Early start today in what looked to be glorious conditions for a trip to the Peaks and another attempt at the elusive Mountain Hare.
I arrived at Bleaklow at around 7.30am and was greeted by clear blue Sky's and a in-car temperature of -9 degrees!
They don't call it Bleaklow for nothing and after about 10 minutes of my journey across the plateau that leads to the Higher Shelf, I was already extremely cold and struggling to walk in the still very deep snow...
After a while, I spotted Mountain Hare tracks and decided to follow them a little further on and to a place that I knew would give me better cover from the elements and the animals themselves.
The further I ventured, the more difficult conditions were getting...
This was a very physically demanding trek in the snow, over some of the hardest terrain in the UK and when I reached a deep icy ravine I decided to stop and think about my options...
Should I continue and risk damaging my equipment and worse injury or should I turn back?
There was however another option and that was to turn back and drive to another spot which I know is pretty good for Hares.
This I decided was the most logical.
I arrived at the new location just in time to see a mountain rescue team heading off in my planned direction!
This of course wasn't good news and despite the seemingly good weather, conditions were dangerous and people were obviously getting into trouble in this most unforgiving of landscapes...Time to cut my losses and resign myself to not getting the desired shots.
I didn't feel all that bad about not seeing the Mountain Hare on this occasion...There will be plenty of other times and during my adventure I managed to capture a lot of very pleasing shots of another moorland speciality...The Red Grouse.
I have always found the Grouse to be one of the most captivating of creatures...
Not only are they a truly handsome bird, but they ooze character and I also have a great admiration for the way these hardy birds survive in the most harshest of environments.
It is always one of the great joys of the moors to witness the Red Grouse's almost clumsy flight and their comical cackle never fails to put a smile on my face.
All in all and largely due to the Grouse...this will go down as a good day photography wise, especially after a couple of disappointing trips recently.