Black Grouse at lek

5th April to 1st May 2017 (please enquire for up to date availability)

£150 per person for 1 day; £275 pp for 2 days; £375 pp for 3 days

Deposit: £100 per person

Enquiries › Book ›

Black grouse males gather at their traditional moorland leks at dawn each morning from as early as January although activity peaks during April with the arrival of the females. The dates below coincide with peak activity and provide the very best chance to capture the lekking behaviour in full swing and also hopefully the greyhens, which visit the lek during this period.

The birds first arrive on the lek site in the twilight of dawn and you can usually begin to photograph them about 30 minutes before sunrise using high ISO settings. The site is in a very open situation and receives good light. On a sunny day the lek receives direct sunshine from around 0630. On average you can expect approx 2-3 hours of good light for photography. The birds display over a relatively small area and are between 8m and 20m from the hide at most times.

The males defend their ‘patch’ on the lek and there can be frequent fights between rival birds, with the potential for spectacular images. The males also perform flutter jumps, leaping high into the air, as they show off to nearby watching females.  The females can visit the lek at any time but won't be present every day so this is very much luck of the draw. Activity usually subsides around 0800 and the birds will typically leave the lek sometime before 0900 although they have been known to continue lekking until well after 1000.

Recommended Camera equipment

You will ideally need a lens in the range of 300mm to 500mm. A longer lens is great for close-up portraits while a shorter lens will allow you to shoot birds fighting and birds in habitat. A mid-telephoto zoom lens is very useful. A camera that is capable of shooting in low light using high ISO settings with low noise is an advantage although not essential. You will typically want to shoot using ISO settings of between 400 and 3200, starting at the higher settings in the first light of the day.

The hide has a solid wooden shelf with threaded bolts that will accept a standard tripod head so you can attach your own. If you prefer you can also work from a bean bag and we can provide these if required. It is possible to mount one camera/lens on a tripod head and use a bean bag for a second camera/lens to allow for a greater range of images to be captured.


Further information available on request.

5th April to 1st May 2017 (please enquire for up to date availability)

£150 per person for 1 day; £275 pp for 2 days; £375 pp for 3 days

Deposit: £100 per person

Enquiries › Book ›

Contact Mark Hamblin

+44 (0)1479 841547
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