Langdon Common

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Langdon Common
This site is probably one of the best known leks in Britain.However, birders should take special care when viewing the birds.Because of the nature of the landscape, it is almost impossible to get close to Black Grouse without disturbing them.On our recent visit (2007) we counted only 19 males, which shows a definate (if slow) decline in numbers. Durham County Bird Report for 1972 (No 36 New series #3) reports 32 males at the site.Best viewed from the car with telescope.
Click here for a location map...

Away from the traditional leks, Black grouse can be found on moorland areas around Allendale, Stanhope etc and are quite easily spotted due to their overall black appearance.Closer examination reveals a purple / blue gloss to feathers, red 'eyebrow' , very small bill and white undertail feathers which are seen quite clearly during flight. Distinctive is the 'lyre' shaped tail which is spread during display, but folded straight during flight.Female appears much more ' female pheasant-like'.Frazers Hope ex-mine workings is also a good site for this species with the bonus of Ring Ouzel in the breeding season.

The Black Grouse

The Black Grouse

This is the first book to be written on this fascinating, severely declining species, the Black Grouse. Author Patrick Laurie's lively natural history is interwoven with his account of his on-going battle to reintroduce them on his farm in the Scottish Borders. His beautiful illustrations convey his passion for these vulnerable birds, so full of character, from their aggressive lekking behaviour to their desperate struggle to survive against nearly-impossible odds in modern Britain. * Black Grouse range in Britain has shrunk by 95% in the past 100 years, with 25% of that decline since the 1990. * Mature black grouse consistently fly higher and faster than almost any other gamebird, making them fantastic, testing quarry for sportsmen. * If we allow raptor predation to increase, we risk losing this iconic bird species in Britain altogether. * During the frozen winter of 2009/10 almost half the population of black grouse being monitored by the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust in the more treeless North Pennines were killed off by heavy snows and frost. * The author explains why he believes it is still possible to stage a major black grouse renaissance in moorland shooting.Click here for further details and ordering

Black Grouse photographed by Ray Scott
Where to watch Birds in North East England

Where to watch Birds in North East England
Bird photographs from Langdon Common
Bird video from Langdon Common
Langdon common on twitter
Langdon Common blogs and links
Langdon Common local services
Langdon Common Birding walks

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