On this day, I would see a Ruffed Grouse for the first time. I happened to be there with another photographer, and it kept following him everywhere he went. A lady walking her dog along the path, told us it had followed her friend for quite a distance. As if on cue, a man walked by and the Grouse started running after him. I did my best to try to stay out of it’s way. It was on the ground a lot, and at this point, I wondered if it could even fly.
We stayed for a bit, took some photos and headed back down the path, when we heard loud screams coming from behind us. We turned around to see a young man on a bicycle screaming loudly, cursing, and hollering….” LEAVE ME ALONE.” He had just rounded a corner, and I was scared, as I assumed that he was being chased, and was thankful I was not on the trail alone. He rode into a fence, almost falling off his bike. Then he was back on it in a split second and screaming once again, as he rode toward us, but we didn’t see anyone behind him.
So, we were quite puzzled as we stood and watch. Then the other photographer said to me, “O look, look.” as he pointed in the direction of the cyclist. At first, I didn’t see anything, but on looking closer, there was the Ruffed Grouse, his pretty tail feathers all fanned out, flying low and chasing this young lad down the trail and pecking him in the back.
When he finally reached us, he cursed the bird some more. Well we all got a good laugh, and the bike rider went his way, probably never to become a Birder, or Wildlife Photographer.