About Me

My photo
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, 5 February 2017

NEXT POST WILL FROM COSTA RICA

Check out my latest Year book for 2016
Birds of North East England 2016

COSTA RICA IS CALLING!

Photo gear is all packed away ready for a trip to Costa Rica, where I hope to see plenty of species - hopefully will top 300 birds in the 3 weeks that I am there.
Trying to come up with a target list is difficult as I want to see everything - I wish.

However three target birds I have short listed are - these are not my photos -  I hope mine will be as good.

1. Long Tailed Silky Flycatcher - a beautiful bird, I think we should see.
 Photographer Steven Easley

2. Any of the Potoos - a weird bird that again there is a good chance of seeing. Its so funny
 Unknown photographer

3 Ornate Hawk Eagle - a rare bird - we could see

 Photographer Octavio Campus Salles


For those interested keep a check on my blog, I will update it when I can throughout my holiday, and where connection allows it






Monday, 30 January 2017

RSPB Salthome - various birds

Not sure where to go this weekend I decided to would hedge my bets and have a trip to RSPB Saltholme.
First call was to see if there were any more Long Eared Owls around, if there was I couldn't find them, but the usual Owl was sat on his normal branch, I showed a young guy where it was to save him accidentally disturbing it. He was real happy with seeing it.
Then I tried for the Water Pipits at Dormans Pool that had been reported the day before - without any luck.
Then I moved onto RSPB Saltholme reserve and called in at the Phil Stead hide, to practice with my new Nikon P900.
There was a Black Swan right in front of the hide, I am not sure what the history of this bird is, it has been around Saltholme for  long while now. An unusual bird.
There were also 2 drake Pintails showing off to a couple of females - is there a more elegant duck in the UK?
 The drake is now in full breeding plumage and he was pulling some moves on the female, but typically she was playing coy. This was photographed at over 100 yards (digiscoped) it was just too far for the Nikon P900
 The Teal are also in full  breeding plumage now and are looking at their best, my Nikon camera performed well on these, giving me my best photos of Teal ever

The was also a pair of Kestrels hunting around the entrance to the reserve which gave me chance to test the camera out on a flying (hovering) bird.







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

BITTERN AND KINGFISHER

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


Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire