Welney Wetland Centre, Norfolk, 19th January 2020

24th February 2020
Written by: Rob Slusar

It’s been a while since I last posted. I have reasons, and those reasons are that I was considering ending the blog.

The blog has been going since 2014 and has had a fixed site for a couple of years. Over the past few weeks, I have been going through a period of reflection about how I want to use the site, what it’s purpose is and indeed if I even wanted to continue with it.

Writing a blog isn’t easy. Originally I used to use pictures to tell a story of my adventures, but as time has gone on, I have developed my photography so that the blog has become more of an after thought, rather than being linked with the images. It has become harder and harder to find the drive to continue doing it to the point that I just didn’t want to do it anymore. Having taken some time away from it, and given thoughts about how I want to use my site, I have decided to come back.

I intend to use my site as the hub for me to begin marketing my images either for sale or publication. This will be supplemented by a new gallery structure (currently under construction), youtube videos and the blog will remain a way of keeping you up to date with what I am doing. I plan to make a lot of exciting changes and content throughout 2020, so keep your eyes peeled.

As you can see we are now in the final days of February. My 2020 adventure started back in January with a trip to Welney Wetland Centre.

Welney Wetland Centre

Located in the Ouse Washes amongst the fens and flood plains sits Welney Wetland Centre. Operated by The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, this Norfolk based site is dedicated to the protection of and research into various wetland birds and waterfowl.

The trust was set up by Peter Scott (son of Antarctic explorer Captain Scott) with the opening of the first site at Slimbridge, a further 8 would bring the total figure to 9. Despite his death in 1989, the trust has continued to flourish and welcomes more than a million people to its sites each year, and continues its research and conservation projects to this day.

Welney is one of these sites and is home to a variety of birds and wildlife throughout every stage of the year. It is well known for its several varieties of swans which regularly migrate to the area.

When I went in January the water levels were really high so not all of the swans were in attendance. They could, however, be found grazing on beet tops in the surrounding fields that were not flooded.

The Photos

Saying the water levels were high would be an understatement. On the day I went some of the roads were impassable, and all but one of the hides were inaccessible due to the water levels.

I wasn’t out to catch magazine quality images on the day in question, I just wanted to get out. With Christmas having gone by, being back at work and the weather generally just being pants, I was starting to get claustrophobic and just needed a break.

After arriving I found myself a spot in the hide and just sat there for an hour or so just relaxing and watching the birds. I stuck around for a swan feeding (which honestly turned into a duck feeding) and then made my way home. It was cold, that much I can say.

I have recently purchased a battery grip for my camera. I spent much of my time testing this out as well as playing with my camera settings to test out some new options for airshows. They may be small, but a flying duck is a good practice for the airshow season.

So here they are in all their glory, a small number of pictures of ducks and swans.

Final Thoughts

I decided to cut short my visit given the cold weather and lack of hides, but for the price of my ticket, I was given free entry for another one when the site was drier. Sadly due to a lot of things going on, I don’t think I will be able to make it.

As for the Wetland Centre, it looks like when fully open it is a nice place to visit with a variety of birds on show. I’m hoping to return later in the year.

So here we are, 2020. It looks like it will be a busy one. I am going to find new ways of keeping the site fresh and you may end up seeing my ugly mug on videos.

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram, check out my new gallery system which I will be populated over the coming weeks and have a good one.

Thanks for looking