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Black Grouse Confrontation

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A pair of Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) during the lekking season, taken at dawn near Aviemore, Scottish Highlands last Tuesday. Driving horizontal rain and gale force winds blowing head-on into the lens made this a challenging operation! The stormy rainclouds raced across the sky, breaking up to reveal short clear periods which produced interesting light and saturated colours. The most striking feature of this gamebird is the lyre-shaped tail, visible when displaying.

The all-black males have distinctive red wattle over the eye and show a striking white stripe along each wing in flight. They have a lyre-shaped tail which is fanned out and raised to show white under-tail feathers when displaying. The smaller grey-brown females have a slightly notched tail. Habitat loss and overgrazing have resulted in severe population declines which make this a Red List species. Positive habitat management is helping them to increase in some areas.
Found in upland areas of Wales, the Pennines and most of Scotland. Best looked for on farmland and moorland with nearby forestry or scattered trees. They have traditional 'lek' sites where the males display. Can be seen all year round. They feed on buds, shoots, catkins and berries.
Description taken from the RSPB website

Many thanks for your support of my last upload with a special thank you to Adrian(tomcat) for his User Award - really appreciated and valued Smile

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 5D MkIII
Lens:EF500mm f/4L IS II USM
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:16 Apr 2013 - 6:23 AM
Focal Length:500mm taken 16.4m from subject, tripod
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.0
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/250sec
Exposure Comp:-1.0
ISO:2000
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Multi-segment
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Black Grouse Confrontation
Username:teocali teocali
Uploaded:18 Apr 2013 - 7:03 PM
Tags:Aviemore, Bird, Black grouse, Confrontation, Displaking, Game bird, Lekking, Lyre-shaped tail, Lyrurus tetrix, Scottish highlands, Wild, Wildlife / nature
Votes:44

Comments

Lillian
Lillian e2 Member 5Lillian vcard United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 7:12 PM

You got them then Sylvia! brilliant shot showing the rain and the rain on the
grouse too, lovely timing and good action going on
Lillian

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colin beeley
colin beeley e2 Member 111070 forum postscolin beeley vcard England10 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 7:38 PM

another nice shot Wink

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M_squared
M_squared e2 Member 3M_squared vcard United Kingdom
18 Apr 2013 - 7:45 PM

Stunning capture.
I like the aspect-ratio.

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chalkhillblue
chalkhillblue e2 Member 5143 forum postschalkhillblue vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 8:35 PM

Very well captured Sylvia, especially considering the weather conditions, great timing, captured the moment,
excellent nature photography.
David

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mauriceegan
18 Apr 2013 - 8:36 PM

Excellent image Sylvia in obviously difficult conditions, excellent
Maurice

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Maiwand
Maiwand e2 Member 7Maiwand vcard England69 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 9:55 PM

Glorious shot of the birds Sylvia..Every one of the shots in this series has been top quality. Well done indeed.GrinGrinGrin
Ron

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Greyheron
Greyheron e2 Member 12277 forum postsGreyheron vcard England5 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 10:09 PM

Excellent camerawork under harsh conditions Sylvia - superb viewing...

Mike

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gary_d
gary_d e2 Member 6534 forum postsgary_d vcard Wales13 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 10:39 PM

You did so well in difficult conditions but I would expect no less. - gary

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Norfolkboy
Norfolkboy e2 Member 8Norfolkboy vcard England4 Constructive Critique Points
18 Apr 2013 - 10:52 PM

Another super capture, Sylvia.
Colin

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CarolG
CarolG e2 Member 7128 forum postsCarolG vcard Greece17 Constructive Critique Points
19 Apr 2013 - 6:44 AM

Superb Smile Carol

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Ray42
Ray42  6 England3 Constructive Critique Points
19 Apr 2013 - 7:34 AM

Brilliant

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Kim Walton
Kim Walton e2 Member 10144 forum postsKim Walton vcard United Kingdom29 Constructive Critique Points
19 Apr 2013 - 2:35 PM

Ahh ,should of looked back ....Wink

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almiles
almiles  438 forum posts United Kingdom98 Constructive Critique Points
19 Apr 2013 - 4:58 PM

This turned out so well in the end Sylvia! The rain is just as good as it looked straight out of the camera and the shallow DoF really draws attention to the ongoing confrontation. The facing grouse looks cross! ISO 2000 is looking great for colour and noise from the 5d Mk III Smile

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Glostopcat
Glostopcat e2 Member 8234 forum postsGlostopcat vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
19 Apr 2013 - 7:57 PM

A terrific image of these two protaganists about to go head to head in combat. Your photograph and write up is truly superb, I never knew they could be found in Wales before

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