Monday, 16 December 2013

Red Grouse - footwear

Ken took this photo during one of the brief sunny spells earlier last week. It's a nice photo for a number of obvious reasons but the most unusual feature for me is that you can clearly see the feet, which are lost in most photos. 
It reminds me of a day a couple of years ago after we had had a deep fresh snow fall. I walked up on to the moor and came across a group of a dozen Red Grouse together. They were walking about quite happily on the snow surface. After they had gone I walked over through deep soft snow thinking that there must be a solid area where they were walking but I could just see the footprints where they had been with hardly any indentation in the soft powder snow. I took a 2p coin from my pocket and put it carefully on the snow surface where it immediately sank - those large feathered feet are the reason, they do a fantastic job of distributing the grouses body weight allowing them to walk on the surface in the freshest snow.
Red Grouse - male (photo Ken Smith)

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