Bradgate Park is well Read more [...]
There are lots of opportunities to photograph a wide range of species at Martin Mere, the highlight is the swans and geese which are fed throughout winter. November through March give the best chance for good numbers of birds and plentiful nature photography.
Best Lens: 300mm minimumBest time of year: Oct-MarBest time: EveningsFitness level: EasyDistance: 1 mileWhat you need to know:
This being a well managed WWT reserve provides a range of comforts not normally available. Public lavatories, a warm cafe and a well stocked shop. The footpaths are well maintained and the hide comfortable. Whilst a tripod is not essential it can be used in the hides with wider window openings and given the walking is so easy it is worth taking. Lenses of 500mm will give a chance of head shots, but shorter lenses will capture plenty of action.
The swans are fed from 3pm onwards from the Discovery Hide - as marked on the map.
The best locations for photography
Whilst there are a variety of hides and a feeding station to choose from the main reason to make the visit to Martin Mere is to photograph the Whooper Swans and perhaps some of the interesting ducks like Pintail, Wigeon and Teal. For the wildfowl there are two main options.
Photographing Feeding Swans
The Discovery Hide is well positioned to photograph swans as they are fed from 3pm onwards throughout winter. Light can occasionally be tricky but with so many birds there a plenty of opportunities for a range of different shots. This is also a great photography location for Pintail and Shoveller and waders such as Redshank and especially Ruff can come right in front of the hide.
Photographing Flying Swans and Geese
The Ron Barker hide is farthest from the visitor centre and a bit of a trek. It is also a bit less reliable as the aim here is birds in flight. that said the open expanse of marsh can give some rewarding photography results. It is best to try and lock on to a flock of birds at distance and follow them in. this is true for both Whooper Swan and roosting geese.
When all is done go to the cafe and enjoy a bowl of freshly made soup and a hot choc!