This lek was fierce
I have never witnessed a fierce Black Grouse lek this close. I have of course witnessed the ballet between Black Grouse males, but never witnessed the fierceness that I saw this Easter.
This was the first time I visited this lek site and I had the pleasure to have one of the local photographers, Göran Åstebro, to help me out. He told me what to expect of the lek site and where to place the blind. The first I noticed was that I would be taking photos with the sun at my back. This isn’t the case at the other lek site I have been to last two years.
The lek started slow even if I had three males around my tent soon after entering it. There where cars coming and going and at one point people approached the lek site which made the birds go away. I think those people understood what they just have made and hurried away shamefully.
My thoughts turned negative as the lek the previous week had been over in the blink of an eye due to people.
The lek started again
So, I was really surprised when I discovered around 15 males in front of the hide in the distance. They soon approached my hide flying and from that on I had males around the hide for most of the lek.
The lek took around 45 minutes and I had things to do for most of the time. Either trying to anticipate when they would be flying back to my place or trying to take the photo exactly when they jumped up into the air.
At one of point a male flew straight into the zone of another male and landed. This intrusion erupted in a fierce fight that lasted for a couple of minutes. This fight was so fierce that feathers flew in the air as both combatants plucked their opponents at different times. It surely was a spectacle to witness and one worth waking up early in the morning.
In the gallery you can find a few selected pictures from the lek. I have also included pictures from Nossebro and from a waterfall at Halleberg called Brudslöjan, the bridal veil in English.
I hope you will enjoy this gallery as much as I do.