March may be famous for the "mad March hare" but June is the season for leverets.
You can actually observe "mad March hares" boxing anytime from January into late March when their courtship season comes to an end, but European brown hares live in arable fields surrounding the Ridgeway, South Oxfordshire and across the UK all year round.
After giving birth, Brown hares raise their young in late spring into early summer, but tend to be harder to see at this time of year as the crops have grown much higher, affording the younger hares protection from hunters and a plentiful food supply.
During the daytime hares usually hunker down into their "forms" to conceal themselves. Dawn and dusk are perfect times to watch them. One evening shortly before dusk. I was crouched in a rapeseed field margin watching a young leveret. All of a sudden it reared up on its hind legs, sniffed the air and dived off into the rapeseed crop.
A few moments later out of the bushes trotted a large dog fox. He paused just a brief moment, his head turned towards me. We exchanged looks, acknowledging each other's presence, then he moved calmly onwards, following the scent of the leveret. On the way home I spotted a fresh trail of pigeon feathers.
I'd like to think the leveret was lucky and lived to fight another day...