Photo of the Week: 25 March-1 April 2024


Red Grouse by Paul Bateson



As spring advances, the UK's uplands will be coming back to life after a long and bleak winter. Among the sounds so typical of this landscape is the harsh and far-carrying go-back, go-back of Red Grouse, which will be particularly vocal at the moment as males go about defending their territories and attracting a mate. While there is no shortage of controversy surrounding Red Grouse when it comes to unsustainable releases, mismanagement of our uplands and bird of prey persecution, this doesn't stop the species being delightful in appearance and often so entertaining to watch. In fact, it may well be that Red Grouse is once again considered a British and Irish endemic species at some point in the future, which will only add to its appeal.

Grouse have a habit of being photogenic, but Paul Bateson's photo of a male is notable for its wonderful, warm colours and minimalistic composition, with the grouse isolated against a clean foreground and background, raising its head between bouts of feeding as if to acknowledge the photographer's presence. All in all, this is a super shot. Well done, Paul!



Other notable images


Great Northern Diver, Paynetown SRA, Monroe Co, Indiana (Steve Bell).

Great Crested Grebe, undisclosed site (Nigel Kiteley).

Bufflehead, Sands of Forvie NNR, Aberdeenshire (Ron Macdonald).

Egyptian Goose, Richmond Park, London (Clive Daelman).

Little Egret, Blythburgh, Suffolk (Andrew Moon).

Common Crane, Los Mallos de Riglos, Spain (Glyn Sellors).

Northern Gannet, Gibraltar, Gibraltar (Robert Perez).

Western Marsh Harrier, Leighton Moss RSPB, Lancashire (Ivan Ellison).

Red Grouse, Ladybower, Derbyshire (James Fennel).

Common Redshank, Summer Leys LNR, Northamptonshire (Dave Jackson).

Black-tailed Godwit, Cley Marshes NWT, Norfolk (Nick Appleton).

Short-eared Owl, Staines Moor, London (Joe Downing).

Cyprus Warbler, Petra tou Romiou, Cyprus (Mark Darling).

Myrtle Warbler and Blue Tit, Kilwinning, Ayrshire (Stevie Clarke).

Common Ostrich, Maasai Mara, Rift Valley (Tony Stewart).

Written by: BirdGuides