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In summer, the all-white upperside to the tail is diagnostic (Brown Hare has a black centre to the tail).
Fur is a grey brown colour in summer, Brown hare is tawny-brown
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This is a difficult one. I can see why Wildlife Ranger says mountain hare, you can not see any black on the tail and the hindquarters are very grey.
However, the ears are too long for mountain hare, on a mountain hare they would not reach the nose if folded down and these are long enough to protrude beyond the nose; mountain hares don't have the pale line from the pale eye ring down the side of the muzzle; and the habitat looks too 'rich' for mountain hare. We can not go by the map as you've put it in what appears to be woodland when the photo is clearly a semi-improved grassland.
I'm erring towards brown hare for the above reasons, older brown hares do go more grey, especially on the hindquarters and the lack of black on the tail could be a trick of the camera angle.
Can you tell us if you saw the hare in the fields on the valley bottom or further up the mountain?
Excellent photo by the way.
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I know Findhorn is famous for its mountain hares but this animal's ears just look too long. I'm going for brown hare.
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
Hare was in the rocks on the mountainside, then
came down (with 2 others), to the valley floor, at the farthest end of Findhorn Valley.
Thanks for the clarification. If it was coming down into the valley bottom it was most certainly a brown hare, the mountain hares would not come down to such low altitudes, especially in summer.
Lat/Lng: 57.267, -3.862
OS grid ref: NH878211