Manager’s mad March hare encounter

Posted March 11, 2015 by Senga Grave

A ‘mad March’ encounter with a Brown Hare. The weather at the beginning of March was unpredictable to say the least; three days of gales were followed by more days of intense sleet and hail showers interspersed by very brief periods of sunshine and warmth. It was during one of these very short warm periods that one particular Brown Hare put on a superb performance. Sitting up with its nose facing (‘sniffing’) the warm morning sunshine one hare, probably a female, appeared not to mind my presence even as I approached it ever more cautiously (there is a theory that by walking in ever decreasing circles one can approach a sitting hare!). I decided to sit down amongst the rough grass and to my surprise the hare remained impassive, even nonchalant. A nearby approaching hare was then followed by another and soon the three began chasing through the plantation, never more than thirty metres from my wet grassy seat. The long grass was blocking my camera so I simply sat there, spellbound, by the antics of the hares all apparently unaware of my presence. To my surprise one hare returned to almost the same starting position and as it then moved away another took its exact place, sniffing and nibbling on nearby vegetation. It was a pleasure to see this intimate behavior from these normally reclusive mammals and the unusually warm conditions made it even more enjoyable. I had negligible room or time to take any quality pictures but the ones I did will remain with me – reminding me forever of this intimate encounter with Watchtree’s most enigmatic mammal.

Check out the Brown Hares any time here at Watchtree Nature Reserve (Tim Lawrence)

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