Mountain hares

Mountain hares

WINTER IN THE CAIRNGORMS

Cairngorm National Park in the Scottish highlands is home to the iconic and charismatic mountain hare. When the days get shorter the mountain hares coats turn from brown to white so they can blend in with their wintry surroundings. It’s also thought that white fur is more insulating for the cold winter months.

These amazing balls of fur withstand the worst of the Scottish weather, often in temperatures below freezing with high winds relentlessly battering them with snow, sleet and rain. They definitely have a harsh environment to survive in and will hunker down and conserve as much energy as possible.

Their beautiful winter coats and stunning snowy surroundings makes them an absolute treat to photograph during the winter. If you’re blessed with a snow-filled crisp winter’s day the low light and pure white surroundings creates magical conditions for truly wild looking photos.

The sought-after snowy conditions on the tops of the hills is the conditions that most photographers want, however this brings a whole host of problems while out in the field. Trekking up to the top wading through deep snow can be tiring whilst carrying heavy photo equipment. The weather at the top of the hills will always be ten times worse than at the bottom. Conditions can change extremely quickly and you can find yourself in a complete white-out, which can be very disorientating.

Despite all the challenges photographing mountain hares in the Cairngorms it feels like a real adventure and you can be rewarded with some of the most magical wildlife experience the UK has to offer.

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