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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, 27 July 2013

Freedom at Last!!

After spending months unable to drive I have been given the go ahead, so at last I can drive myself about. I'm like caged animal being released.
So after I went up to Teesdale earlier in the week with a friend and finding a small population of Whinchats, I returned myself with my scope to get some better shots of them
It was a little windy and there was a heat haze, so conditions were not ideal, but at least it was sunny.
The first birds I came across were a pair of Ring Ouzels which flew from underneath the bracken to the other side of the valley.
A little further on I could hear the young Whinchats calling to be fed. They were all over the place, on both sides of the valley.
I set my scope up as the parents were perched higher up the hill, aware of me they were keeping their distance.
After a couple of minutes they came closer, allowing me to take some nice shots. The breeze had picked up and caused a vibration on my scope.  I soon moved further down the valley to minimize the disturbance.
I then came across a young Grey Wagtail, just starting to get some colour to it. Then Dipper flew 20 yards down the stream and settled in the shadows. I got my binoculars on to it, this also was a young bird.
My attention was then grabbed by a Merlin flying over the path about 100 yards away, it disappeared onto the moors.  This followed two sightings of it on the previous Monday.
I  retraced my steps and spent a few more minutes with the Whinchats getting photos of the male and female and a young bird which happily sat up on a stem.
A great day out, at a difficult time of year for birding
I have decided I need to get a carbon fibre tripod to dampen vibrations - but which is the question??

A couple of shots from Monday where Pete and myself had a good tour of Teesdale.
An early start only met that we were in the early mist and visibility was poor to start, but the Golden Plovers looked great in the dew.

We saw Redstart, Black Grouse, Lapwings, Pete saw a small raptor in a quarry near Cow Green Resevoir - a probable Merlin and we both saw a large raptor flying directly away from us eventually with trees hiding it, it flew over the ridge, we believe it was a possible Osprey, there were loads of Meadow Pipits around too. 
A change of location and we came across a definite Merlin, Whinchat, Ring Ouzel, Red Grouse, Mistle Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, and Stonechat.
While Pete took a walk up a valley in search of more Ring Ouzel, I had to make do with hunting a quarry and found this fella still living there.
 

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Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire