Saturday, 21 March 2015

Mountain Hares

Had a trip up onto moorland near Cunningsburgh weather was sunny but cold. i was looking for Mountain Hares. Whitish mammals appeared soon, but these were Shetland sheep very numerous here.
Off the paths lot of peat diggings occurred which made progress difficult as i had to weave in and out of the channels. Lots of Raven and Hoodies flew over and several skylarks burst into song which is always nice to hear. Only one Meadow Pipit sang but soon a couple of Curlews joined in.
After a Red Grouse burst out of cover I spotted a mountain hare sat low down sheltering from the wind. I had no option in heading up hill with the wind blowing at my back which instantly alerted the hare to my presence.

I manage to catch the Hare further up the hill and it was joined by a second hare both in beautiful white coats

The hares were both alert, standing on their hind legs, testing the air for my scent. Again Peat digs made me take a long diversion which enabled the hares to get higher up the hill and over the top out of view.

October - December seems to be a better time to get closer, now they are breeding so more alert but still they gave reasonable views.

There is already talk that Cunningsburgh will have a few Turbines erected in the area, which is bad news for the hares.
No one has really brought up the fact that archaeological remains occur in the area for the large wind farm in the central mainland. These sites as well as birds such as Whimbrel, Red Throated Diver are supposed to be protected.
Recently Sustainable Shetland sent an open letter to the Councillors urging them to debate the proposed wind farm. However this has been discussed before with the previous council so the proposal was thrown out.

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