Red Grouse on Derwent Edge, Peak District

Aug 19, 2013

Early starts are all the harder as I have given up coffee at the moment! I reached Derwent Edge in the Peak District just before sunrise, and quickly spotted the distinctive silhouette of a red grouse.

Red grouse {Lagopus lagopus scoticus}

Red grouse {Lagopus lagopus scoticus} silhouetted at dawn, Derwent Edge, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, UK, August.

I was travelling light (for me anyway), taking just my 100-400mm and 16-35mm so that I could be as mobile as possible. To begin with I was after a nice, clean portrait of a grouse with the 100-400mm. After the sun had risen I noticed a male grouse peering out from amongst the heather, which is in full bloom at the moment. After several unsuccessful shots with busy, distracting backgrounds, I found a low angle that gave me the composition I was after.

Red grouse {Lagopus lagopus scoticus}

Red grouse {Lagopus lagopus scoticus} on heather moorland, Derwent Edge, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, UK, August.

As the grouse moved, new compositions became possible. The image below was taken just a few metres from the previous one, but has a very different background. The dark area is the shaded side of a gritstone boulder.

Red grouse {Lagopus lagopus scoticus}

Red grouse {Lagopus lagopus scoticus} on heather moorland, Derwent Edge, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, UK, August.

Once the portraits were in the bag, I decided to try some wide angle shots with my 16-35mm. This lens gives a very different perspective on the world, including lots of interesting habitat. After some careful creeping I was pleased to get the shot below, showing a male grouse in his environment.

Red grouse {Lagopus lagopus scoticus}

Red grouse {Lagopus lagopus scoticus} on heather moorland, Derwent Edge, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, UK, August.

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