28 March 2010

Creatures of the Dark Peak

Whilst rambling among the peaks of the District we came across some interesting animals, some of which we have never seen before.  On the higher parts of the walk we were in the Heather moorlands of the Dark Peak.  Heather Moorlands are cold, bleak and treeless.  They are also the perfect or only environment where Grouse live.  Grouse are highly sought after game birds that look like chicken but can fly like quails.  We saw and heard Red Grouse.  There were boys and girls and they all seemed quite frisky, it is spring i suppose.

We also came across Mountain Hares.  Corinne said that she had seen an enormous multicoloured rabbit.  We eventually all saw the huge white and brown rabbit and thought it must have been an escaped giant pet rabbit.  Later in the walk we found a wildlife board and found the creature to be a Mountain Hare – Very cool. 


Very young rabbit  - Oryctolagus cuniculus


Red Grouse Male, surrounded by Heather.


Well camouflaged Male grouse disappearing into the Heather


Lone grouse on the Horizon


Male Grouse in a burnt region of Heather.  The Heather moorlands are managed to encourage Grouse and this involves controlled burning of the Heather to encourage new growth, green pick etc.





The Mountain Hare – Lepus timidus


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