Happy New Year folks, let's hope 2016 is a good one for everyone.
I avoided any new years eve celebrations and went to bed early as i had planned an early rise to get on the hills to photograph mountain hares! This all went to plan although I missed a nice display of aurora whilst i snored the night away! Oh well, there will be other chances!
Mountain hares are stunningly beautiful and the area I visit is pretty well know amongst photographers and guides so I tend to avoid it as much as possible until this time of year. Photographing mountain hares will be high of the list for the guests on out 2016 winter wildlife tour so it's important that I get back up there an familiarise myself with the hares and where they are located.
Past winters have been fairly good for hares and they can often be found sitting in the same form for days on end making them easier to locate and today was no exception. I estimate that I encountered at least 30 hares within three hours although many of the sighting were of hares running off at high speed. Oh well, you can't win them all and every encounter no matter how brief is a privilege.
I will confess to being (or trying to be) a bit of a frame filler when it comes to photographs and I love a close portrait that shows the features of an animal. That's all good but what about the habitat? Wildlife doesn't live in featureless 'studio settings'. so I plan to go wider in 2016 and as you can see from the image above, I'm off to a good start with an image that hopefully shows some of the environment and adds context and a bit of a back story. Imagine being high on the hills, -2 with a wind chill making it feel much, much colder, you, the sound of the wind and mountain hares. Nothing else. Just you and mountain hares. Perfect!
I'll be back at the hares soon as part of the preparation for the winter wildlife tours so check back soon for more images.