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23 November 2007 @ 12:15 pm
The Blue Grouse  
Thanksgiving day was spent hiking and wandering in Yosemite. I've been lucky with Blue Grouse before and yesterday was the best of the sightings. I first noticed two of them right next to the road and since the birds were on the passenger side I had to drive slowly around them and park in the next turnout. It was freezing outside and Yosemite roads see a lot of a traffic, especially on a big weekend, and it was only a matter of time before the next car zoomed past the birds sending them into hiding. Getting close enough without scaring them is half the job in taking a forest bird photograph. The other half is spotting them! It was fun stalking them. First I had to sit on the ground far away from them while they looked at me and became aware of an alien in their country. Then I had move sideways without making eye contact and moving as slowly as possible without any quick movements. And then when I was close enough, it was time to gain their confidence once more so that I can lift my camera and take their photographs. It took minutes to even get to them and I was just hoping no car comes by on that very busy road up to one of Yosemite's most famous vantage points. However, I managed to take a bunch of photographs till the next car came by sending the birds flying down the mountain just as I had expected!

There was a third on the other side of the road and it was not as friendly as the next two

This one's probably a juvenile (male?)?

A female Blue Grouse

Any closer and I'm sure she would fly away...

Oh, before I forget, this bird is now called the Sooty Grouse because the "Blue Grouse" was split into two species, Dusky Grouse and Sooty Grouse, last year.

Margaretrivendweller on November 23rd, 2007 10:27 pm (UTC)
Breathtaking! I so admire your skills.
Anush Shettyanushsh on November 24th, 2007 06:44 am (UTC)
Origaoriga on November 24th, 2007 07:25 am (UTC)
Super photos!
Aragorn, Son of Arathorncode_martial on November 24th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
Interesting birdie. Not to be found here, I presume.
Yathinyathin on November 24th, 2007 05:15 pm (UTC)
It's a western America special for a lot of birders.
velvetinkvelvetink on November 24th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)