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Old April 23rd, 2007, 07:09 AM   #1
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Black Grouse Lek

Last weekend I was sitting in a blind to capture what we here in Norway call: "The Spring Most Beatutiful Adventure".

The Black Grouse male is dressed for romance and shows all its feathered. In the background the female where sitting, watching for the strongest and most beautiful of the male. She rarely take part of the Lek, but this time I was lucky and managed to get a few second of a female among some of the male!

This Lek take part just a few weeks in April each year. The best location is a moore with surrounding woodland. You have to prepare your blind the evening before and sit in this blind throughout the night. The Lek starts before dawn and continues until 8-9 am.

I've used the Canon XLH1 + 20x HD lens and Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 in this shoot. Sound was captured with 2 Sennheiser ME-67 microphones. They was placed outside the blind and hided at the ground. The light was spare through the start of the shooting but in the end the morning sun enhanged the nice colors of the Black Grouse feather.

Link to the footage: http://www.video-film.no/snutter/black-grouse.mov (20.9MB)
Please download before viewing!

Enjoy!
Attached Thumbnails
Black Grouse Lek-black-grouse.jpg  
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Last edited by Per Johan Naesje; April 23rd, 2007 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Updated footage
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 07:47 AM   #2
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Very nice video, Per Johan!
It is amazing to see how clear the picture is when using HD compared to SD.
Makes me want to buy a HD camera too.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 07:51 AM   #3
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Svaert Godt, Per Johan----og Skjonn Fugler!

Very sharp and beautiful pictures. Are you going to continue taking more video of them? Those grouse look very much like the Capercaillie in Scotland and the Auerhahn in Germany. That's great that you caught a female in the Lek. We have big Sage Grouse here in Oregon that have Leks like this and the Wildlife Dept. has to post guards to keep too many birdwatchers from going too close and disturbing them. How are the Black Grouse doing there? Are they increasing their population, or do they have troubles like all our grouse in the U.S., that are declining in numbers?
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 08:38 AM   #4
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Is the Sigma a Canon or Nikon fit? If the latter, how do you adjust the aperture as I have the same lens and it has no aperture ring?
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 08:41 AM   #5
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Great study of black grouse behaviour in the lek, Per Johan.

All markings, especially white wingbars on rising are indicators of relationship of Lyrurus tetrix to the Scottish black grouse, Tetrao tetrix, which is in decline in UK. Capercaillie has similar shape but cock and hen are both c.40%larger than Black Grouse and cock plumage shows a brown upper wing and shiny green "chain-of-office". The red combs above the eyes are more prominent on the Black Grouse, especially during mating display, as shown so beautifully in your clips.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Davies View Post
Is the Sigma a Canon or Nikon fit? If the latter, how do you adjust the aperture as I have the same lens and it has no aperture ring?
I have a Sigma lens with Canon fit, so I adjust the iris by the camcorder.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 09:41 AM   #7
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Thanks all for your comments!
I've made a slightly upgrade of the footage 640x360, hopefully some more of the details showing up.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 10:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald View Post
Very sharp and beautiful pictures. Are you going to continue taking more video of them? Those grouse look very much like the Capercaillie in Scotland and the Auerhahn in Germany. That's great that you caught a female in the Lek. We have big Sage Grouse here in Oregon that have Leks like this and the Wildlife Dept. has to post guards to keep too many birdwatchers from going too close and disturbing them. How are the Black Grouse doing there? Are they increasing their population, or do they have troubles like all our grouse in the U.S., that are declining in numbers?
I think the biggest threat here is that modern agriculture use huge machines when they logging trees. This cause to large empty falling area, where it takes years for the forest to recover. In meantime the species are displaced to other areas which maybe not suit them well.
But for the moment Black Grouse are least concerned, lets hope it stays like this in the future.
I don't think birdwatching are any threat to them. You find them in areas where there is difficult to reach without a long walk from the nearest public road. Forest roads are closed to public traffic (thank God!)
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:38 AM   #9
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Very nice. I especially like the lighting in the second half.

Regards,
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 12:42 PM   #10
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Per, do you get the same functionality with the Nikon mount sigma lens? I would guess not.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 01:08 AM   #11
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grouse

Per Johan,

Being that grouse are one of my most favorite birds I loved the clip.

The black grouse is akin to our Blue grouse. What i do find interesting is the plumage of the hen. It is not all that far off from our sharp tailed grouse.

To me what makes the footage great is the contrast the cock has to its environment around it!!
I promised to get some grouse footage but I am still waiting on getting my xl2 back. Of course it is prime time right now.

thank you for sharing.
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Old April 24th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #12
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Per, I'm only able to see the still and it looks great. Do they make a low sound like the blue grouse to attract a female?

Leon Lorenz
www.wildlifevideos.ca
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #13
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Per,

As a bird lover and having seen other examples of your good work I'd love to see this, but for some reason I am still unable to make a connection to your site. I had the same problem with the Musk-ox footage but eventually got that by some other means. I've sent an email to my ISP to see what the problem is. You might know that one of the few websites I come across that I would really like to be able to study would be the only one I can't seem to make a connection with!

The still looks great.

Rick
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #14
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sound file

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Lorenz View Post
Per, I'm only able to see the still and it looks great. Do they make a low sound like the blue grouse to attract a female?

Leon Lorenz
www.wildlifevideos.ca
Leon, I've attached a small sound file (86.6 KB), which you may download even if you on a dial-up connection. It's a 10 second sample of the sound in the footage. First you hear the the typical song of the male and in the end a male screaming.
Attached Files
File Type: wma black-grouse.wma (86.6 KB, 103 views)
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Old April 24th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick A. Phillips View Post
Per,

As a bird lover and having seen other examples of your good work I'd love to see this, but for some reason I am still unable to make a connection to your site. I had the same problem with the Musk-ox footage but eventually got that by some other means. I've sent an email to my ISP to see what the problem is. You might know that one of the few websites I come across that I would really like to be able to study would be the only one I can't seem to make a connection with!

The still looks great.

Rick
Rick, sorry to hear that you're not able to connect to my site. The HTML-code this site is build on is plain:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
There are some javascript in it but it should not cause any problems.

What kind of webbrowser do you use? I might do some test of different browsers myself if this is a common problem!
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