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

Friday, 31 December 2010

Saltholme - Long Eared Owl and Bittern

Met up with Pete from Harrogate today as he wanted to see a bittern and it seemed like a good opportunity to do so at Saltholme after it had been showing all week. As soon as we got past the wildlife watchpoint we saw one fly over then drop into the reeds - success at least we saw one but there were no photo opportunities. We moved on to the Long Eared Owls and Toby was there searching them out before we went down to view them, he found one, and although it was tucked in about 40 yards away it was in range for digiscoping - people with cameras struggled to get pics of this bird.

We tried again for the bittern but with no success and the hide at the wildlife watchpoint was heaving with people. We went down the Zinc Road and found the twite in the samphire grass - about 20 and Pete was being given the run around trying to get photos of them - it became too dull. I had dead batteries in my camera so didnt try.(Duh!) I was pleased we managed the target bird but disappointed that Pete didnt get a chance of a shot of it.
Pete made for home and I went to Jacksons Landing just to test my new camera out, very dull by now but there were some Red Breasted Mergansers quite close in so tried for them - results ok but need more practice with it.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Long Eared Owl and Bittern on same day

RSPB Saltholme - best day there yet!

Had a great day out at Saltholme today, called in to see the Water Rail first and it was posing in front of the hide, then had a walk down to see the Long Eared Owl, on the way we saw a bittern at some open water but was tucked well into the reeds.
The Owl was showing really well, dozing out in the open. Plenty of people there taking photos of it too. On the way back the bittern was showing better and fishing so managed to digiscope that too.
Then went on to see Woodcock at the Zinc Road, there were plenty about flitting around but difficult to approach on foot, but managed some photos from the car after seeing two feeding where the sheep had been.

Monday, 13 December 2010


Water Rails

Went to Teesmarshes area specifically to see the Merlin and Woodcock. The Merlin had been reported at Seaton Snook all week, as I was walking out to the Snook I heard this skylark call above me looked and saw the Merlin chasing it around and it eventually caught it - typically I had scope over my shoulder and camera round my neck so I missed a great shot - good to see though.

At the snook there were Twite, RB mergansers, Grey Plover. But no woodcock - moved on to Saltholme in hope of the Water Rails, two were showing very well in front of hide so got super photos of them and reed buntings, also Skylark about but little else - didnt go to other hides as all lakes were still frozen over. Peregrine was also on the Power Station.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Bittern and Iceland Gull

Rainton Meadows and Jacksons Landing, Hartlepool

Went to Rainton Meadows today to specifically see the Bittern, had I bitten off more than I could chew in the bitter cold? No way. I found it straight away although somewhat hidden in the reeds. Managed some distant shots befor it skulked further back and out of sight. Also saw an Iceland Gull here (identified by someone else) so digiscoped that.
Now Rainton meadows hide is a freezer box in the summer - today it was unbelievable, and shows what life used to be like as cavemen without windows or doors. I though enough money was put into Rainton Meadows to get a decent hide. Then on down to Jacksons Landing to see the Red Necked Grebe, this showed nicely but was difficult to digiscope as it was pretty mobile then had the light against me. A good day with 2 firsts for me.
I also saw another flock of 20 waxwings on my way home on Salters Lane North in Darlington. Couldn't stop though!

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire