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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, 16 August 2015

Kingfishers

With all the rain on Thursday and Friday, the rivers were flowing really fast and murky.  These conditions tend to force kingfishers to feed on any ponds are lakes that are close by.
With this in mind I went to a couple of favourite Kingfisher locations - firstly it was to Clara Vale, with it being a Saturday I expected the hid to be full (4 people and this hide is full), however I was pleasantly surprised to find I was the only one there.
I opened the hide windows after checking around for birds, then set my scope up, looked up and a male Kingfisher was duly sat on a pole.  I quickly got onto it, then did a double take as I checked the focus on the scope - this bird had broken the lower part of its beak.  It must have mis-judged the depth of water in dived in to at some point.
I took a couple of shots - it was sat in deep shade so the colours are not brilliant, but you can see the damage.  I can not see how it can successfully fish with a beak like that, and I think it must struggle to survive! It flew off without fishing.
After another hour a kingfisher appeared over the pond, calling as it flew across.  It settled down at the far end - I had to check to see if it was the same bird, but it wasn't.

This was a stunning female sat in the sun, about 100 yards away. I got my scope onto it  just as it dived to get a fish and it flew out of sight in the trees to the right. I waited another 30 minutes before it came back out and landed in a tree to my left, overlooking the pond. It was in lovely dappled sunlight, however the trees were moving in the wind which made keeping the bird in focus a challenge.
It sat there for about 10 minutes before catching another fish and disappearing out of sight to the trees on the right.
I managed a few half decent shots, but they have a soft focus look to them because of the wind causing movement in the trees and also to its feathers.
I then went to Far Pastures to see if any kingfishers had shown there. Two photographers had said it had just been on a stick not far from the hide a couple of times, but it had not settled.  Both photographers had the lens of their cameras sticking outside the hide. (No wonder the bird flew away each time, as they swung their cameras to focus in, the bird would see the movement and fly off somewhere else).  I caught a brief glimpse of the bird at the far end of the lake, but that was all.
A nice morning out though.

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Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire