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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, 17 February 2013

Bittern and Sparrowhawk

Saturday 16th February
I returned again to view the Bitterns at Low Barns - they are rare enough to keep making the effort to try and get good photos.
I spent 4 hours in the hide waiting for the Bittern to show well enough for a photograph. It eventually did however there were no flight shots to be had as it skulked around the reed beds. It appeared to catch a large frog at one point but was obscured enough to avoid being photographed. This bird is a challenge!

After spending 4 hours in a hide I returned home and settled down with a cup of tea when I saw a sparrowhawk take a pigeon in the street right outside my front window. So I ran (well limped and hopped really) to get my camera, opened the window and took some shots.
Then I went outside and used a parked van as a screen to get closer shots as it killed the pigeon, it was interesting to watch as it dug its talons into the head - the pigeon died quickly. The Sparrowhawk saw me and just mantled its prey rather than flying off.

So I got some great photos as it started to pluck the bird.  Eventually someone came down the path and disturbed it- but it just flew to a fence nearby and I went back inside and digiscoped it from my bedroom window and watched as it returned and fed until it had enough and it flew off - with a full crop.
This was a real bonus after spending ages in a bird hide - down side was that my cup of tea had gone cold.
Here are some of the shots from the sequence and a short video of the Sparrowhawk feeding - not for the squeemish.
Its interesting in the video that it also deliberately ate some feathers.

A short video link is available here  Sparrowhawk Video

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Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire