The Lek; Bespoke North Pennines Safari 26/04/2015

by on May.01, 2015, under North Pennines

Sunday 03:00 and the insistent beeping of the alarm tells me that it’s time to be up and out, to collect Sam and Brian.  Two cancelled Kielder trips, due to ‘adverse’ weather conditions, led them to suggest that we switch our attentions back to the North Pennines, where we’d had a successful early start just over a year ago.  Brian has written an excellent blog post about the day, which started with sunshine and ended with hail, and you can read his account here.

Once again the Black Grouse performed beyond expectation.  At least 29 Blackcock were lekking and a minimum of 14 Greyhens were in and around the lek.  Subsequently we found two Blackcock lekking individually, each perched atop a small mound, apparently without any other grouse nearby.  Back at the main lek, a major point of interest was the behaviour of the adult males towards a younger bird.  Each time he appeared in the lek, the older, more experienced, birds broke off their attention from each other and pursued him until he flew off.  Time and time he came back, each time getting the same treatment.  The NGB (Next Generation Blackcock) upstart seemed undeterred by, perhaps even relishing the attention of, the beating he was taking from the experienced birds at the lek as they pranced, pouted, cooed and squared off against each other.  Wildlife’s an odd thing sometimes, but always fascinating to watch 🙂


1 Comment for this entry

  • Brian M

    A great day in the North Pennines enjoyed under great light offering some really good photographic opportunities. One of the top experiences to be had in the Northeast IMO. Now awaiting the cetacean trip in July. Thanks go to Martin. Cheers Brian.

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