It wasn't easy stalking these shy, wild birds across open, windswept moorland in sporadic flurries of snow. Could hear them calling but as soon as we approached the area of the sound, they were off! They are very well camouflaged and elusive. I was lucky to be able to approach this one from below, as it perched on the crest of a hill.
This image is cropped in to about 65%. Taken 22.7m from subject, tripod. Please click on image to view on black.

"Red Grouse(Lagopus lagopus) Family Tetraonidae
The red grouse is a medium-sized game bird. It has a plump body, a short tail and a lightly hook-tipped bill. It is reddish-brown, with its legs and feet covered in pale feathers. Birds breed in the UK in the uplands of the north and west and are resident all year round, travelling very little in their lives. The population is declining, perhaps linked to diseases and the loss of heather moorland.
The best place to see this bird is on upland heather moors, when is suddenly rockets up from the heather when disturbed to fly off with fast-whirring wingbeats. Can be seen all year round, feeding on heather, seeds, berries and insects."
Description taken from RSPB website

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