Capercallie pics, for the guys who like wildlife and birds

Discussion in 'Sports and Lifestyle' started by crispin, 25 Apr 2011.

  1. crispin

    crispin

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    So spring is kicking in here and with it came an opportunity to see the mating display of a very cool forest bird called a Capercallie or Tiur in Norwegian. They are a large bird, slightly smaller than a turkey I guess and very shy so actually seeing them is a thrill, let alone when they are in full strutting glory. They display in the same areas of the forests each year and the locations are fairly closely guarded secrets so I was lucky to be invited to see them. We walked into the area (the forest is about 400hectares and they display in an area about 2 hectares deep in the centre) late at night, around 9pm when its still light enough to be stealthy, but starting to get dark. The birds are roosting by this stage and you have to be in absolute stealth mode so as not to disturb them, which we didn’t do that well as I counted 8 heading out the area as we sneaked in. I think most returned in the early morning though. We set a small three man tent up as a hide, guessing roughly where we think the birds will do the main display and then settled down on the forest floor in sleeping bags. Talking to a minimum. At around 4am I heard the first male fly in and it took me a good 30 minutes before I saw a bird through the trees. Bare in mind we are in a small tent, looking through little tears around the size of a R5 coin at ground level, so any low vegetation gets in the way. The first time I saw a male in plain sight was a true ‘gulp, wow look at that fella’ as they are so stuffed with self importance and so beautiful strutting around that it takes one by surprise the first time.

    The Capercallie display with a combination of calls and short flights, almost straight up and very noisy to get the females attention, whom are perched in the beginning in trees above the arena. While they call (a surprisingly soft call) the head goes back and the eye closes so the birds are actually rather vulnerable at this 3-4 second period but ridiculously vigilant at all other times. I was lucky to borrow a decent camera and good lens so that I could photograph and once the light improved we had some incredible viewing of birds around 5m from the tent and a fox which wondered through. Here a few pics I got. It really was like hide hunting using a lens and a great experience. Next week im off to do a similar experience with black grouse that are just starting to display J Thought you guys might like to see some wildlife from across the waters.
     
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  3. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    this is a classic shot, late spring snow and the sort of forests we own here.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    i never really got a decent shot of the flight display as it was always too deep in the forests to be able to focus easily and its fast, but here a few attempts

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    you can see in this pic how the eye closes as they put the head back and call

    [​IMG]
     
  10. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    full tail display, tough pic to get and i managed to get one towards me and one away, chuffed with that

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    and finally the best pic showing the full beauty of these birds...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. robvdv

    robvdv

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    Very cool animal. Amazing character.
     
  13. Dane

    Dane

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    Amazing! ... such an incredible animal :)
     
  14. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. colbar

    colbar

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    Wow, what an awesome experience and beautiful bird. How lucky you were to witness something like that. Enjoying nature at its best.
     
  16. Afsal

    Afsal

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    I'd love to be in a place like that , you are one lucky person , Crispin
     
  17. Midasblenny

    Midasblenny

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    very interesting, thanks for sharing crispin
     
  18. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Wow crispin awesome looking foul & amazing colouration. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I would really like to visit Norway someday.
     
  19. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    looks like a turkey to me....
     
  20. crispin

    crispin Thread Starter

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    they do have amazing character, especially for a wild animal, each male had a different approach to the display and it was amazing to be in such close proximity as to be able to observe them.
    agreed, truley special bird
    it was indeed a great experience, a little effort to organise it and actually do it, but wonderful rewards. two of the great wildlife experiences ive had in my life have been with norwegian birdlife (and ive had a privlidged life with regard to wildlife mostly due to a father whos hobby was intigating game reserves). The other incredible experiece was seeing 20 000 puffins return to their nesting sites at Runde in north west norway and sitting amoungst them as they return with food for chicks.
    agreed afsal, i am very lucky. the best part is this is what my forests look like and i walk daily through them. the surrounds of my farm are amazingly beautiful, not the least of which is the farm itself. lucky indeed:)

    my pleasure robin...i dont know if louis is on masa much but maybe point him in the direction as im sure he'd enjoy the pics as well:)

    If you ever get the chance to visit norway take it, many rate it as one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and granted the pics i post are the tame boring ones, its the west coast and fjords that truley take ones breath away, although im happy on my little farm :)

    why? u want to stuff it???:eek:
     
  21. HenkHugo

    HenkHugo

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    i was more thinking along the lines of slow roasting it...
     
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