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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, 23 May 2016

Ring Ouzels in Weardale

I had intended to go to two or three locations today and started off by trying to find some Ring Ouzels,  well, it never turned out that way.
I went to the a Ring Ouzel location and immediately heard a male singing his heart out. It was perched above a quarry wall on a fence post.  I continued up river hoping for some more accessible Ouzels, but found none.
So back to the original bird and a female was also showing now too.
I sat down and watched them from about 60 yards away, when the male flew right over my head and landed behind me somewhere, the female followed.  I waited.
Sure enough both birds returned above the quarry then dropped down onto the cliff face - I lost them - surely they were feeding young birds still in the nest.
Eventually I returned to the car which was parked on a grass meadow, I sat in the car with the scope set up outside the car and the Ouzels both came down to hunt for worms on the meadow - there was no need to walk miles up river - they were feeding by the roadside.
This is just a selection of he shots I got of the male, the female was more wary than the male who was quite bold - at least for a Ring Ouzel.

I never did go to my other two planned locations, I spent hours watching these two collect food, time and again they came back to the meadow to collect worms, grubs and catterpillars.  So the Redstarts will have to wait for next weekend

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Red Backed Shrike - Holy Island

On a short break into Northumberland, I checked out the bird reports and noticed that a Red Backed Shrike had been seen in Embleton, so we tried to find it without any success- we just didn't know where to look.
The next day we travelled up to Holy Island again I checked out the bird reports, only to find that a Red Backed Shrike had turned up there as well.
After a chat with some other bird watchers we found the Shrike in the garden of a vicarage, which meant we had to view the bird over the garden wall at the back.
This was probably just as well, as it ensured that photographers kept their distance and the Shrike remained undisturbed for at least 3 days.
The bird was finding plenty of bees to feed on, although I did see it chasing a goldfinch.
I am happy with the shots that I digiscoped, and others with dSLR's got good shots too, but obliviously not as much zoom that I managed with my digiscope set up.
We also went to see a Bluethroat that was reported on the island, and although I did see it briefly I did not manage to get a photo of it, this is where the guys with the dSLR's beat me. But it did show very briefly and is a first for me in the UK.
However down at Hartlepool over the same period a Red Spotted Bluethroat turned up and put on an unbelievable show, and people got great photos of that.  Just shows that you can't be in two places at once.  I was happy though

Wednesday, 11 May 2016


Today I went to RSPB Saltholme as there were a few nice birds to be seen and although I did not get photos of that many of them I did manage some superb Garganey shots, there were 3 on the lake in front of the Phil Stead Hide.

Other birds to be seen included - 5 Spoonbills - very distant in the heat haze, Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, Peregrine Falcon, Marsh Harrier - distant and high up. Not to far away there was a Citrine Wagtail reported also.

Pied Flycatcher at Tunstall Resevoir

There seems to be plenty of Pied Flycatchers again in the wood behind Tunstall Resevoir, although it seems that many of the nest boxes seem to have been damaged, either by the weather or by a vandal.
Here are a few of my shots of them - All digiscoped.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

1st Cuckoo of the year

I spent the morning at Tunstall Resevoir looking for Redstart and Pied Flycatcher, There were plenty of Pied Flycatchers but there seemed to be only 1 or 2 Redstart present.  I could hear a Cuckoo in the distance which tempted me to go to my secret wood to see if there were any Cuckoo there - it is usually very good in May and Early June for Cuckoo.
So after getting shots of Pied Flycatchers and following a Redstart that was just too shy, I went to check out my nestboxes and also see if there were any Cuckoo showing.
The nest boxes had a Tit nest in with 9 eggs,  and another has the beginnings of what I think is a Redstart Nest - not sure as I quickly left the area to let it continue building. I will return when I think there may be young ones.
Just as I started to return a Cuckoo called close by and flew right over my head.  As I got back to the car I noticed two Cuckoos on the fence about 60 yards away.  A lady was already onto them and taking some photos. The problem was there was a 5ft high stone wall in the way with a steep drop off on my side of it. I could not get the tripod set in the correct position - this mean taking the scope of and resting it on the top of the stone wall, then try and get onto  Cuckoo and hold it steady, and press the shutter release - it was a real tough shot to get.  But I am quite please with the results

Sunday, 1 May 2016


Click on the link below to check out my new Gambia Photobook 2016  - I am still awaiting the delivery of it this week hopefully.

See a copy of my new Gambia Photo Book

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs

Digiscoping Blog By Colin Severs
Barn Owl in North Yorkshire