- Colin Severs
- 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
Saturday, 30 January 2010
Went specifally to see the Black Necked Grebe that had been seen up on Wearside, first shock I got was the 4 inches of snow that was up there - none in Darlington to speak of. Found the place easily with other birders watching the bird - it was unbelievably approachable coming to within a couple of feet. But it spent more time under water than above - still got some decent shots.
Monday, 25 January 2010
Spent most of the day not finding birds - firstly Short Eared Owls at Coatham Stob - no sign. Next Smew at Coatham Marsh, found the Black Redstart though - still there. Then the Glaucus Gull at Saltburn - I couldnt find it after it had been seen earlier in the day. Got good shots of the Fulmars on the cliffs though - these were displaying to each other. Also took nice shots of cormorant at Coatham Marsh.
Friday, 22 January 2010
After dropping my wife off at Guisborough for work, I had a drive around the local area to see what was around - Hutton, plenty of tits around, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch, but it was snowing fairly heavy and still lots of snow on the ground. Then decided to go up to Lockwood Beck, The drive was very dodgy but drivable, the res. was frozen over still, no sign of brambling or much else.
Then up to Scaling Dam, turned into the drive and saw the snow was real deep, and a guy was signalling me not to go into the car park - he was stuck. Helped him get out - recognised him as Dave Brown - from Bishop Auckland (photographer) He was much relieved. I turned round and came straight out - everything here was still frozen solid.
Went to Newholm to see the rare Black Throated Thrush, it gave great views but it was pelting down, so didnt bother with camera - wish I had because later on when it dried up, I didnt get anywhere near as good views. Too dark and windy to get good scope shots. A shame, because it was a cracking bird
Went to Saltholme to try and get the Water Rails that have been spotted there. About 100 Skylarks in the carpark flying around and landing frequently - they are starting to really suffer in the cold now. At the wildlife watchpoint there were about 50 more skylarks and I managed to get some really good photos, but some were on their last legs.
There were 5 Water Rails showing but couldn`t get close to the windows due to photographers setting up shop and not moving, which is a shame because many people were wanting to view them.
Monday, 4 January 2010
Went to South Gare this morning to specifically look for the Black Redstart that had been showing, the forecast was bad with more snow forecast for the afternoon so I had to find it pretty quick. Having tried a couple of days ago I couldn`t find it - it was blowing a hooly though.
Straight away another bird watcher put me onto the bird and initially it was quite distant but very mobile. It became apparent that it was doing circuits every 5 minutes or so which enabled me to get into a decent position without scaring it. I took about 40 shots and only about 5 of them are useable due to low light and a very twitchy bird - but there were a couple of good shots.
There was also a flock of about a 100 snow buntings on the beach, but fairly distant and dog walkers kept putting them up. Somebody said there had been a Peregrine on the mast at the base of the pier earlier, but I missed it. Then it started to snow - and boy did it snow, I decided to get home quick.
Didn`t fancy a look up the dales today - to much snow. So went to Hartlepool to check things out. No joy with the Pudding Poke Little Owl so went straight down the marina to see if Great Northern Diver was still there. Couldnt see it initially so went for a walk around Jacksons Landing and it was in the other harbour and nice close views of it - and with the boats reflections it made great shots.
There were also about 14 Red Breasted Mergansers in the marina but they are wary, although with patience and time could get nice shots.
Then I went up to Ward Jackson Park to see if parrots were in range and they posed beautifully while feeding in the conifor trees near the bowling green.
Then off down to Newburn Bridge there were a few waders - dunlin, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher and Knot really close in but were all asleep. A Mediterranean Gull was perched on top of a lamp post enabling really good shots of it. Going down through the Saltholme area just about all the water was iced over and the reserve was closed. Again quite a productive day with some nice digiscoped shots.