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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, 30 November 2015

Black Throated Diver - Jacksons Landing, Hartlepool

On Saturday I first of all went to see if I could find the Long Eared Owls, without success.  However another birder had put a report of 3 in the location, he must have been there before I was, either I just could not find them or they had been scared - probably the former.
I then went up to see if I could see the Black Throated Diver, the weather forecast was horrendous, with severe gales in the afternoon with rain/snow.
On arrival I could not see it to start with, but after about 10 minutes it showed up.
Talking to other birders they told me that it was frequenting the corner of the harbour. Sure enough and typical of the divers that turn up in Jacksons Landing it was repeating a circuit.
However due to the strong winds I failed to get good digiscope shots due to the vibration on the scope / tripod.  My Canon SX50 didn't get any better shots either.
Eventually the conditions just got too bad for photography with low light, heavy rain, and blowing a hoolie.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Long Eared and Short Eared Owls

I went to check to see if there were any Long Eared Owls at a local winter roost.  They have been here for at least the last 5 years that I know of.  
I checked the same area where I found two last year and after only 5 minutes of searching I spotted the breast feathers of an owl perched deep within a bush.
I moved position to see if I could get a good view, and it proved to be slightly better.  I was about 30 yards away, and the wind was blowing a gale, as the first snow of the winter started to fall.
No wonder the owl was buried deep in the bush it was about -5 degrees with wind chill.
I managed to digiscope some shots, but could not get a clear view, it was already aware that I was there - its not worth scaring it by getting too close.
I then moved on to try and get Short Eared Owl, there had been 3 reported in the last week very close by, and 2 had been around for at least 6 weeks.
I parked up and stayed in the car. I knew where they were likely to fly past and sure enough one came to about 30 yards away.  
Now I am not very good with flying shots and I think the Canon SX50 is even worse (or is it just me). But it did not stop me trying.
I saw at at least 2 Shorties, possibly 3 so all in all it was a great morning.
I loved being out in the snow but it didnt really lay much.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Grey Phalarope at South Gare

Its ages since I have posted on here, a mixture of not getting very good photos and being to busy to write my trips up.
However a couple of weeks ago I had a trip out to see if I could see a Red Backed Shrike, and after about 2 hours it was a no show, however I did pick up on a swift which circled the area a Potash Mine in Cleveland. 
A swift at this time of year is very unusual, and I informed 2 other birders and we all thought it was a Pallid Swift, fairly light underneath, it was by all means not a definite Pallid, but a likely one, others had been reported in the country at the same time.
I then took a trip down to South Gare where there was a Grey Phalarope and a Slavonian Grebe reported.
The grebe was over a mile away - I could not have definitely identified that either, but others said it was.  The Phalarope was different, it was coming to within 20 feet as it fed on insects? coming of the seaweed and in the water. 
What a show off it was, and it was this time last year that one turned up in exactly the same place
I then went to Seaton Common and saw 2 Short eared Owls quartering the common, but only got record shots of it flying

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire