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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

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Hartlepool and Saltholme Dec 29th

I tried for better photos of the divers at Hartlepool and managed slightly better. There is still a strong wind blowing - although not good for keeping the telescope still, I believe it is making the divers come closer into the harbour. There were also good numbers of Red Breasted Mergansers around.

I then went down to Saltholme and saw mainly Teal, Black Tailed Godwit and a nice drake Pintail Duck.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Black Redstart

A couple more photos of the Black Redstart which is at Newburn Bridge area.

This is exactly the same place that 2 Black Redstarts turned up last winter, and a couple of people thought there was two there today although I only saw 1.

Hartlepool Headland Dec 27th

Red Throated Diver (Left) Black Throated Diver (Right)

I decided today to make a concerted effort to see the Slavonian Grebe that is at Hartlepool Headland. As soon as I got there it was showing off the pilot pier and swimming towards the fish quay. After a while I moved up the beach to try and get closer viewsm, but typically it moved back towards the pier. Grebes are difficult to digiscope as it is only 20 -30 seconds between dives, not leaving much time to locate, focus, drop the camera down and take photos. Hence my poor pics - or that is my excuse.

There were also Great Northern, Red Throated and Black Throated Divers off the pier, at times providing quite close views.

Another bonus was the Black Redstart which was near Newburn Bridge, it was quite flighty but at times it posed nicely on the rocks below the sea wall.

A great day and some nice company.

Waxwing Dec 24th

I went up to Jarrow to see the Waxwings, so far this year these have been the closest and largest flock to turn up. Its at least 4 years running the Waxwings have visited this site at Jarrow which is on a housing estate, and a it feels a little awkward taking photos there although I am sure the locals are used to it

There were about 80 Waxwings which would occaisionally come down from the tree tops to gorge on the berries, but when they did this it meant pointing the camera directly at someones house!! The light was poor apart from about 3 minutes when it got brighter and it was windy - not easy to digiscope in.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Great Northern Diver - Hartlepool

Forgot to post this last week, this Great Northern Diver has been at Hartlepool for a few weeks now, however when I checked in at Jacksons Landing, the diver was in there, providing really close views - too close at times for my scope.

I also heard it call for the first time, which is weird, in wildlife films of Canada they always play the call of the GND, but to hear it in the centre of Hartlepool is strange.

Teesdale Black Grouse

The Black Grouse were out in force today, I saw them at 3 different locations, 2 new to me. Included was a flock of about 40 birds flying over the moors high up in Teesdale, I wasn't sure what they were until I got the bins on them as I didn't expect such a big flock.

Plenty of snow up there too and -5 was the lowest I got today. The young males look strange as their plumage is changing from the mottled brown to the black.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Prestwick Carr Shrike and Owls

This is getting to be a bit of an Owl blog at the moment!

Arrived at Prestwick Carr just before sunrise, and strolled down to where the owls are, loads of fieldfare in the bushes and trees and big flocks of Woodpigeon around. I arrived to find there were no owls on view, but I was rewarded with the Great Grey Shrike in the bushes in the lane. I just stood still and watched it fly up and down, waiting for the sun to come up. I am pleased I did because I got stunning views of it at close range, I watched it for about an hour and half, then the lane started to get busy and I lost sight of it eventually.

Then it was the turn of the Short Eared Owls, they spent a lot of time hunting rather than sitting today, until it rained and they went into hiding again. Super morning!

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire