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, 26 February 2012

Yet more Crossbills

I repayed a visit to Hamsterley Forest to try and get some more pics of Crossbills since yesterdays were nothing to shout about and again there were loads about. Better light today too, the wind was increasing all morning. I saw 2 male Goshawks (or same one twice), and thought one perched in a tree not far away, but cyclists came along path and disturbed it. Good sighting though.
The Crossbills appeared to be collecting nesting material, and 1 came down to a muddy pool to drink from too
End of Crossbill purge - for now.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Crossbills - The Stang

I still need a really good shot of a Crossbill so I went up to The Stang forest in Co Durham. I saw them immediately picking grit/salt off the roadside piles. However a car coming the other way spooked them. So I parked up and waited. Half hour later they returned and perched in the trees -but the light was very poor with white/grey skys so all I was picking up was silhouettes. The birds flew off again, so I decided to go onto the moor to see if there were any black grouse - I couldnt find them, but while looking I spotted a raptor over the hill top, I got my bins on it to see that it was a Rough Legged Buzzard!! a good find, but it was three quarters of a mile away and the wind was blowing a hooley, I just couldnt keep the scope still to get a picture. I returned to watch the Crossbills. They were coming quite close but it was so difficult to keep the scope still in the winds - I also saw a Goshawk over the hill to the east of the road. It just goes to show there is little you can do if there is poor light.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Hamsterley Crossbills

Upper Teesdale was my first call this morning at dawn, I wanted to see if the Black Grouse had started lekking yet but, despite there being plenty of Black Grouse around there was no sign of lekking.

Next I went to Hamsterley Forest in the hope of seeing some Goshawk, as it was a really clear cold morning, but again the only joy I had was a smashing Buzzard circling over.

However it was more than made up for by the number of Crossbills that were around. The flocks have decreased in size now and were generally in 3 or 4's but the males are in full breeding plumage and looked stunning in the sun.

Hartlepool and Saltholme Feb 12th

Went to Saltholme again to and saw the Water Rail - probably the most photographed bird around. Also saw Fieldfare and a distant Short Eared Owl.

Then up to Hartlepool fish quay to see the white winged gulls, however the quay gates were shut so I resorted to going to the side and eventually the Kumliens Gull landed quite close to. This is a first for me and I would not have recognised it as such if I had not been told.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snowy Saltholme and Hartlepool

A beautiful morning with fresh snow and frost with temperatures at -5. I went to Saltholme this morning and the first thing I saw was a Marsh Harrier flying low across the reeds and quickly followed by a Short Eared Owl.

On reaching Wildlife watchpoint there was a Water Rail going in and out of the reeds at times coming real close, there were also loads of teal around.

I had a walk around and found an Owl sat on a post, I managed a couple of shots before it started hunting again, then it landed on a bush really close, as soon as I moved the scope it was off again. I saw a fox hunting voles - leaping up and burying its snout in the snow.

Then it was off up to Hartlepool fish quay were there were Iceland, Glaucous and Kumleins gulls. This rounded off a super mornings bird watching - I like the cold weather!!

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire