1, 2, 3, 4 - how many red grouse have we got?

A red  grouse

This is where you can get involved and help us out. Each year we attempt to gauge how the red grouse numbers are doing on Long Mynd. So, we simply go about trying to count them.

We do the count in April and May because grouse pairs are secretive in the breeding season (late May – end of June), and at this point they stay in the deep heather, so they are difficult to count.

However, territorial males display around sunset in April and May, so this is a good time to catch sight of them. Most territories are within sight and hearing distance of the road along the top of the hill, between the Midland Gliding Station and the Shooting Box car park.

The display flight is noisy, conspicuous and unmistakeable, and can be observed over long distances, so this is a suitable project for anyone interested in birds or conservation, or who would enjoy being up on the hill at sunset.  No special knowledge or skills are needed. A full briefing, and training for anyone that wants it, will be provided.

The Strettons Area Community Wildlife Group lead the project and in 2015 and there were over sixty volunteers that took part. We want to recruit as many helpers as we can to support us with the 2016 survey. It’s easy to do, and new participants will be very welcome. Counts will be held on six successive Thursdays in April and early May. Additional dates will be arranged on other days of the week, so please sign up even if Thursdays are inconvenient. Participants do not need to come to every count. Please come to as many as you can though.

Please come along to the Project Briefing & Methodology Meeting 7.30pm – 8.30pm Thursday 24 March 2016 in the Carding Mill Valley Tea Room (Refreshments provided) if you are interested.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact Peter Carty.