During the heavy snowfall, there had been no footprints on the hillside
but after a few days it was evident that there were lots of hares about
The characteristic 4 footed print of a hare
Mountain hares will often rest on the lea side of the hill,
with their backs to slopes or rocks for protection from the wind
Although hares are sometimes seen by burrows or snow holes, the adults rarely spend time below ground.
This hare briefly popped into the hole under the snow for only a couple of seconds.
The hares feed on heather, grasses, lichen, leaves and twigs.
The hares will dig out depressions, or forms, with their feet to give a little added protection from the weather.
Some individuals will return to the same form for several days but others make a new one each day.
When the sun came out briefly, the hare’s ears cast a lovely shadow on the snow
Mountain hares are nocturnal.
They rest during the day, but only sleep for short periods of a few minutes at a time.
By spending hours with the same individual hare, it accepted us as not posing any threat.
This enabled us to witness its normal behaviour.
Hares groom frequently during the day, ensuring their fur is in good condition.
By reading about the behaviour of our subject, we were able to anticipate some of its behaviour.
Hares usually doze for a period of time in the day, then groom themselves,
then move about maybe to feed or investigate new areas.
Investigating a red grouse’s dropping
Stretching is another typical behaviour if the hare has been dozing for a while.
Luckily the hare was stretched and warmed up when another hare jumped over its mound
and almost landed on top of it - it wasn’t hanging around.
We think this hare was quite exceptional in allowing us to slowly move in so close.
It was only when we were pixel peeping to check image sharpness that we noticed
we were able to see the mountain scenery and ourselves clearly reflected in its eye.