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

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sleddale

I arrived just after dawn at Sleddale and almost immediatley spotted 2 Rough Legged Buzzards and a couple of Common Buzzards. This was the start of a satisfying day bird watching if not so much for the photography. Although the buzzards did come fairly close to the road at times. Also seen were Hen Harrier and an unidentified Harrier - possibly a Montagu's (mainly because one had been seen for a few days this week), also Kestrel - I have never seen so many Red Grouse up here before. The photos taken were with the digiscope and are poor flying shots (lucky to get any flying shots digiscoping) but are half decent record shots.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Saltholme again

Went to Saltholme to try and spot the Purple Heron that has been around - no luck though, and I just missed out on a flying Bittern by 20 minutes - typical. The male kestrel was hunting around the Phil Stead hide again and landed on the posts right in front of the hide.


At Greatham Creek I saw the Semi Palmated Sandpiper another first for me, also 1 possibly 2 Short Eared Owls quartering the area to the south of Greatham Creek.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Saltholme and Seal Sands

Had a day out today at Saltholme first to be greeted by a smashing male Kestrel just perched on top of small trees to east of Phil Stead hide.
From the hide there were Dunlin, Snipe, Black Tailed Godwit, Water Rail, Wren, and a Sparrowhawk which took a wading Dunlin.






Then because it was so busy at Saltholme I went to Seal Sands, where the highlight was 2 Long Tailed Duck, and a Black Throated Diver. Also Red Breasted Merganser, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall and Bar Tailed Godwit.


The Common Seals were very close to the road today, posing nicely, this one even decided to wave at me.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Seaton Common



Went to Dormans Pool at dawn to try and spot the Pallid Harrier that has been there the last 2 days, after two and half hours I decided to go elsewhere but keep a close eye on the reports. First I went to Blackwell Rocks and saw 2 Red Throated Divers, Red Breasted Merganser, and a Great Crested Grebe off shore. 2 Kestrels were playing over the fields and about half mile north of the car park there was a Short Eared Owl being mobbed by crows.


I then called back to Hartlepool - Parton Rocks and saw the Leucistic Knot, Purple Sandpipers, 2 rafts of Common Scoter and 2 more Red Throated Divers.

I then went back to Saltholme as a Semi Palmated Sandpiper had been reported. When I arrived I started walking toward the centre then people there shouted that the Pallid Harrier was flying behind me, I turned round and it was being mobbed by crows right in front of the Phil Stead hide. Then it flew across the RSPB access road and across the main road towards Dormans Pool. I got a good view - as did many other people, but no chance of a photo, it was not seen again today. It was so exciting and what a well marked bird. Very Impressive.


Also saw my first Fielfare of the winter - even though they have been coming in for the last couple of weeks I havent really had chance to get out much.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Glossy Ibis and Snow Geese

I had two firsts for me today at Saltholme. Firstly the Glossy Ibis which fed happily behind the fire station then later from the Phil Stead hide where it posed, washed and stretched itself.



Then I went down to see the Snow Geese on West Saltholme where they were sat amongst the Grey Lag Geese. They are such a tidy bird.


Earlier I had been to South Gare where the only migrant birds in were a Brambling and 5 Tree Sparrows in the Shrike Bushes quite unusual at this site.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Gran Canaria

Just had a weeks break in Gran Canaria so I was hoping to find the Southern Grey Shrike and Hoopoe to photo here. Initially there were no signs of either - it was blazing hot 38 degrees at times and with a strong wind making any bird watching hard work.One day I saw a hoopoe fly across the lagoon at Maspalomas, and made a mental note where it landed to see if I could find it next day.

Sure enough next day I was walking in the general area and saw a Hoopoe on the ground but as soon as I saw it, it flew towards some bushes and I lost sight of it. I followed unable to see it, then suddenly it flew out of a bush 20 yards in front of me and into some trees - The black and white on the wings provided super camoflague for the hoopoe when in a bush.I only ever managed distant shots (no digiscope with me) of the hoopoe, however when searching I also found my other target species the Southern Grey Shrike,






it was trying to catch lizards and totally ignored me and I got to within 15ft of it - I was really pleased.



Another first for me was an unusual Pipit which turns out to be a Berthelots Pipit, not rare in the Canaries but I had not even heard of this bird.

Other birds included Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Kentish Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Kestrel, Trumpeter Finch, Bar Tailed Godwit, Little Egrets, and Monk Parrots.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Red Breasted Goose - Scaling Dam

Red Breasted Goose



Had a trip to Whitby today calling in first at Lockwood Beck where there were 3 Crossbill in the tops of the trees and a flock of Goldfinch.

Then onto Scaling Dam where there was a Red Breasted Goose in amongst the Grey Lags and Canada Geese. Luckily it was close in front of the hide feeding and walking between the sleepy Grey Lags. There are no rings on it and it is the right time for them to occur - although they are rare. But an escapee is also not ruled out - although I would expect that to be ringed. Also a Buzzard over the moor just hanging in the wind for ages


At Whitby there was a smashing Red Throated Diver between the piers and swimming quite close to the pier - but as it was a shopping trip - I didnt take my camera with me - mistake.

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire