Hares and Harriers (Jodie Randall)

I have spent the last couple of evenings photographing brown hares. Unfortunately, over the past few days a blanket of cloud has crept across the sky a couple of hours before dusk. I am hoping for a clear sky soon so that I can photograph them in the last golden rays of light.

Sitting in my car (which is currently serving as a hide as well as transport), the light was fading fast and I began to wonder whether to just give up and go home when I spotted a marsh harrier gliding towards me. As it flew past, one hare that had been feeding in a nearby field jumped up towards the bird, thenĀ  stood tall on its hind legs until the marsh harrier had passed by. I have never witnessed this sort of behaviour before and was quite surprised by the hare’s boldness. Things then became more curious as the harrier landed in a tree. The hare followed it, thenĀ  stood underneath the tree staring up at the harrier, while the harrier looked back down rather bemusedly.

By the time the harrier took off, it was too dark for me to photograph the display that ensued as it flew over the marsh. It was the closest encounter I have ever had with this impressive bird of prey.

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