Mountain hares are one of the hardiest mammals that live in the UK. They live high on hills and mountains, and endure the worst that the British weather can throw at them.
Native to Great Britain, these hares can change their appearance between summer when they're mostly brown coloured, to white for the winter months. Which can make them extremely difficult to spot!
Thankfully, after spending many hours observing them on the hills of the Scottish Highlands, Pete is experienced at locating them for you, and helping you get close enough for some fantastic images.
As such, Pete is now offering guided photography days for Scottish mountain hares, during the winter months.
As the hares live on the slopes, it is assumed that you are sufficiently fit to be able to walk to where they're usually encountered, whilst carrying your photographic gear. Typically this involves a walk of 30-60 minutes uphill.
You should also be prepared to sit, lie down and crawl around on the ground, which is often wet.
After locating a hare, Pete will use fieldcraft techniques to approach it, and if successful, you will typically spend several hours with that individual.
During this stay, Pete will advise you on images to strive for (if you need such advice), what settings to use, and also try to anticipate the hare's behaviour, thus enabling you to capture yawns, stretches and perhaps feeding.
Whilst watching one hare, others may approach, which may also be photographed, especially if they start to box!
Not normally. The hares endure the foulest of weather, and remain in situ. Obviously extreme weather conditions, that would either endanger you or make photography impossible might cause the day to be postponed.
Poor weather, such as biting wings, spindrifts or blizzards may cause the day to end prematurely. Pete will monitor conditions and it is up to you to inform him if you are feeling the cold.
Sadly not. It depends on the winter, and how much snowfall there is. If there are patches of snow on the hillsides, they can be targeted, but there's no guarantee a hare will be on them.
Of course booking several days of guiding may increase the chances of snow being on the ground when you visit.
Provided Pete is available for the new date(s) and sufficient notice is given for the change of date, then yes.
Any deposit or money paid for a booking cannot be refunded should the booking need to be cancelled.
Pete calmly takes over. The camera is unpacked from it's portable home and fixed to the tripod. In the distance a trio of hares are boxing, but closer to us, lying in its form, is our own mountain hare, pristine in white like an oyster fresh pearl with the first splashes of summer brown working its way across the nose and eyebrows. Its ears are tipped in black like a quill recently dipped in an ink well.
Approaching cautiously on hands and knees, over the next 30 minutes we edge closer, watching the hare's reaction to us so as not to have it bolt. It's calm and I start to take pictures as I want some shots in the bag.
Now it's a waiting game. The hares lie motionless for what seems like hours, briefly sitting up to pick up a pellet. After it has eaten the hope at this point is the hare will start to wash, or yawn. To do something that conveys its character. More often than not it will sit back down and snooze, occasionally pricking up an ear when a grouse, or overly keen photographer, startles it.
For more of this wonderful account of a guided day out, see Andy's Blog
I think I might be coming on the Otter trip in Nov as I had such an amazing time with Hares and proper good crack...
All the best pal
We had a great time in Scotland, just never want to leave, holidays are over far too quick! It was a most enjoyable day that again was over too quickly! I found another 'sitter' on the Cairngorms and managed another decent set of images. Thanks again for guiding me on the day.