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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, 27 July 2015

Hobby Part 2

A fairly early start on Sunday because the forecast said rain by 10:00, so I was at the reserve by 7:30.  I stopped to watch a pair of Spotted Flycatchers and saw one return to a hole in a dead silver birch tree.  I could just to say see a bird sat on the nest, and I found a position about 25 yards away where I could get a shot of it (it was fairly obscured by bushes), but I think the photos have come out fairly well.
I then moved down to find the Hobbies, on the way down there were Green Woodpeckers calling all over the place - there are plenty of young ones about now.
I then saw a Hobby fly over the wood again it saw a crow off, they are such an aggressive bird, a bit like a merlin in that respect.
I walked around to the trees were I saw it land on Saturday, and sure enough a bird landed on the branch high up in  a tall tree, then it walked along the branch and out of sight.  I moved to about 80 yards away and looked again, and there it was feeding a young bird on its nest. WOW!
This nest is in a different location to last year, and the strange thing it is directly over the footpath.  I took a couple of shots from 80 yards away, but it was getting dull now and rain was definitely on the horizon
I moved closer, about 50 yards away I took some shots, I could see the young bird, probably not much older than a week it was a little white fluffy thing. I walked under the tree, a jogger ran past me and the bird did not move, but now I could not get an angle on it.  The only position I could get a photo was from 50 yards away, I moved back to that position and got a couple of more shots, it looked directly at me, then carried on attending to its young.
It was now raining with earnest, I sat on a bench and got waterproofed. I sat there for about an hour and a Hobby landed about 60 yards away in the wood, I found it in the scope, but with the rain belting down it was difficult to get a decent photo, the Hobby looked as wet as I did, a couple of shots then it was time to go
Despite having the rest of the day washed out, I achieved my objective and got more shots of this fairly rare bird (at least in the North East). Again this shows the advantage of digiscoping where it is not practical or advisable to get close to nests, I can take shots of them from an acceptable distance, but as I said the public footpath passes directly below this Hobby nest, although many would not know it was there.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Hobby at Sandy

I had my trip down to Sandy to try and get photos of the Hobbies and Green Woodpeckers again this year.
On Saturday the weather was overcast warm and a bit of a breeze so it looked promising.  As soon as I got out of the car I could hear the Green Woodpeckers calling, but I decided to concentrate on the Hobbies for this trip.
I had already seen two on the journey down to Bedfordshire, so when I arrived at Sandy I went straight down to the area where they were last year. 
Immediately I saw a Hobby flying over the valley, but it was not calling and I could not hear any young ones.
I patrolled the valley catching glimpses of the adult birds flying around, and at one point a crow came over the wood and was immediately mobbed by a Hobby, this suggested there was a nest there, somewhere.
At last a bird perched on top of a tree, high up and further up the valley, I managed some real distant shots, but had to do better.
I walked closer to the tree and got another couple of shots. It was eating something but I could not make out what.
It then flew across the valley and out of sight.
I located myself closer to the tree and waited and waited. It came back but sat in the tree next to it, I thought it had caught a swift and a wing fell to the ground. I got a couple of shots but it was against the white background of the clouds - not great.
That was the last I saw of them for about 2 hours. A young Green Woodpecker perched on top of a stump and I got a couple of hurried photos - it was about 50 yards away in fading light.

Eventually the Hobby came back and sat in the same tree again, this time with a dragonfly, I got a few decent pics, but it was getting dull now and I had to up the ISO.

The Hobby again flew into the trees across the valley with the dragonfly, I had to investigate further but - 

t was time to go, I would return on Sunday.  More to come later..............

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Kingfisher - Clara Vale

I went in search of Kingfishers today knowing that this years young birds will be pretty much independent by know (or at least the 1st brood will).
I started off at Far Pasture, and there was no sign of any there with very little being reported recently.
There was a lone Heron fishing in the shallow pool and catching only small minnows.
I moved on to Clara Vale and after only about 15 minutes wait a young Kingfisher started fishing in all of the pools around the hide, giving exceptionally close view.
After about 20 minutes an adult female was at the furthers end of the main pool.  The young kingfisher was having no problem catching small fish and after about 30 minutes the older bird came up the pool and a chase ensued with both birds disappearing towards the river.

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire