Sunday, April 11, 2010
The Other Grouse
Sunday morning and another early start. The winds late last week were atrocious and although the weather forecast for Saturday suggested it would be calmer, a quick peak out the door early that morning suggested otherwise. Sunday the clouds were supposed to increase, but the wind was supposed to not be quite as strong so on Saturday evening, with no wind and clear skies, I set up my blind.
Sunday morning looked great when I left the house. I could see lots of stars and the flag was hanging limply from the flagpole. A few clouds were present on the eastern horizon as the eyelid of night slowly pulled back from the horizon. There was a fingerpaint smudge of an orange crescent moon on the horizon as I pulled off the highway to open the gate. By this time the wind was picking back up but not a lot. So far so good.
When I got into the blind there were no birds on the lek and the wind was blowing harder than I would have liked. By the time I could start to see features on the lek I could hear the birds start to arrive and display and as the light grew stronger the birds became apparent in front of the blind.
The clouds continued to build as the morning progressed but the sunrise managed to leak through gaps in the clouds early in the morning and once again I was privileged to have a front row seat at the best show in town (or in this case - out of town).
There weren't many hens on the lek this morning and I suspect that the peak attendance for females has come and gone so the males were a bit sluggish in displaying when they weren't around. It didn't stop them from scrapping a bit though.