Hares at Havergate Island Gary dean lrps bpe1* April 9 2016

Departing from Orford Quay at 6:30 am by boat, 20 photographers and I are setting off for a days photography. The day is organised by Wild Adventures Under Suffolk Skies. The day is led by Monika.

Havergate Hares

It's grey, dull and about 6C. On shore we meet the pros who will be advising us today, Jamie Hall and Kevin Sawford. We make our way to the RSPB Wardens Hut for an initial briefing. It's now raining.

Havergate Hares

A hare is soon located and a 6 hour vigil begins. Using careful field craft I edge forward to within 5-6 m. The hare has his back to the wind and is sheltered by a low sea bank.

Havergate Hares
Havergate Hares
Havergate Hares
When's this rain going to stop?

I am not so well protected as the wind and rain drive towards me and my lens. Rain covers on the kit , keeping the front lens element dry and mist free becomes a major challenge. The hare occasionally yawns, has a stretch and grooms itself.

Havergate Hares

Then without much warning the hare rises onto its rear legs and has a quick shake. The motor drives whirls into action. It's getting cold and the soup being offered is looking more and more tempting. I stick with the hare.

Havergate Hares

The hare rises and stretches those long powerful rear legs. I am ideally placed and it look straight at me

Havergate Hares
Havergate Hares
Havergate Hares
Getting ready to move on

Then without warning the hare takes off, in a few bounds passing within a metre. Time for that soup. Monika looks after us well.

Havergate Hares

After warming up slightly we locate another hare. This one is a bit more mobile and calls for some anticipation of where the hare might go.

Havergate Hares

I get in position and the hare poses for a perfect portrait.

Havergate Hares

Then a bit of luck the hare bounds straight towards me. I struggle to rack back my zoom as the hare closes in.

Havergate Hares
Havergate Hares

Another shake, it might have been helpful if I could have done the same!

Havergate Hares

Now there are 2 hares and they chase around a bit but do not really come close enough together to photograph.

Havergate Hares

The lights is now beginning to fade but the rain has stopped. A hare takes advantage to dry off its paws.

Havergate Hares

We return very wet , memory cards full and kit just about working. Not ideal conditions but the hares were extremely approachable and the light and weather allowed some special shots. The fish and chips and a pint of Adnams at the Jolly Sailor were very welcome.

Havergate Hares

Thanks go to Monika, Jamie and Kevin, who worked hard to make the day successful in spite of very challenging conditions.

All pictures the copyright of Gary Dean. No reproduction without the express permission of Gary.

Follow Gary on Twitter @garydean15

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