuse to get back out there next time we are up that way. Of course all this activity ‘oop north’ meant that we weren’t able to take part in the annual tick and twitch event at our local WWT reserve. Consequently my year list is off to a slightly slower start in 2013 (about twenty species), at least until next weekend anyway.