About Me

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I have been digiscoping for around 18 years now and through persistence and good equipment I am getting great results. I use a Swarovski 80hd spotting scope and a Sony RX100 camera which has just replaced my old faithful Nikon P5100. The majority of my bird watching takes place in County Durham in England which has a variety of different habitats from coast to moors. Digiscoping is great because it allows me to get good photos without disturbing birds. VIEW THE LATEST PHOTOBOOK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Low Barns Bittern and Kingfisher

After a quiet early morning in upper Teesdale I went to Low Barns to practice with my new camera, not expecting a great deal bird wise
However an unexpected Bittern decided to show quite well, as well as a Kingfisher showing.  I managed to digiscope both birds.
It was cold in the hide but I waited around for the Bittern to keep showing.
What a bonus it was.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Black Grouse - Teesdale

While the lower levels of County Durham were covered in thick mist and hovering around freezing, I went to upper Teesdale to see if I could escape the fog and get some bird watching done.
Just passed Staindrop the fog cleared and the temperature rose to around 6 degrees and bright sunshine.
I had a tour round and managed to find these Black Grouse.
There was no sign of any lekking occuring, perhaps I was too late despite being there just after sunrise. They will lek in the dark.
However the males were looking splendid in the bright sunshine.
Apart from a few flocks of fieldfare 2 fly over Crossbills and a couple of Kestrels I saw little else. But I was concentrating on the Black Grouse and managed to get fairly close to them by letting them come to me as they fed.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016


Armed with my new Christmas present Nikon P900 I went to pay a visit to Gosforth Park to see if I could add a final new species to my 2016 year book.
It was nippy - just about 0 degrees, and I had not brought along my digiscope gear, so that I could learn how to use this new camera.
All I needed was the Bitterns to show.
I waited about an hour before the first signs of any Bittern appeared.  It had walked to the waters edge (given away by the reeds moving), before it paused for a few seconds then flew.  The photos I got were rubbish - wrong setting on the camera.
A bit more fiddling with the buttons and I was ready again,  another half hour passed, I could see reeds moving where there were Bitterns but I could not see the bird.
This is how the morning went mostly, but sometimes the bird could be seen in the reeds or even better in full view.
I got some of my best ever Bittern shots.  I was well pleased, both with seeing the bird and the way that the camera performed.
After all it does have a 2000mm optical lens which out guns all dSLR's.

I was starting to feel the cold now so I decided to walk back to the car.  This meant going past another bird hide, I could't resist it.
When I entered there was already a Kingfisher on view.  Couldn't be much better than this. What a bonus.
So I spent another 30 minutes taking shots of this stunning female Kingfisher

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Kingfisher - Darlington

I decided to visit a Kingfisher haunt in Darlington that has held Kingfishers for a few years now and, I didnt have much time so it was the ideal day to visit this local patch.
At first the day was dull and not very promising but I decided to go anyway and was really glad that I did.
It took awhile to find a Kingfisher, the first view that I got was of one flying down river to the South and under a bridge, just as another photographer and I were mentioning that we had not seen the Kingfishers.
He left me, and only 20 minutes later I had picked up another Kingfisher that was obligingly sat in the, by now quite bright sunshine.
I quickly got my scope onto it and got these shots, before it flew a little further upriver, I took some more shots and was really pleased that I came to this spot.
The photos that I have got are some of my best ever shots of this fantastic little bird.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Eastern Black Redstart - Skinningrove

I paid another visit to view the Eastern Black Redstart again yesterday, and it was showing better than ever.
There was a guy putting mealy worms out for it though, so it is getting quite tame.  Although it was sunny the bird is now in shade all day long.
Its over 5 weeks since it was first seen and it looks like it may winter here. I also think it is a little duller than it was a few weeks ago, perhaps because there is no sun on it.  Still a great rare bird

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Crossbills at last


After Saturdays attempt to get some Crossbills failed due to the snow conditions, I tried again today, with some success.

I pulled up to the site at about 9:30, I scanned the trees and immediately spotted a bird of prey sat in a pine tree.
I got the binoculars onto it and at first thought Goshawk, but could have been a Sparrowhawk.  It was over 200 yards away and I could not judge the size of it, and it had its back to me - but there were noticeable white feathers on its covers blowing in the breeze. I went for my scope, but by the time I got set up it had gone without me seeing it fly.
It took about an hour to locate some Crossbills.  All told there was approx 30 birds of varying sexes and ages.
They were very noisy as the were feeding in the tops of the trees, and the song at times was quite intricate.
A great find -  I would like to get them in the snow but it is so difficult to get to this location in the snow

Monday, 21 November 2016

Waxwing flock

Just a couple more Waxwing photos just to show how big the flock was, although I couldnt get all of the flock in the frame.
 These birds feed voraciously and can quickly strip a bush of all of its berries, particularly a flock of this size
 These two phots show part of the flock as they come into land on the bush, they sit for a couple of minutes checking things out, Then drop down to the berries and gorge themselves.
 The photo below shows the bush that they are feeding on.  Notice how the top of the bush is stripped of berries.  They will work down to the lower levels of the bush until no berries are left, They will then find another bush.
The bushes this year are absolutely loaded with berries, so the Waxwings should stick around most of the winter.
So hopefully we will get some snow and I can find the Waxwings again and get some stunning shots.

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire