A Tale of Two Sides
It was the best of days:
Caper-watch, Friday 1 April to Sunday 15 May, 5.30am - 8.00am, Come to the RSPB's Loch Garten Osprey Centre at the crack of dawn to watch for the most enigmatic of birds, the capercaillie, as the males strut their stuff to woo the ladies.
Got up at four, were heading north by ten past four, and arrived about ten to six. The hide was already fairly full and allegedly a capercaille was in view, but finding the dark green tree with dead tree beside it in among the forest in front of us proved beyond us and anyway the capercaille moved out of view.
Over the next hour there were various sightings from one side of the hide or the other, but we never managed to track them down in our optics. There were remote cameras controlled from the hide and the live pictures shown on those screens definitely confirmed there was at least one male bird out there.
Suddenly there was a call that there was a female up a tree and somehow I got our scope trained on it. Despite various calls that it had flown and wasn't there any more I was watching it and told all, it was still there. It wasn't easy to see, well camouflaged, Mrs L had trouble even though it was in the middle of the scope! I couldn't then find it with the camera, so no photos I'm afraid.
From then on things got more interesting, perhaps the presence of a female enlivened the males and once the males arrived more females arrived. The views through our optics were fairly fleeting of the birds on the ground, but the views from the remote cameras were excellent. At one point there were four females and three males in view. The guy operating the camera said they'd been running Caper-watch for ten years now and this was by far the best action they'd ever seen.
How lucky were we that this was the day we'd chosen to come and see our first capercailles.
It was the worst of days:
Somehow, sometimes, for no good reason, things just go sour.
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