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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

Monday, 19 August 2013

Hobby at RSPB Sandy

I had a weekend away firstly to go to the Bird Fair at Rutland Water on the Saturday with the intention of buying a new tripod and seeing what else was around. Then I travelled down to Sandy in Bedfordshire so I could get an early start at the RSPB reserve on Sunday.
My intention was to get photographs of Green Woodpeckers - its excellent for them at the reserve.
I put a chair hide up near the lawns then left the car park chatting to another birder.  He said he was going down to see a Hobby, he gave me directions where they were. I went off to my chair hide and sat there covered up. There was no action, I thought to myself  "What am I doing? there is a Hobby not far away and I am sat here watching rabbits chew the grass".
I went to find the Hobbies.
After 20 minutes walk I could hear the hawks calling, a little further the other birder had set his camera up and was taking photos of the Hobbies as the flew around their nest.
I quickly set my scope up and waited.
One of the Hobbies landed in the tree about 80 yards away. I got straight onto it and digiscoped some nice shots.
The young birds were calling and exercising their wings, it wouldn't be long before they fledge.
The adults left them for a while then one returned and landed on a different branch calling out, again I digiscoped it although it was sat in the shade
It seemed like the parents were trying to get the young to leave the nest.
Then the adults disappeared for over an hour.
We weren't sure if the young had actually just fledged or not.  Then a crow flew near the nest and both adult birds suddenly appeared from close by and chased the crow away, and the young birds were calling again.
I tried for some flying shots with the Canon SX50 and got a couple of decent shots.
It was great that I had met the other birder otherwise I would never have seen these Hobbies - my best ever views. (Many thanks if you are reading this).
I never did get any Green Woodpecker shots, although there were plenty around they just kept disappearing into the dense foliage.
I was happy with what I had.

Another plus about the weekend was that when I was talking to the guys from Swarovski at the bird fair he mentioned that he read this blog regularly, and thought my photos were great. So that is great to know.


  1. Your Hobby pics are great try this link From Ray the birder at the RSPB http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bedsbirds/photos/album/88715695/pic/list

  2. Thanks for your comments Ray, I have tried to access your link but I am having trouble getting into Yahoo. I will try again later.
    Cheers Colin


Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire