Thursday, 26 December 2019


Mountain Hare posing nicely
A dry day in Strathspey and The Cairngorms. It was below freezing in Aviemore this morning but temperatures rising. The snow was beautifully firm up on the hills. The fresh snow from a couple of days ago has gone through a melt/freeze cycle and was a joy to walk on. Even the lower hills in The Cairngorms National Park have a covering of snow down to around 700m. The big Cairngorm summits were forecasted to be cloudy with very strong winds above 50mph. So I opted for some lower elevation locations to photograph that enigmatic mammal, The Mountain Hare.
The Northern Cairngorms from the west

Hares active
It's always nice to have other options for wildlife photography, weather can hamper plans for a day on the bigger mountains. My latest Hare location is a great spot and usually very quiet. Even on a Boxing Day holiday when folk start getting out and bout I only saw one other person. Mountain Hare on the other hand were many. They were very active today, as witnessed by the amount of paw prints all over the snowfields. Of course sometimes you may only get a glimpse of one or two but today I spotted them on a regular basis.


feet warming

keeping an eye out
Over toward the main Cairngorms there was a roll of cloud sat on the plateau all day, created by the strong southerly winds. At 800m where I was it was quite pleasant with just a cold, light breeze. It was probably just hovering around freezing point. Tomorrow sees a rise in temperature for a few days. Hopefully it will be short lived before cold conditions return and with some fresh snowfall.
Most of the day the hares were quite flitty, close encounters a bit hard won. Towards the end of the day when one lovely individual was quite happy to sit and watch me with my camera. The hares are such wonderful characters. You never quite know which ones will sit for hours and which ones take off from 200 metres away. Patience is a virtue and you'll be rewarded one day.
More Hare tracks

Good snow cover above 700m

Strathspey and The Cairngorms

Some brighter skies
Two things that money can't buy for Christmas are mountains and the wildlife. Two of the wonderful aspects of The Highlands. We've had a  great couple of days over the Festive season. A snowy Munro Christmas Day and a wildlife photography Boxing Day. If you want to work off all that booze and Christmas Pudding then there's no better way than the outdoor gym. It's also so very, very beautiful.
White Christmas

If your hands are getting cold photographing, think of these guys


Coire an Lochain & Lairig Ghru in a clear spell
Cloud over the Lairig Ghru

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