Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary – 06 June 1921

In her next diary entry Viola is still on holiday in the Cairngorms. She has travelled to the moors by Feshiebridge Road. This is located just south of Aviemore.

The entry itself is quite eventful! She encounters a female grouse and sets off to find its nest. After finding numerous chicks, Viola is attacked by the male grouse! It makes ‘furious dabs’ at her head as it sets about Viola. This would either be a black or a red grouse.

She also describes a tactic used by several birds to protect their young. Viola notes that the grouse is ‘pretending to be wounded’. This is actually a distraction display used by several birds.

The method seen by Viola involves the bird pretending to have a broken wing. This means they can lead any predators away from vulnerable chicks or eggs. One of the most famous birds to do so is the Killdeer which can found in North America: