Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spring Hares

I thought I would do a quick post with some of the brown hares I photographed this spring as there is going to be a lot of birds coming in subsequent posts.  At least hopefully there will be, as in 4 days time I am off on my annual overseas adventure with the camera. This year I am spending 10 days in Iceland  where I will be travelling around with my good friend Steve in a camper van. I am not quite sure about how sensible the camping option is especially as Iceland has just had one of its coldest springs in many years. However, we wanted to stay flexible and not tied to any places or times especially as the sun will only be set for a relatively brief time. Of course I will be giving a full report of the trip here on my blog with a day by day account and hopefully with some interesting wildlife photos to show for our efforts.

Back to this blog post. The hares were a bit slow in getting started this spring with very low numbers present initially at one of my usual sites. One of the few hares that were around, I recognised from last year as she is particularly accommodating and use to my presence. As a photographer it always wonderful to have the opportunity of a wild animal taking you into its trust, allowing you to watch an observe a generally shy species from such a close distance.

It is always  a good feeling to get the first hare of the year in front of the camera. This one still in its thick winter coat, was taken in fairly low light as you can see from the size of the pupils.

I spent quite a bit of time with the 'friendly' hare, mainly getting low level photos. Small changes in elevation of the camera when close to the ground can make a big difference in the look of the resulting image as vegetation is blurred to different degrees. It is always good to have a subject that gives the time to experiment a little with the camera.
In the very early spring the hares seem to spend quite a bit of time in a small area of woodland from which they emerge at the beginning or end of the day to feed. The photograph below of one emerging from the woodland edge in the evening.

One of the reasons I love to photograph hares are they are so apparently full of 'character'. This one spent quite a while looking at me (I lost by blinking first in the staring contest) before getting down to the important job of giving the paws a clean. 
Numbers picked up as the weather warmed through into April, unusually  and much to my surprise I came across two well grown leverets. This was very early and presumably a reflection of some 'out of season' breeding during a relatively mild winter. Leverets are always a tricky target for the camera as not only are they very small and quick but they are also very unpredictable in their movements. Eventually one stopped for a couple of moments and allowed to me to get some images.
I will finish this post with one last photo of a running hare back-lit by the sinking sun taken during an evening session last month. I actually have the whole sequence captured as it ran right across in front of me at close range, but this was one of my favourites as their seemed to be good eye contact on the image.

Well I am 'just stepping out now and I maybe sometime' as I have a long list of jobs to get through before leaving for Iceland. This includes packing what is turning into a small mountain of gear and kit into two small bags. The next post will be about the Land of Volcanoes and Ice!


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