Scottish Mountain Hares

12th May 2019
So with the opportunity to photograph some Mountain Hares in the mountains around Inverness, it was something not to be passed up and with the weather forecast predicting some sunshine - it was all "systems go".

What the forecasters had omitted to mention was the gale force winds that accompanied the few rays of sunshine !!

Water poured from the sky but it was not rain - it was the spray from the rivers and stream that were being whipped up by the high wimds, nevertheless stil great to be out and with great company

Lepus timidus scoticus - is native to the Highlands of Scotland, there are Mountain Hares in the Peak District but these are reintroduced animals.

Smaller than the Brown Hare the Mountain Hare feed on the grasses and vegetation in their particular area.

The Mountian Hare live in "forms", and we found a good few occupying them - sheltering from the wind.

In general the Hares were losing their white winter coats and changing to their brown summer coats.

A good few of the Hares on the higher peaks were still all white, and when "put up" they gain even higher peaks with a seemingly effortless run.

Whilst crawling aaround the soaking wet ground to get low pov shots - it did occur to me what great opportunities the photographic faternity from Inverness have and in what during the early months of the year at least are very spacious surroundings.

Having finished work it had taken roughly 20 minutes to be at my chosen venue, and whilst I awaited David and Margaret to join me on the hills, there was not a "soul" in sight.

David and I did notice (Margaret went off stalking her own quarry) that a number of the Hares had a single stone outside their form - now if some bio diversity group wants to offer a grant for research into whether this is intentional or just coincidence - happy to take on that suitably funded challenge !

After my adventure in the mountains - I returned to the hotel where the owner directed to me a shed and there feeding away on the patio of the hotel were badgers.

I will put one of the badger shots into my next blog, but they are really only for the record type shots. Nevertheless a real bonus for having to be "away" from home.

The owner of the Hotel a keen photographer had the badgers feeding with a security light providing occassional light onto the patio - the problem was that the light kept going off and was only activated when the badgers made their way off the patio which was further away than the feeding area.

The badgers were n't "phased" by the light and the owner was going to change the settings of the light so it stayed on continually.

The Hotel owner had a number of his own "works" adorning the walls of the Hotel bar and corridors and some great shots of the badgers squabbling over peanuts !

The Mountain Hares were a great experience and although I took a good number of shots it was also great to just sit and watch them.

Roll on January for snow and white hares.

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