A Black Grouse lek started Good Friday for me
I went back to the Black Grouse lek this morning to see how everything was progressing.
Last time the lek wasn´t intense and we only saw male Black Grouses. This time around things had changed and the lek was more intense with two females visiting the lekking ground.
A Black Grouse lek is something special, but it isn’t something for those who want to sleep as it starts early in the morning. I got up just before 3 am and drove for an hour to arrive at the lek ground before everything started. This is the reality if you want to photo a Black Grouse lek and you should seriously consider sleeping at the lek site if possible.
Last time I was unfortunate to place my hide at the wrong place, but this time I had better luck. I knew that the forecast for the day wasn´t the best, but there was a hope for sunny spells during the early morning hours and this time the forecast was true even if it was just for a short spell that the lekking ground was covered in golden light.
I had the same set of mind as the last time and that was to photo the lek from a low angle. I knew this was going to be hard as the Black Grouses is walking on the ground and some parts of the lek is almost done parallel to the ground, as you can see in this video from Norway.
Male courtship at a Black Grouse lek
I managed to work better with the low angle photography this time, but I had issues with certain spots on the lek site. You can see the low shrub and Common heather in almost all of my Black Grouse photos from this session. I had a hard time getting the correct focus from time to time as there often where shrub in the way or Common heather that block big parts of the bird.
You have to excuse me for doing an extensive gallery of the day as many pictures could be considered the same, more or less. It is just me ticking of a mission properly that started with a Black Grouse lek in Finland two years ago. That lek ended in a heavy fog and last time here I placed the hide at the wrong spot which means I consider this being the first proper lek that I have managed to photo. That is one of the reasons why the gallery got so “big”.
Still I hope you can enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the early morning hours together with the Black Grouses.