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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

Monday, 25 April 2011

Dormans Pool and Bishop Middleham

Had a trip early to see if I could get close photos of the Grasshopper Warblers - but they were in the same location as last time and against the sun.

There were Whitethroats around this time where there were none 2 weeks ago. Sedge Warblers posed perfectly and were singing for all there worth.

Then I moved up to Bishop Middleham with the sole purpose of getting photos of Yellow Wagtails - and there were loads of them about.

This is an unusually pale Yellow Wagtail resembling the Yellow Headed Wagtail of Eastern Europe and Russia

Skylarks were singing well and landing on their favourite perches as well as Wheatears hopping from wall to grass chasing the Hawthorn Flies around

There were also reports of 2 Blue Headed Wagtails and a Channel Wagtail. I saw what I believe was the Channel Wagtail but the heat haze prevented good photos - but got a record shot for identification purposes.

Bollihope area - Fri 22nd Apr

Black Grouse and Ring Ouzels

Had another trip up to see the Ring Ouzels and saw a total of 9 birds, males were singing well, but it was tough to get real close to the birds - also lots of people about.

But it was a nice warm day and just good to be on the moors again. Also saw Black Grouse earlier in Teesdale

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Warblers all over the place

Had the aim of seeing a Yellow Wagtail today, but first went to Dormans pool to see if I could see a Grasshopper Warbler, as soon as I was out of the car I could here loads of Sedge Warblers, its great to see them back each year. One posed nicely for me about 25 yards away.

I walked further and could here a Grasshopper Warbler "reeling" but couldnt see it. Waited about 15 minutes then it appeared at the top of a bramble bush.

Its the first I have seen for a couple of years. Their song is so difficult to hear - its high pitched and fast. Had a quick look for the Cettis Warbler but no sign.

Saw a smashing Stonechat about 15 yards away - posing as usual at the top of a bush.

Then went to Seaton Common to try and find Yellow Wagtail - eventually saw one about 30 yards away but as soon as I got out of the car it took off. Its early yet though

Then to Hurworth Burn - last year it was good for Yellow Wags, but never saw any today, there were lots people and cylists about too. There were loads of Willow Warblers though and Yellowhammers


Sunday, 10 April 2011

Weardale - Redstart, Woodcock and Ring Ouzels


Had a walk through the woods at Tunstall Resevoir and saw 2 woodcock, a redstart ( 2 others heard) a sparrowhawk, a Whooper Swan and plenty of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs about.

The redstarts seem early this year. I then went up to Bollihope area to try and see Ring Ouzels - however there was meeting of the Weardale motorbike club - about 100 bikes going through the area where ring ouzels are normaly seen - no chance today.

However I did see 2 Ouzels in another location close by. Both were singing males one of them giving great views.

A good day weatherwise too

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Goshawk and Crossbill

The Stang - April 3rd I went up The Stang again to specifically get photos of the Crossbills - if they were still there. It 60% cloud cover when I set off - by the time I got to The Stang it was 90% and pouring down - typical! But I could hear the Crossbills close by. I parked up opposite where the grit pile they keep coming down to and they eventually showed up. Got a couple of photos with the bridge camera - this is not easy for digiscoping without disturbing the birds. I was there two and half hours in total, and the bonus was that a male Goshawk flew across in front of me about 800 yards away. It was a beauty and could clearly see the barring and white under coverts. This was much closer than the birds I had seen in last 2 weeks at Hamsterley. Before this year I had not seen a Goshawk for sure - now I have seen 5 in 2 different sites - am well pleased.

Great Grey Shrike - Hamsterley Forest

Sunday 27th March.

Spent hour or so looking for goshawk from Raptor Watchpoint - possibly saw 1 saw it fly into a tree where it perched for a 15 mins but it was about a mile away and the heat shimmer was bad. Also saw Short Eared Owl, 4 buzzards, Kestrel. I then walked up to the site where the G G Shrike was - this was my second attempt. It is a long uphill walk (I measured it on GPS and it was 3 mile). But unlike last time the shrike was showing - perched on top of a very tall dead tree - which it seemed to favour.

It did come down and perched in other trees - but I was unable to get close to it - photos are from about 50 yards away and it was 40 foot up. But it was great to see it. Also had 2 lesser Redpoll and 7 crossbills

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire