Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grouses, Grouses Everywhere!

I'd had a wonderful trip up to the farm, a confidence inspiring inspection of the place and a memorable, albeit rain soaked, hike in the White Hill Wild Forest. After a night's sleep in the farm apartment it was time to drive home and I began on the Port Kent Hopkinton Turnpike, the series of back roads I write about often. I was barely on my way when I saw a Ruffed Grouse and chicks along the side of the road. This is common and I usually grab my camera hoping for photos only to have the bird disappear in the grass along the road. This time, however, the bird puffed out its feathers and threatened me, all bluster and machismo. I'm pretty sure this was a male, though I'm not sure I actually saw chicks. I'll just have to consider this an unsolved mystery:

Instead of shying away into the grass, this Grouse danced toward my car as if it was another male Grouse competing for his hen:

He came closer and closer, full of bravado:

I finally left him strutting up and down the side of the road. I was happy that no other car had come by and that my dogs hadn't begun barking:

Well, that had been an interesting experience. I continued on my way and a few miles down the road saw another Ruffed Grouse, this one definitely a female, with a brood of chicks. She too was unafraid of the car, though she didn't threaten:

She watched me for a bit while her chicks ran ahead on the road. I didn't want to drive forward because the chicks were in the road:

She eventually became nervous and flew off into the woods:

Her chicks who were still in the road ran off into the grass. I can only hope that they reconnected with their mom. I continued on my way home:

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