Although it is silly to be too precise on such an imprecise and controversial subject, I always feel that the number of greyhens visiting the leks tends to peak between the 16th and the 18th April – at least, that is always the general impression I get in Dumfries and Galloway. More generally, the third week of April is always a busy time, although the moment is obviously delayed or advanced depending on where you are in the country, I have seen greyhens being covered at the lek even into May, but they have certainly been getting more and more conspicuous over the past few days, and the volume knob on the lekking displays is at a particular peak at the moment. In an attempt to coincide with this extra boost of activity, I am heading off into the wilds of the Galloway Forest for a couple of days to see what can be seen, before pushing on into next week with trips further North into Angus, Perthshire and Argyllshire.
Following the leks is seriously addictive, and I don’t think that there is any other reason that I could satisfy myself as being worthy of an early start than the promise of a displaying blackcock. When the alarm clock goes off at 4:00am, there are a million fantastic reasons to stay in bed, and yet only one thing sufficiently appealing to warrant rolling out of the pit and into the boots to be out and afoot in the half darkness with the promise of bubbling always lurking just over the brow.