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Game birds

The tricks of grouse spotting in the Highland heather.

What a lot of people think as being untamed wilderness in Scotland is really kind of a managed landscape, and it’s managed for a reason. Hares and grouse and deer graze and live up here and the estates manage them - increase their numbers for people to come and shoot them. The problem with everything that lives up here is it blends in perfectly with the heather - a grouse hen's shape doesn't though. She should have chicks at this time of the year, unless she’s lost them. The nice thing about this time of year is that because they’ve got chicks the hen and the cock grouse travel about together with all the chicks - so when you do see them there’s a little family group unless they’ve been predated. Right there: a male and a female together. It’s a very healthy hill this. There seem to be grouse all over the place. It's more difficult to tell the difference between the male and female at this time of year but in the breeding season the males are very red. There are three chicks, that are quite mature. The grouse hen runs about doing the lame broken wing trick, flappins her wing to draw the attention away from her chicks.

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2 minutes