Chilling Out with Mountain Hares | Wildlife Photography & Wild Camping | Nikon Z7 + 500mm f/5.6E PF - Lake Harding Association

Chilling Out with Mountain Hares | Wildlife Photography & Wild Camping | Nikon Z7 + 500mm f/5.6E PF

By Micah Moen 0 Comment March 26, 2020

this might just be the most chilled out
mountain hare ever hi folks it is a winter’s evening in
January and I’ve just come up to the highlands to visit the mountain hares
again and so I’m in the monadhliath mountains and I’ve just left the car and
I’m walking up the track and I’m gonna try and camp in the same spot as I
camped in the summer when I came to watch the mountain hares then and if you
haven’t watched that video from the summer then I’ll put a little link up
there for you to watch that as well because that was quite a good fun and
hopefully I’ll be a bit of a contrast now because the hares should be in their
winter coats despite the fact that there’s really not very much winter
anymore I mean there’s a little bit of snow up on the hills as I could see
already but it’s really not that great I was considering sleeping in the car but
I brought my tent and I haven’t actually camped out yet this year and I decided
I’d carry the stuff up and our camp because I really love camping and it’ll
be nice to be up on the hill first thing already there to kind of start looking
for the hares as soon as I get up so yeah I’ll head up the hill and I’ll
talk to you when I’ve got everything set up up there all righty so got up the hill and finally
found somewhere decent to camp I’m actually pretty close to the track
it’s a few meters up there and the reason I wanted to find the original
camping spot is because I wanted to camp quite discreetly so that I wasn’t kind
of too visible if other people are up here taking pictures tomorrow I didn’t
want my tent to be in their pictures but actually my tent right next to the track
that doesn’t matter either because if you’re trying to take a nice landscape
picture showing the rolling hills you’re probably gonna try and exclude the track
anyway so doesn’t really matter if there’s a tent next to it so some hares
on the way up I tried to film them I don’t know whether that worked they’ll be on
the screen now while I’m saying this if they did and if they didn’t you’ll just
have to put up with me talking to you other good wildlife highlight though
which I forgot to say earlier when I was walking in is when I was driving along I
did see a barn owl and that was absolutely fantastic it was seeing on a
post on a fence as I was driving along I managed to slow down a bit and get a
look at it but obviously if I’d stopped or anything it would have been away so
I’ve got the camp set up and got myself some hot water have a little warm drink
before going to bed and I’m going to turn in and get some sleep I’m not
going to get up particularly early the nice thing about wildlife photography in
the winter of course is that it doesn’t get light until 8:30 at
this time of year now so I’m gonna have a good sleep
I hope in here it’s a bit blowy and it’s a bit damp but I’ve got the kit
to cope with that that’s not going to be a problem and yeah I’ll talk to you in
the morning and we’ll go and see if we can catch up with some of those hares so
talk to you then well good morning and it was a
blowy night but I think it’s calmed down a little bit now and the weather’s
actually start to look quite nice it might even be quite bright today which
should be good I don’t actually want it to be sunny
because mountain hares are white the surroundings at the moment are very much not
white the snow’s not really here and that would present quite an exposure problem
so I’ve made myself some coffee and had some breakfast and I’m about to set off
to look for hares but I don’t think I’m going to have to go very far because I
can already see hares just just up here on the mountainside behind the tent and
I’ve just been watching them sitting here in my tent I’m obviously going to
want to go a little bit closer to try and take some pictures but it’s been
great sitting here watching them I’ve taken a little bit of video but they’re
a little bit too far away for that but they’re good to just watch through the
binoculars and they’ve been kind of cleaning themselves and just sitting
about generally watching the world go by just have a look at this guy on the
camera that’s pretty good isn’t it just to be
able to watch the hare from your tent excellent in terms of equipment I’m
going to be using the Z7 with the 500mm PF lens and I’ve got
it wrapped up not in the rain cover that you’ve seen me using before but actually
in my old one which I used to use on my 80-400 and then later the 200-500
which is actually trouser-leg off an old pair of waterproof trousers and it fits
really snugly and it sort of I don’t know it doesn’t flap about as much as
the commercial rain cover that I’ve been using a couple of times and I’m gonna
try that out today because actually I think it might work better not that if
I’m lucky it’ll be needed because I think it might
not rain but there’s always kind of like wet heather and muck that you know end
up putting the camera down in and it’s good to protect it so I’m making an approach towards that
hare sitting on the snow patch that I could see from the tent and what
I’m doing is I’m moving forward in small increments and stopping taking pictures
taking a little bit of video and just sort of sitting about and watching the world and
just making sure that the hare isn’t worried about me being here and then when I’m
pretty convinced that firstly he’s aware that I’m here and secondly he doesn’t
care I’ll move again and I’ll try and move a
little bit closer until I get close enough to start taking some kind of nice
photos that actually kind of want to keep initially these photos are just so
that the hare gets used to that sort of process of me pointing the camera at him
and sort of going through the motions even if those pictures probably won’t be
in that good in the end I definitely think I’m gonna be able to get quite
close to this one he does not seem worried about me being here at all
it’s fantastic it’s so nice spending time with such a relaxed animal in its
environment and it kind of feels I don’t know feel more of a connection having camped out
here last night as well because you know I have been living in this landscape for
a little while as well now so yeah I don’t know if you know what
I mean by that sort of feel more of a connection having spent the night here
going to kind of look at this hare than if I just sort of spent the night somewhere
much more comfortable and just trudged up this morning so having to be super super
careful as I approach to look out for any other hares or grouse that are
hiding in amongst the heather on my approach line because that’s definitely
happened to me before that I’ve been approaching a subject and it’s been
absolutely fine but somewhere kind of at a critical stage I’ve flushed
something else like another hare that I haven’t even seen and of course
when that and runs off the subject the one you’re actually approaching gets
spooked by that as well and then it’s all over
so yeah that’s always a danger but so far so good this is absolutely fantastic
it’s just just not bothered by me being here at all yeah
sitting there relaxing every now and again just a half opens his eyes to sort of see
where’s that idiot with the camera gone now and then closes his eyes again
fantastic look at this let me just turn the camera I’ll turn around here we go Ooh that was such a fantastic experience
oh that counts for me as a near perfect wildlife encounter spent time
sitting there with the hare nearly an hour to be fair my fingers are pretty
cold now and my feet were starting too get pins and needles and had to
kind of start thinking about moving because if I’d let my feet go to sleep I
tried to kind of creep away and just fall over and disturb it that would have
just been a kind of comedy ending to everything but no I spent my time took
some pictures I hope I’ve got some nice photos I’ve certainly got some nice
video I’ve got some sort of behavior where it was kind of washing its feet and yes
to top it all I’ve managed to retreat away from the hare without causing any
further disturbance or anything it’s still exactly where it was sitting there
it looks very happy I’m going to continue on my way sort of up the slope
behind me a bit and I’m gonna see if I can find some more hares I’d quite like
to see some that they’re kind of a bit more active perhaps I did see some
boxing this morning so be quite nice if those kind of antics are still going on
but yeah a bit of a walk would be good to kind of warm me up and see what I can
find yeah the hares are up there I can see
some oh managed to drop out of the wind for a
little bit now there were hares up there but it was super super frustrating
because they were much more skittish they were out in the open I was far more
exposed as well and I just kept missing shot after shot because it’s so windy
that I simply couldn’t hold the camera still and so there’s just no mileage in
trying to follow the hares up here and I’m gonna go back down into the kind of
lower bit where I was earlier and see if I can find some more more hares down
there but it’s so beautiful up here despite the wind it’s actually turned out
to be really quite a nice day and yeah I’m really glad I came up here what a fabulous little guy that was yeah he
seemed like he was going to just bolt and run away when he first spotted me
and he sort of sat up and I was kind of oo can I get my settings on for a kind
of fast shutter speed to get him running away and then he just stopped and
started grazing right in front of me absolutely fantastic I’ve been using the
500mm PF lens handheld now which is exactly what it’s good for
now that I’m out of the wind in the wind I really couldn’t handhold it and even
on the tripod it was getting knocked around but down here where it’s a little
more sheltered that sort of the lightness of that lens really comes into
its own it’s so much easier handholding it watching the hares than in the summer
last summer when I was here because I was using the 300 f/2.8 with a
teleconverter on it and that is quite the heavy beast compared to this guy so
this might well be the next video I record after setting up that print
giveaway in the video for fetching the wildlife camera and watching stags now
that video actually in terms of real time went online yesterday so I
can’t announce a winner for that now but what we’ll do is we’ll just cut to me
sometime in the future announcing the winner now okay folks time to draw the
print giveaway I’ve got all the names in a hat here and I’m just going to pick
one of them right at random and the one I’ve got is David Bennett and the print you wanted was the Ardnamurchan Sunset and I will get that
printed and get in touch to send it to you so congratulations I hope you enjoy
it it was an absolutely fantastic trip out there it was midsummer and we were
watching minke whales that afternoon and then the sun started to set annek the
colors were just absolutely phenomenal it was really really amazing so I’d better
send you back to the monadhliath mountains now and apologies for this video having
taken so long to get completed and online but moving house has been an
awfully complicated business but we’re really getting there now so it’s all
good and yeah I hope you enjoy the rest of the hares so back to the mountains
so congratulations whoever you are I will be in touch and I will get the
print on its way to you and I hope you enjoy it so I’m going to continue
wandering along kind of on this level now and look for some more hares between
here and the tent and if I get to the tent without finding any hares then I’ll
have some lunch and yeah I’ll talk to you again in a bit either way so I’ve found another very tolerant hare I don’t
know if you can see him on the Osmo but he’s just there just love just lying
here and just watching him he did a big yawn a minute ago and I got some photos
of that I’m really pleased with I think they’re gonna come out really
nicely this might just be the most chilled out
mountain hare ever I’m back with my little buddy from earlier this morning
and if you can see him yes I think can yeah so chilled out absolutely amazing
marvelous marvelous mountain hare yeah just don’t know what to say it’s so so
nice I’ve come up from a slightly different angle so I’m a little bit more
kind of in front of him and he hasn’t gone anywhere all day this is obviously
his place and again totally unconcerned that I’m here gonna spend a few more
minutes watching him and then head back down to my tent and pack up and be out
of here oh what a fantastic day it’s been
brilliant just stop this from rustling quite that much it’s been absolutely brilliant
watching the hares today it’s so much fun
from that first hare that is still there I can see it right now just up there just chilling out with him and or her I
don’t really know it must be said and then the hares up on the top I mean it was
frustrating and I couldn’t get a lot of pictures of them but my goodness it was
good seeing though it was great and then yeah a few different hare encounters on
the way back and yeah then another lovely half hour with this guy here it’s
been it’s fantastic and I certainly had some expectations of the kinds of photos
I wanted to come away with today and I’m a little bit frustrated that I didn’t
like to get any kind of running hare footage or shots that are any good I
think I mean I might be wrong I might find that when I look through the
footage on the computer that it’s actually okay but to my mind while
shooting it seemed like I wasn’t catching the action with those but in
this wind it was just very very difficult to do that I’m incredibly
pleased with the 500mm PF lens on the Nikon Z7 on this trip
because this is exactly the kind of trip that I got it for taking it out with me
in my backpack up a hill with my camping gear and then going out and doing
wildlife photography on a location like this is yeah it’s exactly what it’s for
and it has performed marvelously it’s really really good yeah I need to finish
packing up now and scurry on back down to the car and get
get myself back down to Troon as you’ll know if you’ve seen my previous
video I’m about to move house so I can’t come out for like a whole long weekend it’s
just a in on Friday night leave on Saturday evening trip but yeah it’s so
beautiful up here I’m really quite tempted to stay but for the fact as I
said that I’ve got to got the head back but anyway it has been absolutely
phenomenal out with the hares today and I really hope you’ve enjoyed the video
of it and if you have please like and share it and if you don’t subscribe to
the channel already please consider subscribing and joining in with this
community and yeah I’ll leave it there thank you very very much for watching
and I will see you on the next one goodbye

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