Hares are easy to spot, but the ptarmigan is more difficult. The cock ptarmigan's summer plumage is greyish or blackish, while the hen's is more brown, and she is smaller. A few weeks earlier, both sexes would have been pure white, and even now in April they still have quite a few white feathers. You can sometimes recognise individual birds from their markings - they are all different. Old heather is inedible for ptarmigan, but under the old growth are succulent green shoots.