Cheeky hare ‘waves’ and ‘giggles’ in hilarious wildlife photos taken in Scottish Highlands

A wildlife photographer waited seven-and-a-half hours to finally get a cheery wave from a mountain hare, followed by a laugh.

Andy Howard, 48, got the shots in the Cairngorms in the Scottish Highlands after a day observing the reclusive animals.

His incredible series of images show the cheeky hare giving him a wave with its impressive paw, before appearing to have a giggle.

Andy, from Inverness, said: ‘I know that the best things come to those who wait. Patience is essential for me to capture special moments like this.

‘I knew the hare would do something at some point it was just a matter of sitting close to it and waiting.

‘Mountain hares aren’t that active in daylight hours and will sit for long periods of time dozing and resting, which doesn’t make the best shot.’

Andy has written an award winning book called ‘The secret life of the mountain hare’ and has been observing and photographing them for almost a decade.

He added: ‘In winter mountain hares turn white. This starts in November and they remain white until the spring when they moult into a light brown colour.

‘They then change colour again in the summer to a dark chocolate brown.

‘They are one of only three UK species that do this, the others being stoats and ptarmigan.’

Unlike rabbits hares don’t burrow but live in shallow scrapes called forms.

In the winter months hares are often completely covered in snow with just their heads visible above the snow, which acts as insulation against the bitter winds which can reach as low as minus 40 with the wind chill.

In 1906 Scottish Mountain Hares were given a separate subspecies of Lepus timidus scoticus.  

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