Friday, 15 March 2013


....Sorry couldn't resist another nature/pun related blog post title, and no it's not about my hairline either. No it's all about the Hare (lepus europaeus). I drew back the curtains and it was grey skies, bugger, I was hoping to re-visit my favourite public byway but seeming so many of my target birds would (if they were to be flying) be up against a dreary looking sky. So I was in two minds were to go, to one of the reservoirs or nature reserves or go and explore somewhere. I opted for a bit of exploration, chucked ol' faithful Jim the hound in the car and went out, checked my house roof (no sparrowhawk perched up) and eventually ended up near a copse/field/lake area. I went for a stroll through the copse, plenty of stuff, Goldcrests/Treecreepers/Great Spotted Woodpecker/Nuthatch/Buzzard/various Tits the only species missing being both Willow and Marsh Tit. Not a bad start but the only decent images were the Goldcrests, the light being (slightly) better at the edge of the copse.
Did find some owl pellets near an oak tree in one of the fields, I think they're Tawny Owls too big for Little Owls and given Me and Ben go Tawny Owl watching nearby I presume it's a safe bet they're Tawny and not Barn Owl, I shall have to keep my eyes peeled.
 I spotted in the field two Hares running after each other, well more a case of one chasing and the other trying to get away. They were quite distant but luckily the chasing had one go near a bunch of Elder and Ash tree's which wasn't too far from a fence/hedgerow. Seeing as I had my greyhound with me I wasn't expecting to get too close to them and walked along the footpath using the hedgerow section as cover. I got to a gap in the hedgerow were there was a barbed wire fence, set my camera on top of the post and kneeled down behind the post. It then rained and the Hares vanished...git.
 Luckily it was just a passing shower and they soon came back out again. Sadly I didn't really have the shutter speed for images of the pair of them chasing around, plus I had one hand resting near my hounds lead. He was watching intently and the occasional howl from him didn't even spook the pair, hormones are a powerful thing I guess. Not even a group of five ramblers scared them off despite the ensuing argument, YES AGAIN (!!!!!) it seems if you happen to find yourself walking a greyhound in rural Britain it's safe/ok to assume the person is Hare coursing, seriously this group who you would assume were/are educated (me making assumptions now) would be able to exercise a bit of common sense. Sure I can't criticise them for checking (would someone ever say yes though) and even deep down I applaud them after all Hare coursing is illegal with dogs etc and it's not like people don't persecute nature in the UK, but I ask you this would a Hare courser go to either a) a field with a public footpath running through and a road not a million miles away or b) a field in a very remote location and the chances of seeing people/cars very unlikely...exactly..BUT lets use some more common sense here, HOW MANY HARE COURSERS ARE LUGGING AROUND A 500MM CAMERA LENS AROUND WITH THEM? Even after explaining this to the morons what was the reply from one of them "So you're photographing your greyhound chasing them?"...crikey I almost lumped the bloke, just to see if it would kick start his brain into gear whilst secretly wishing my greyhound was some big "attack" Alsatian, ramblers to sprinters within seconds. Huh maybe I should start my own field sport, RAMBLER COURSING.
 Luckily the numpties cleared off and I managed to keep calm and not want for a cigarette, I did half expect to get to my car and find some Police there but no. I had about a further hour with the Hares, with one venturing very close, a Buzzard flew through to the copse which scattered the pair so since my greyhound was drooling I thought I would head for home, stopped off to get a Scotch egg for the hound for behaving himself, I know Scotch egg for a dog!! but he loves them and bread too really obsessed with bread the weirdo...oh I almost forgot my sister and her greyhound "Whimssy" got a first and second place at Crufts last I'm sure I'll get moaned at for spelling the dogs name wrong (silly name though).


  1. Lovely shots of the Hare Doug.
    I rather like the idea of Rambler Coursing.
    Can we include joggers, and people on boats on a lake full of birds?

  2. Well the rules are only in draft form at the moment so I can't see why we can't include joggers,people on boats could be tricky unless we can train some cormorants or something my greyhoound doesn't swim lol

  3. Rambler coursing sounds a brill idea to me too! You get bonus points if you can take out the one with the bushy beard first, the winner is the one who comes back first with the "laminated map on a string", preferably with the ramblers head still attached!!!!!
    Nice post and images Doug.

    1. Love it, the rules are taking shape just got to get in contact with BASC and Countryside Alliance now and make it official lol

  4. Great shots of the Hare, Doug, and I can take any number of shots of Goldcrest!

    I'm totally behind Keith's suggestion to include joggers. They're not too bad on their own, but get two or more together and they insist on shouting at each other as they go. You can often still hear them five minutes after they've passed!

    I'd like to include off-road cyclists too please! I think they frighten me more than they do the birds!! I keep nearly getting wiped out by them!

    1. Yea I'm happy with loads of Goldcrests too, especially after the very cold weather, I feared for them.
      I won't mention what happened to joggers and a well known/liked birder at summerleys...they through his scope into the bushes..joggers are in.
      Off road cyclists, don't go to Fineshade woods at the weekend, they put a track right through were the Kites were nesting, they're in too lol