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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 2

The dunes were proving too hot for both me and the birds in between 11 and 4 as very little showed and I was burning my feet on the sand.
One night we had a little rain and the wind swung to the east, the next morning there were quite a lot of Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Chiffchaffs and various warblers around - I assume on migration, but I still did not expect the migration to hit the Canaries.
I did not see a shrike for the next couple of days - although it would have been there somewhere.
I then saw it on top of the tree where I had photographed it earlier in the week, again I went to climb the dune but it flew 50 yards to another bush, then another where it took a small bird and tried to carry it, but it was dropped and the Shrike did not return to it.  I went to see what the dead bird was and it turned out to be a female Pied Flycatcher.

It wasnt until the last day that I came across a Southern Grey Shrike low down and about 30 yards away.  I decided to stalk this one to get as close as possible to it. I circled around it to get the sun at my back (it had just risen), and I moved closer to it, taking a couple of strides only when it looked away from me, then stopping as it looked back.  I moved to one side so my long shadow didnt go over the bird and spook it. It took me about 10 minutes to cover the 20  yards or so - I was now in a position to get good photos. (If I was digiscoping I would not have had to do this).  I believe the bird had just woken up and had not started hunting yet - I am really pleased with the result - particularly because I had so work had to get them.
 

On my return to the hotel I checked the lagoon out and was surprised to see a Spoonbill sat there, again I used the bushes and sun to give me cover to get as close as possible.

I then noticed a number of small birds in the bushes - Spotted and Pied Flycatchers, Sardinian Warblers and many Chiffchaffs, in the distance what I thought was a Desert Wheatear - but I lost sight of that and then a pair of Whincats were flying from bush to bush.




This final morning was the best of them all - and then there were still the Hoopoes working both the dunes and the hotel lawns.

 

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Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire