Tuesday, 18 October 2011

USA Trip Part Five: Blue Grouse

On the last morning in Yosemite National Park we headed up to Glacier Point, a famous area with a panoramic view of the park. My reading had suggested that it was best arriving here as early as possible to avoid crowds, i also read that this area was probably my best chance of seeing Blue Grouse but my guide book did say i would be lucky to "catch a glimpse" of them.

As we pulled into the empty car park i was a little suprised to see a number of Blue Grouse just casually wandering around! I couldn't believe it! I asked Erin to slowly pull the car up to them thinking they would definitely fly off and i'd never see them again, my experience of UK Grouse and other game birds led me to believe this would happen. We drove up to them slowly....they didn't move...we got closer....they didn't move.....i got out of the car and walked up to them, they didnt bloody move! Erin got out the car and they didn't move either! These were probably the tamest birds we'd encountered on the trip.

I had a good session photographing the birds, we saw a group of around 10 birds, a mixture of adults and youngsters, males and females. I did find the session fun but also found it tricky, the light was not the best we'd had as the higher altitude lead to some mist hanging around and a fair bit of cloud. I also found the tameness of the birds to be a problem, it was great i could get so close but they were constantly moving and feeding, they never posed for very long and because i was so close when they did pose i couldn't frame them nicely. At the time it didn't occur to me to step back and try and find a nice image with some surroundings shown, however most of the time they skirted along the car park edge and the foliage so to be honest this location wasn't that scenic or picturesque. Nevertheless it was an enjoyable session, great to be so close to a bird i thought i may only gain a glimpse of so cannot complain!

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