The ptarmigan marathon

masters of camouflage
Masters of camouflage

The past few days have been spent driving around Scotland on an extensive grouse pilgrimage which took in ptarmigan on the Isle of Mull, grouse counting (red and black) in Perthshire, and then ptarmigan again in the Aberdeenshire Grampians and the Cairngorms. I walked almost forty miles on extreme terrain, took a huge amount of photographs (many of which “once-in-a-lifetime” pictures of ptarmigan in coveys at various stages and ages), and now find that the memory card on my camera has died a death and refuses to release them to the wider world. Feeling somewhat crestfallen, I present this lone photograph (above) of a ptarmigan I managed to stalk behind the Cairnwell at Glenshee on my way home yesterday. It is the only remnant of almost 500 photographs now lost, and as much as I am pleased to still have this small record, my head aches with irritation. I have a few sketches and heaps of notes, so I will just have to set down in words and paintings all the information that I amassed on film.

Once I have marshalled my sinking spirits, there will be much more to come on my “second favourite grouse species”.


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