Last Thursday, birding started bright and early at 3:45 in the morning — it was the annual field trip to Camp Wainwright to see the Sharp-tailed Grouse dance. This was the fifth year I’ve watched the Sharp-tailed Grouse on their lek at the base. Even though the morning starts very early, it’s one of my favourite birding events.
You can find the Wainwright Wildlife Society’s website here and you can “Like” them on their Facebook page here.
Our group counted nine displaying males this year, and one female — down from last year’s count of 15 males and no females.
Here’s my blog post from last year.
The view from inside the blind,
A lone female grouse came to the lek. The females can be distinguished from the males by their lack of both the yellow eye-combs and the purple air sack on the neck,
Two grouse landed on one of the blinds and even danced there,
It was difficult to photograph the birds as they moved between sunny and shady spots very quickly,
I’m pretty happy with my photos this year between the better weather and knowing my camera a little more.
Wow, what a fun trip and birding experience! I wish I would have been with you. You took some excellent photos of these beautiful birds. Why only the one female?
WOW! That looks so fun! A bit early in the morning though, but I’m sure it’s worth it! What an experience.
These are incredible photos! Congratulations on such superlative looks at a bizarre, wonderful bird and a performance I hope to see for ourselves someday. This looks like it was a great outing!