'We were into our third week of snow,' says Ron. 'This is unusual for the Scottish Borders,' and the snow had forced the red grouse down from the high moor to the lower slopes of the Lammermuir Hills in an attempt to find exposed vegetation. But the temperature here wasn't much better, with a bitter east wind bringing it down to -10°C (14°F). From the roadside, Ron watched this female searching for food. 'She had to stand on tiptoe to pick the seeds at the top of the heather. It looked so elegant, even though the situation was so harsh. It's hard to imagine how they find enough food to survive such a winter.'
Canon EOS 40D + 500mm f4 lens; 1/400 sec at f6.3; ISO 320; Manfrotto 055 tripod.
Lammermuir Hills, Scotland, UK