Join RSPB Cymru for an intimate Date with Nature
Not a far cry from some of the more interesting sights seen in Wales’ pubs and bars on a Saturday night, the peculiar mating dance of the Black Grouse is something not to be missed. The head dip, rear up and flailing feather could very well have been the inspiration for the Blues Brothers classic – ‘Shake your tail feather’.
Each spring Black Grouse perform their love dance – called lekking – in the hope of securing a mate for the breeding season. Click on the link to see video footage of a black grouse lek on the RSPB website http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/b/blackgrouse/videos.aspx
The somewhat comical sight can be seen from a purpose-built hide in UPM Tilhill’s Coed Llandegla Forest in Denbighshire
The 'Date with nature’ - an RSPB scheme aimed at bringing people closer to nature - will allow people to see male Black Grouse gather at dawn on the edges of the forest to strut their stuff, flash their white tail feathers and impress the watching females.
Becky Clews, People Engagement Manager for RSPB Cymru said: “The lek is a bit surreal, and from the hide you can hear their curdling cries when they see a female, then they start their dance off - strutting proudly, showing off their moves in an effort to entice a female.”
Given the long term decline of the species, which was accelerated in the 1990’s, a recovery programme was put in to operation to maintain the presence of this remarkable bird. Having teetered on the verge of extinction, 2010 was the year of the comeback, with a 38% increase in numbers.
Sadly, given the rarity of this species, not many people have had the opportunity to see these magnificent spectacles in action. Now, thanks to RSPB Cymru you too can come along and see this spectacular sight for yourself, going on a date with nature at Coed Llandegla Forest, North Wales on selected dates from March 12th – May 20th.
This walk costs £6.00 per person, and an experienced guide is on hand to take you on the paths that weave through the forest to the viewing hide. The 5:15am start is definitely worth while!
Telescopes and binoculars are on-hand to help visitors get the best view of the birds, plus a microphone will bring the strange bubbling and screeching calls of the lek even closer.
The guided walks take place from 12 March until 20 May, booking for all walks is essential as places are limited to 15 per walk. To reserve your place, please telephone RSPB Cymru on (029) 2035 3008 or email email@example.com