Keeping dry on a wet hare day

Brown hare

A brown hare sits out in a heavy rain storm on RSPB Havergate island Suffolk

Although living in East Anglia means we have no high peaks to climb, I was certainly thankful for my Páramo clothing on a wild and wet weekend back in November 2015. I’m the main wildlife photography tutor for the company Wild Adventures under Suffolk’s Skies, who run days on the RSPB reserve of Havergate Island in Suffolk. The main attraction of the island is the small population of brown hares that have become quite tolerant of humans although fieldcraft is still essential in order to get close to them.

The day had started off fine but heavy rain soon set in. My first aim is to ensure all the clients receive the tutoring they require. I began with demonstrating some camera techniques and advising how to ‘see the shot’ they would like to create. It’s important to teach fieldcraft too, where the first rule is to put the welfare of the animal first. I believe the more you know a subject, the better your chances are of photographing it. I have been on the island many times and have learnt to recognise when a hare is comfortable with a close approach.

By the end of the day the rain was torrential and, happy with their shots, the clients were warming themselves in a hut while waiting for our boat to pick us up. I took this opportunity to get my own camera out and found a hare that seemed oblivious to the rain happily feeding in the grassland. By carefully approaching it I was able to lie down around ten metres away and photograph it as it fed.

I have to say I was very impressed with my Páramo garments. Their excellent waterproofing and comfort meant my time in the rain was a dry one, which then means I can concentrate on my photography. I was very pleased that one of my images from that day made it to The Guardian’s wildlife photos of the week.

I was honoured to win the Páramo sponsored British Seasons category in the 2015 British Wildlife Photography Awards with my portfolio of roe deer images. Thanks to Páramo’s generosity I had £600 to spend and duly selected a Halcon Jacket, Pájaro Trousers and a Taiga Fleece.

Spring. British Seasons winner 2015, British Wildlife Photography Awards

Spring. British Seasons winner 2015, British Wildlife Photography Awards

Summer. British Seasons winner 2015, British Wildlife Photography Awards

Summer. British Seasons winner 2015, British Wildlife Photography Awards

Autumn. British Seasons winner 2015, British Wildlife Photography Awards

Autumn. British Seasons winner 2015, British Wildlife Photography Awards

Winter. British Seasons winner 2015, British Wildlife Photography Awards

Winter. British Seasons winner 2015, British Wildlife Photography Awards

 

Kevin Sawford Kevin’s images are showcased on his website www.kevinsawford.com and he can be followed on social media here: @KSawfordphoto on Twitter
www.facebook.com/kevinsawfordphotography/

  1. lesley
    April 29, 2016 at 11:45 pm

    Stunning studies of the brown hares, beautifully captured….
    Thank you for sharing, I’m so glad to have discovered them (via Paramo on http://www.kevinsawford.com)

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