Red Grouse and Mountain Hares in Derbyshire
18/08/13Great day on Friday above Ladybower Reservoir on Derwent Edge photographing Red Grouse and looking for mountain hare. Not been there for a couple of years, and Friday was mainly to check it out,as hoping to make a series of trips over the next few months.
Particularly wanted to get some Red Grouse shots in the heather. Walked for about an hour with no sightings or any sounds - and believe me if they are around they can be heard. Plenty of evidence from droppings, however, so remained hopeful. After 1 hour, a Red Grouse landed right in front of me - and was it noisy. Headed for a little sheltered area, took off my camera bag, got out camera and lens and set up on tripod; and still it was around. Started to take some photos but it kept following me and getting inside my nearest focal distance. Really bizarre behaviour which continued for an hour, and was repeated later in the day. Never experienced it before.
Had a good walk around the top, but no signs of mountain hare, although not too surprised by this.
On heading back, I returned to the area where I had been photographing the first Red Grouse, and it was there again, with the same behaviour. In fact at one stage it got so close I used my iphone and photographed it alongside my boot!
The light was harsh most of the day, and I needed to head down about 6.30pm, which was probably half an hour before the best light for photos. The photos in "Recent Work" reflect this light, but a useful day in readiness for further visits, for photos in the heather and later in the year in the snow. And hopefully some mountain hares!