Whilst bimbling around oop north I decided to visit the top of a large hill, known as The Stang. I had been there previously, at approximately the same time of year, although it had been dusted in beautiful snow before. I visited again because it was the place I saw my first Grouse, and I wanted to see if there were any more to be found.
Just over the brow of the hill I parked my car in the same place as last time, killed the engine and wound down the window on the wind-less side. Almost immediately a group of male grouse appeared on some grassy tussocks before me and began fluttering around each other, echoing their marvellous call
'go back!go back!go back!'. Pretty soon, other grouse joined in and we could see their white spectacled heads popping up everywhere across the mottled heather. Above is a blurry long distance shot I took of one about 20 metres from the car.
As a southener I find the grouse very exotic and I must say that seeing them again in such profusion made my spirits soar. They are certainly an altogether more sensible bird than a pheasant.
...and then, as a bonus, as we were driving back down the hill again towards the pub, this lovely lady below was standing very still and waiting for us to take their photo!