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Grouse Black lyrurus tetrix Worlds End Wales 20/03/12 | by Mick Sway
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Grouse Black lyrurus tetrix Worlds End Wales 20/03/12

My mate Steve Gibson picked me up at the unearthly hour of 04.00 am, following which we arrived on the Welsh Moors at about 05.30 on a Windy March Tuesday morning. Just before day break, like something from another planet, the air was filled with the strangest gurgling, rasping and spitting noises, as half a dozen male black grouse entered their lecking arena some 200m away.

Not a female bird was insight, nevertheless the males continued their threatening behavioural dances against one another, a remarkable sight that I will never forget..

This took place against a backdrop of grey skies, which from this distance made photographing the birds difficult. Shortly a photographer next to us in a 4x4 decided to get out of his vehicle, scattering these impressive birds back over the Moors.

Our visit was completed with great views of grey partridge, stonechat, a great grey shrike, common buzzard, raven and our first views of Northern Wheatear for this season.

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Taken on March 20, 2012