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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, 30 November 2014

Stonechat - Cleadon

I made a second attempt at seeing the Siberian Stonechat at Cleadon near South Shields a week ago.
Three hours later after standing and watching and waiting and waiting, I decided that the bird had beat me again (or it has flown).
It had showed the previous day, so my hopes were high, but my patience had worn out.
I put my scope over my shoulder and decided to go back to the car.  On my way back a Stonechat popped up on top of a small bush.
Quickly I got my scope onto it, took a load of photos just in case it was the Siberian, I wasn't sure. It sat and posed only 15 yards away, I made sure my shots were correctly exposed and that the photos were sharp.
The bird flew away about 30 yards - I had got the shots, so I left it alone and went back to the car.  Could it have been the Siberian - I couldn't wait to find out and checked Google for other images of a Siberian - to me it looked identical to other shots taken from various places around the world.  Now I was excited. I had excellent photos of what looked like the Siberian.
I decided to head to Teesside with the intention of going to see the RSPB guys at Saltholme to try and get verification.
The general opinion was that it was an ordinary Stonechat, but nobody was that sure.  I got home and put onto the Birdforum ID site, and quickly got a response - again it was for an ordinary Stonechat.
Damn - I felt disappointed, after all that waiting too.  Never mind its a good shot of a young Stonechat. (Just to clarify - a Siberian would be much whiter under the bill and also with a whiter rump).
Just to to increase my frustration, I had called in at Zinc Works Road to maybe get Snow Buntings, and I chatted to a couple of birders coming off the beach - "Anything interesting", I asked. "Just a couple of distant Red Throated Divers and a Wheatear" they said.
Go to RSPB Saltholme I thought to myself, get an opinion on the Stonechat, and I didn't bother to go look at what I thought would be an ordinary Wheatear.
When I returned home I checked Bird Guides, an Isabelline Wheatear had been found at the Zinc Works Road!!!!!  
A mega rare bird!!!, and I missed seeing it GRRRR! my own stupid fault.  
It hung around for 5 days but dissappeared  before the next Saturday - work got in the way of seeing it too.

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Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire