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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

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Teesdale Area on a nice spring day

Teesdale - spring has started and birds are displaying.
I got to Langdon Beck before light yesterday morning to get into position before the Black Grouse Lek started.  However when I arrived the Grouse were lekking in the dark, I could just make them out - they were a little closer than usual.  I looked further down the road and there were some more Grouse starting to Lek real close to the road.  So I moved into position opened the window and waited for the sun to come up.  The grouse at this location showed some interest in each other but not as much as the main Lek and they stopped Lekking at around 6:30 am.  I went back to the original Lek only to see that they had stopped there too, and I couldn't see them.  On the way back to the hotel area the Grouse were feeding in the usual space- I counted 48 grouse. It didnt really get light enough for decent photos of the Lek but it was great to watch in the dawn light and the sound was amazing.
So I went to another area and found another 20 or so grouse - male and female.
Early morning in Teesdale in the spring is awesome, the sounds of the Curlew, Grouse, Snipe, Skylark, Oystercatcher and Redshank all singing at once is just the best experience.
I came across a Snipe sat on a wire, so using the car as a hide I opened the car door got my scope onto it and spent about 20 minutes watching, photographing and videoing the bird as it sat and watched other Snipe displaying over it.

Up towards Cow Green Resevoir the Golden Plover were calling all over the place, but most of them were tucked down in the grassy. One bird was not so shy and it stood on a hillock 30 yards away, posing and calling, it looked superb in the early morning sun.
The Skylarks were chasing each other around when they were not singing, again they were quite confiding and posed on tufts of grass or fence posts.
I then drove over to Bollihope to see if the Little Owl was around, it is a sneaky little bird and it does try to hide from you as soon as you pull up.  I have got to know its favourite perches, so after a while I found it peeking around a corner of rock at me.
The Red Grouse moors were being burned in preparation for the breeding season. This has been done before most moorland birds have started breeding so it is good (still not many Meadow Pipits or Wheatear there yet.
A super morning birding in my favourite area. - no pollution, no traffic, no people - bliss.

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Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire