Cairngorms National Park, Scotland


To witness the black grouse lek is a rather special experience.  You have to be at the lek site before the birds arrive so as not to disturb them.  So this means a very early start before sunrise.  I set up the hide the previous evening and stayed in the hide overnight but I get very little sleep.  The birds will alert you to their presence with their calls which is totally bizarre but amazing to hear.  You can also hear snipe and lapwings and with all this combined noise going on sounds otherworldly,  Thankfully there was no wind or rain during the night but there was snowfall which added a bit of drama to the image being kicked up among all the posturing. A couple of Greyhens did appear to check out the talent but I did not witness any copulation.

Field Notes

Camera: Nikon D3S

Lens: 200-400mm F4

Aperture: F5.6

Exposure: 1/1600 sec

ISO: 3200