Yorkshie Dippers and Grouse

04th May 2010
In February my wife, myself and our friends Matthew and Sarah-Jane went on a short break to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and stayed in a nice little village called Dent.
Dent is probably most famous for its railway station which is the highest in England.
One of the high roads, a bit dodgey in the snow!

The village also has a couple of nice traditional pubs that sell some amazing real ale and great food.
One of the things I really wanted to do was to photograph the Dippers in the river that runs through the heart of Dent, so on the first morning after arriving and dropping our bags off we all set off on a walk down the river to see if we could find these stunning little birds.
It only took a couple of minutes to find our first one and me with camera in hand over the rest of the walk proceeded to photograph them.

One of the Dippers looking for food in the flowing river........



They sit on the rocks in the river and bob up and down making it hard to miss one with that bright white front.........

It was quite hard to get any images of them with other people walking up and down the path next to thr river and the added fact of there being two pairs on that stretch, they were constantly chasing each other trying to claim their territory, typically just as I would have one perched another would come and scare it off but I was more than happy with what I came away with.......

And one with its eye membrane, or eyelid over it's eye.....

The next thing on my list to see and try to get some images of was a Red Grouse.
So we all set off to another place high up just outside Dentdale called Black Gang Mine, which is an old disused lead working mine.
It had been snowing quite heavy and as we started to drive up some of the steeper roads it became thicker with snow, the last road was a sharp incline and once we started we had to carry on.

There was no way of us getting our car down there and back up!

The view was stunning!.....

Matt and S-J were in their car and we were following behind, the car started to loose grip and slide but we just managed to get to the top.
What now we couldn't drive down the slope the other side, so we had to leave the car there and walk. Luckily it was very close anyway, as I got out of my car to talk to Matt he pointed to a Grouse straight away......

I grabbed my camera and left the others to enjoy the scenery while I sneaked up on my first Red Grouse, I just focussed on him with my lens and it took flight making the strangest call! Oh well luckily there were a lot of them about and soon enough I was laying in the snow photographing one..........

I was in such a hurry and excited to go and photograph one, that I forgot to put my waterproof trousers on but it was worth getting cold and wet legs for.......

The Gamekeeper feeding the Red Grouse drives around on his quad to fill up all the Grouse butts and has fun too!......

As we had been there for a few hours and the sun had been so strong, the snow on the road had melted enough to make our assent back down safely.
Thanks for looking.