Grouse

With His Tail Up

Ok, I cheated but it was worth it...
That’s more like it

Having posted last week about my pet blackcock’s apparent reluctance to lek properly, I now have the pleasure to report that all is well in the display department. I noticed that he was out and about just before lunch today, so decided to take the opportunity to play him a recording of lekking blackcock which I found online and posted on this blog a few months ago – (again, if you get a chance, do have a listen).

Normally, the sound makes him quite excited and he spends some time giggling and bubbling before realising that something is wrong and returning to morose silence again. When I played it today, he leapt into action and sent his tail straight into a wide open fan. Within a few seconds, he was lekking like an old master. Although his wattles weren’t fully inflated, I think he is certainly aware of the changing seasons and gave the display a great deal more gusto than usual. He let me get right up to him for a photograph or two when usually he would pack up at the slightest sound of my approach, and I hope that this is just a hint of what is to come in April and May. After ten minutes, he had had enough of bubbling and huffed back into stillness again, but not before I had taken this picture (above) and had enjoyed a little snippet of the sound which makes everything worthwhile.

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