Tuesday, 24 February 2009

North Kent Marshes

I went out today looking for hares again and had decided to try somewhere different from the Elmley track. Whilst where I went is open to the public and I walked along a footpath I'd prefer to keep the actual site detail to myself. A bit selfish I hear you cry, well you are probably right but it is my first visit to this area and until I get to know it a bit more and how the hares behave I wouldn't want to put them at risk. To those birders out there, this outing was one of those look at a map, try and work out suitable habitat and then pay a visit type of trips that worked out. Not far into the walk, I'd already managed to see a good group of 8 corn buntings and then whilst scanning my first hare bounded off into the distance. I wasn't even close to it and it's effortless stride took it far away from me and then it disappeared in a rutted field. Moving on another scan revealed 3 distant brown lumps that then became 4 distant brown lumps.

It was time to try out a theory that I'd been told about how to approach and get close to a hare and it seemed to work, although obviously they were a bit worried and crouched even closer to the ground but I must have got to within 15 feet and they stayed put.

I then did something that they weren't expecting and I laid down to see what they would do. Unfortunately for me, I had chosen the only patch of young nettles in the vicinity and ouch! it bloomin hurt but I couldn't then just jump up so I stayed put and suffered and took a few more photos.

Two of the hares then had enough of this odd behaviour and made a dash for it.

They both then stopped and one stood up on it's hind legs looking back at me laying down. I was lucky with these shots and I love the perspective that being so low down gave me.

I'm definitely going to try lying down again but next time chose my patch a little more carefully.
On the walk back to the car a merlin flew low over the marsh, rounding off a great few hours.

3 comments:

Warren Baker said...

You got some good shots in the end John, well worth getting stung for.

Greenie said...

John ,
Some great shots there .
Remember - no pain , no gain .

Mike - Fenphotography said...

Cracking post John something I would love to photograph