Wildlife Photography is far from easy in the U.K., but Red Grouse can be a relatively easy subject to photograph. At a well know location in Yorkshire, these hardy birds can be photographed from the car, often at incredibly close range. With such reliable subjects I use the venue for my upland birds photography courses.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve photographed these birds, but a visit this August proved to be the best yet. I arrived early – around 6.00am. I wanted to make use of the early morning light that makes such a difference to the resulting images. It was only a couple of bends up the steep moorland track and straight away there was a stunning male right by the roadside in glorious heather. I slowed down, but alas, he was off… a good opportunity missed. Never mind – you have to put in the work to get good wildlife images and I wasn’t disheartened. I soon found a group of grouse sitting in the heather and captured some rather creative images by tilting the camera down and including the out of focus foreground heather. Perfect.!!
The rest of the morning offered few really good chances – apart from one. A couple of males were posturing on opposite sides of the road and I was lucky enough to get close enough to one of them. I could see him running towards the road and luckily he stopped for a couple of seconds.
The position was just wonderful (not like mine as I was contorted round shooting almost backwards out of the window..!) – the heather was perfect and the background was the distant shaded hillside, giving a beautiful bluish tone. Three shots and it was over. I was quite pleased with myself for holding it all together and capturing it in time. One of the best grouse images I’ve taken to date.
If you want to photograph these wonderful birds on the upland moors, book a Red Grouse Photography Workshop through www.naturephotographycourses.co.uk
Focus On... Red Grouse Photography