Robert Canis Wildlife and Nature Photographer in Kent
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marsh hares : European or brown hares are relatively common in Southern England and for many years I have been observing and photographing them on my local patch of the North Kent Marshes. With such a huge area they are, not surprisingly, very difficult to get close to so more often than not I use my jeep as a mobile hide, since they are well used to Land Rovers and farm machinery passing by. It's only when you get out of your car that they head off, at full speed! I hope you enjoy browsing through the images, which have taken in excess of 10 years to accumulate, and that they give you a better understanding and appreciation of one of Britain’s most iconic mammals.
 I have only experienced "proper" to-to-toe boxing a couple of times where it can last for up to 30 seconds. On both occasions I was on foot and taken completely by surprise. They were too engaged in what they were doing to notice. There was fur flying in all directions and once over, they would drop to the ground and carry on feeding, as though nothing had happened! 
Throughout the autumn and winter months, the marshes of North Kent flood which can make it a bit of an obstacle course for the resident hares to navigate. In late winter when they begin to be more active, heavy mists and fog make observations espeically tricky.
With the courtship season in full swing by late February, the marsh hares are having to get their feet wet to keep up withe females and fend off other suiters. This youngster was contemplating jumping this ditch but decided otherwise.
Hares can leap considerable distances and are good swimmers to boot.
Conditions in early spring can be winter-like on the marshes with rime frosts a common occurrence.
Reminds me of 3 chaps in a bar! Moments later..... What followed was a frenetic 5 minute period which was almost impossible to keep up with. Contrary to popular belief, it is rarely 2 males (buck) boxing but instead a female (doe) and male when he has pushed his luck a little too far! This is one of my best selling hare images.
Hares chasing on coastal grazing marsh. I have a fondness for this image in that it says so much more about the hare and its environment than a close-up portrait. Whereas rabbits live in relative safety in a burrow, hares, on the other hand, will crouch in a depression called a form. Its quite possible to get to within just a few feet of one when it is like this and will bolt, only, at the very last moment.
Cold, frosty mornings ignite the hares into chasing and boxing but with such a huge area at their disposal, very often, it is too far for photography.
Hars can reach speeds of up to 45 mph which makes them one of the hardest of all mammals for a predator to catch, let alone photograph!
I have only experienced "proper" to-to-toe boxing a couple of times where it can last for up to 30 seconds. On both occasions I was on foot and taken completely by surprise. They were too engaged in what they were doing to notice. There was fur flying in all directions and once over, they would drop to the ground and carry on feeding, as though nothing had happened! The quintessential view of hares boxing
Walking along a track at sunrise, I noticed this pair boxing, completely oblivious to my presence. Although I would have preferred a less obstructive view, it was a privilege to witness, nonetheless. And, what a sight with fur flying in all directions! The longer vegetation in late summer makes sightings and photography especially hard.
Very often, the only view you get of one! Stretching.
Hare feeding at sunrise.
Adut hare in evening sunlight Adult feeding on mayweed.
I found this leveret stumbling around the farm track and took no notice of me as I got out of my jeep and lay on the ground to obtain a few portraits. The doe will disperse her young over quite a wide area to lessen the chances of her whole litter being lost through predation. Leveret feeding
Leveret feeding in the late afternoon.
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