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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, 31 August 2015

Short Eared Owl and Whinchat

A visit to Seaton Common yesterday evening provided good views of a Short Eared Owl which was hunting all over the common.  Unfortunately as good as the Canon SX50 is it is still no good at flying shots (neither am I). As soon as the ISO is above 400 then it gets grainy.

Also feeding from the posts were a couple of Whinchats so I managed a couple of shots of them from the car before they went over the common too.



Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Red Footed Falcon and Hobby

I had a couple of days away with my mate Pete to show him some Hobbies, the destination is the reliable Hobby area at RSPB Sandy.
A diversion to a site in Lincolnshire however was an added bonus as a Red Footed Falcon had been showing there for a few days.
How could we resist, it was about 20 mile off course but it proved to be worth it.
We called in there first and got some great directions from a couple of people and then we were straight onto it.
Our first views were quite obscured but we knew if we were patient there would be a good chance of better views.
The weather was closing in fast, and at last the Red Footed Falcon flew into a tree with great views about 20 yards away.
We took loads of photos, and it started in raining. We continued getting wetter and wetter, but I think this also made the bird sit longer for us. What great views and photos of this stunning bird.
Satisfied and absolutely soaked through we headed the mile back to the car, and headed off to RSPB Sandy - steaming in the car.
We drove through the weather front and arrived at Sandy as the sun was reappearing. We immediately went to find some Hobbies as the forecast for the next day was bad, with weather warnings in the area.
I took Pete to the location and immediately we heard the young birds calling to be fed. They have fledged, but we still reliant on the adults to feed them.
There were 4 Hobbies around - two adults and two young and it was great. We got Hobbies in a variety of positions and got a load of photos. We returned to the hotel reflecting on a great day.



 To be Continued..................

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.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Vulcan Bomber

A couple of photos of the Vulcan Bomber which flew over Croft on Tees last weekend.
The birding should improve soon even if the weather doesn't.




Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire