Garth Peacock
North Wales - Day 1 and 2

Archive

Romania Day 4 - 11th June 2019

Thursday 18th July 2019

Romania Day 3

Tuesday 9th July 2019

Romania Day2

Monday 24th June 2019

Romania Day1

Friday 21st June 2019

Great Grey Shrike and others

Thursday 6th June 2019

The last ten days or so

Sunday 26th May 2019

Good weather at last

Friday 17th May 2019

5 days of not a lot

Saturday 4th May 2019

Week ending 26th April 2019

Monday 29th April 2019

The last couple of weeks or so

Wednesday 17th April 2019

Wales - Day 5

Monday 15th April 2019

Wales - Day4

Thursday 11th April 2019

North Wales - Day 3

Tuesday 9th April 2019

North Wales - Day 1 and 2

Sunday 7th April 2019

March so Far

Wednesday 13th March 2019

The last seven days

Monday 18th February 2019

The last two weeks of January

Wednesday 6th February 2019

Wildfowl Week

Monday 21st January 2019

Slim pickings for a month.

Monday 14th January 2019

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Sunday 7th April 2019

A friend and I had arranged a 5 day weekday trip to North Wales, based in Llangollen. The main target here was Black Grouse that lek on the nearby moors at a place strangely called Worlds End. Lekking is a gathering of male birds around dawn to decide which of them should mate with the females by displaying and sometimes fighting, something that neither of us had ever witnessed before.

We arrived at our hotel around lunchtime on Monday 18th March, checked in and then made out way to the moors to check it all out as we would be arriving in darkness the following morning to be in position for the lek. We found the suggested spot and then carried on along the single track road to see if we could see anything - cloudy and rain was the weather at the time so not an ideal time to be on the moors.

We saw nothing until we arrived almost at the far end of the road when we found a few male Black Grouse hunkered down in the rain, looking decidedly cheesed off. They were relatively close to the road so we were able to park up and take a few shots out of the car window.

Well that was an unexpected and welcome start to the trip.

The next morning, leaving the hotel at 5.00am, we arrived at the lekking site, parked up, and listened for the tell-tale bubbling sound of the birds preparing for the lek - a deathly hush. After a few minutes we heard the sound but very distant but we waited until is was getting light but no sign of any birds at the site.

So we decided to drive further into the moors, saw a few birds lekking on the other side of the valley and too distant for photgraphy and further on a couple that were sizing each other up but soon took to flight as the car approached. As we were reaching the end of the road and seeing nothing else, we spotted a flock of about a dozen birds flying in the opposite direction to us. We turned around and after about half-a-mile, found these birds and a few others just where we had seen then the day before and starting the lek. We parked up and watched the action as it was too dark for photography. Soon we were able to get our shots. A pair sizing up,

fighting,

and calling to make their presence known.

One even trotted up the hill towards us.

And one sat on the hilltop calling away.

This spectacle continued for over an hour with a final total of 20 birds and we were even blessed with sunlight at the end.

Finally, what appeared to be the winner showed

and one by one, they flew off, leaving us marvelling at the spectacle we had just seen, and time to return to the hotel for breakfast. And, apart from one other car, we had the whole lek to ourselves.

After that, despite searching several sites, and looking for Dippers, we found nothing during the rest of the day.