Mad March hares

Watching hares is from close range is easiest when the jacks scent a doe ready to come on heat.  They congregate trying to get close to the doe and the competition for her favours means that they loose most of their normal caution.  They also behave with complete unpredictability and seem mad. I have taken hundreds of shots of hares on the arable fields close to my house between mid March, when the activity seems to start ( hence Mad March Hares )  to mid May when the crops have grown sufficiently to hide the hares.  What always amuses me is the complete disinterest that the doe has in all the frenetic activity from the jacks around her, if any of them tries it on before she is ready she boxes them away, but otherwise she carries  eating and preening as though she were by herself. From my observations by the time she is ready, there is only one jack left in the field.  Anyway, here are a few images to illustrate the madness:

hare jumping

The jack in the middle is chasing the leaping hare away from the doe.

hare trying to impressA jack trying to impress the doe by standing up.  She does not look that impressed.

doe eating grassHere again we have jacks chasing each other, the doe looks on whist she munches a shoot or two of spring barley.

round in circlesDoe on the left and jack in the middle sneaking up to see if he might be in with a chance.

The doe is delivering the right uppercut into the jack's armpit.  he backed off and the spectator did not move.
The doe is delivering the right uppercut into the jack’s armpit. he backed off and the spectator did not move.

Get it wrong and the jack gets a good thumping.