I’ve been watching for the grouse, curious about how well they’ve managed this winter. Now and then I get a glimpse of one when I’m walking in the woods. Last year’s wet spring during nesting time drowned a lot of nests and chicks. I’ve seen the snow roosts left behind after nights spent in the snow to stay warm, droppings and a few tracks, but so few they’re probably from only one bird.
I saw this bird fly from the ground to a low branch in an apple tree this afternoon. I was busy and though the camera was sitting within reach, I resisted. When it flew from the apple tree to trees much closer to the road I grabbed the camera, pulled on my boots and scuffled across the icy driveway to the road.
I didn’t disturb the bird. Surely it saw me standing in the middle of the road, ducking and weaving to find an angle that would allow me a shot through the branches. It continued to bud, paying me no attention. “Budding” is the term for eating the buds off the trees.
She (I’m guessing) continued to bud after I came back to the house. It shouldn’t be long before the males start drumming. I’ll be listening, curious to see whether they start on time or later this year.