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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

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Gran Canaria (part 1)

On a weeks holiday to Gran Canaria I had 2 main target species to photograph, the lovely Hoopoe and the Southern Grey Shrike, anything else would be a bonus.
There is a nice lagoon area at Maspalomas and the first bird that I saw there was a Greater Flamingo - a real rarity for the island, however this one has been there for some time apparently.
After a while I went to the east side of the lagoon where I have seen Shrikes before and again I immediately see a Shrike on top of a tall tree on top of a big dune.  It is hard work climbing up these dunes and in 30 degree heat.  I managed a couple of nice shots, but as always I wanted better. 

There were also Sardinian Warblers flitting between bushes and immediately disappearing.
On the way back from the beach I saw a Hoopoe fly across the lagoon and I made a mental note of the location and time it landed - as it turned out the Hoopoe would be easier than I thought
At the hotel I was sat outside the room and a Hoopoe landed for a moment on the lawn - right in front of me. Wow!

So I got my camera out again and did a tour of the hotels lawns - and I found 2 Hoopoes feeding together, and I was able to get withing 6 feet of them. Brilliant. Almost too close as I was looking down on them. So I sat down to get real low and put the camera at ground level - the Hoopoe came closer.  The only downside was that the birds were keeping to the shade all of the time.
I saw the birds take grubs, caterpillars, and cockroaches.

These results were much better than I thought I would get of the Hoopoe, an interesting thing was when the Hoopoe swallowed something it made a low grunting noise as if to say "mmmmm that was nice". The birds gave me a nice diversion when I was at the hotel. However I needed to get a better shot of the Southern Grey Shrike.

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Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire