This weekend just passed I spent in County Durham. The main target really was to watch a black grouse lek which was simply amazing. Alarms set for 3:45 and arriving, windows down, before first light we were welcomed with noises not dissimilar to an alien attack! Snipe, curlew and lapwing all calling right near the car.
As the light started to break through in a typically British grey way we could here the grouse gargling away down in the valley. I didn't get any photos of them lekking because we were too far away but what a great spectical to watch!
From a photographers perspective the highlight were the snipe along 'Snipe Alley', as we named it. They were great fun just sitting up on nice perches!
Unfortunately it wasn't until the last hour of shooting that we discovered a certain way of stopping the car that resulted in the snipe staying put, the 'snipe stop'. I would say how... but I'd have to shoot you... ;-)
We often bumped into a short eared owl too - what great birds. Things didn't really come together photographically with them but it was a nice addition and something we weren't expecting...
I certainly plan to go there again as it was a productive two days! Next time we might actually have some interesting light to work with too!
I leave you with the supporting cast...
Pheasant & Meadow Pipit;
Red Grouse & Redshank;