Posted by: mynaturaldiary | August 15, 2016

‘go bak, go bak, go bak’

The call of the Red Grouse echoes over the purple moors as it flies after being flushed out of the heather. Its rich colours show well in the light.

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‘A figure cut in some hard dark red stone… red gritstone or ironstone’

The red crest on a cock bird is best seen when it’s flying parallel to a viewer.

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Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus)

Even better when a bird stands stock still.

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There is a a symbiosis between the Red Grouse and the heather moorland upon which it feeds. The heather moorland has been created for the birds to feed upon. It turn, these birds are shot for game, especially after the 12th August (the glorious twelfth). No shooting, no birds, no heather…

At this time of year the heather is purple, offset against green and sky blue.

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Quite dazzling to those that are lucky enough to see it.

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Atop Commondale is a headstone to two Coldstream Guardsmen, who died in the first world war. It is in the middle distance in this picture.

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Further on, the natural stone makes a good contrast to the moss and heather.

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The sheep watch our passage with interest.

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More grouse get disturbed. They can hunker down until you are almost standing on them. but that does allow you to see the rich pattern on the feathers.

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Once flushed they fly off with their scolding cry, often en masse.

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Also on the Moor are Meadow Pipits.

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The camera freezes their flight pattern when their wings are held against their body.

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Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis)

Out of nowhere, an RAF jet on a solo mission crosses the Moor very low.

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It went as quickly as it came, to leave the Moor cloaked in silence, apart from the clucking Grouse.

A rabbit, startled made a sprint for it in the setting sunlight.

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Common Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

 


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