About Me

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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

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Black Grouse - Teesdale

This morning I intended to see the Black Grouse lek in Teesdale, however a late start meant that I missed it - if it happened.
It took an hour to find the Grouse and there were 9 feeding males. 3 of them came within 40 yards which gave a good opportunity to digiscope them.  This is really the first time I have tried the Sony RX100 out on the scope in full sunlight.  I am pleased with the results

I also saw 5 Crossbill and a distant Goshawk displaying

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

Sunday, 10 February 2013

More Bittern at Low Barns

Bittern at Low Barns -  again
I went to see if the Bittern was still there at Low Barns, and after only 10 minutes I found it feeding in the grass between the reed beds.  The light was duller today than last week and the Bittern was preoccupied with feeding and barely raised its head.
This made it very difficult to see let alone photograph and sometimes the only clue to its location was the grass or reeds were moving slightly.
It did fly up very briefly to move to a different reed bed then dissappeared from view.
Great to see still though.

On the way home I saw 5 Fieldfare feeding in a field close to the road and took these photos with the Canon SX40

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Bittern at Low Barns

Low Barns Bittern
Yesterday I was at Low Barns and there were reports of a Bittern, so I had a walk around to the location and sat for an hour when a Bittern took off and landed in the reeds near a path, so a friend and myself walked back towards the centre and the Bittern lifted off again and flew in front of the hide.
So this morning I was back there at first light and minus 4 degrees, I had sat for 45 minutes when the Bittern lifted up out of the reeds and drop down about 4 feet away from where it took off. At least I knew it was still there. That was the last I saw of it for 2 hours, I was joined by other watchers - making it more likely to see the bird. 
Then it was spotted hunting in a totally different area of the reed bed to where I first saw it.  I watched and took pictures of it for around about 30 minutes before it dissappeared back into the reeds.
Also seen were Green Woodpecker and Kingfisher.
By this time I think I was nearly hyperthermic, I couldnt stop shivering and I had 5 layers on! LOL

 The Nuthatch pics were from yesterday at the west hide.

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire