Category Archives: Digiscoping

Time for a change

By Steve Blain

It was time for a new digiscoping camera earlier in the year, but which one to go for? I couldn’t decide whether to go for another compact camera, or to move up to a micro four-thirds.  A lot of research later and talking to a few friends for advice I made the leap and purchased a Panasonic GX7 and 20mm f1.7 lens.

I will follow this post up soon with one about my current set up and how it connects to my scope – it’s very straight forward.  Needless to say I am very pleased with it and how it performs.  Below are some of the shots I’ve taken during the last couple of months – all of them link through to larger images so please click on them and take a closer look.

All shot using a Swarovski ATS 80 HD with either the 30x fixed eyepiece or the 25-50x zoom.

Yellowhammer, Broom GP

Robin, Biggleswade

Corn Bunting, Biggleswade Common (shot at ISO 2000)

Dartford Warbler

Little Gull, Broom GP

Grasshopper Warbler, Willington GP

Meadow Pipit, Biggleswade

Meadow Pipit, Biggleswade

Meadow Pipit, Biggleswade

A Quiet Spring so Far? Not if You’re a Photographer.

posted by Justin Carr.

As a birder it may have been a quiet spring for birders here in the UK the lack of a prolonged spell of easterly winds has meant a lack of rare and scarce birds reaching our shores. But being a Photographer/Digiscoper I always have something to keep me occupied when the birding is a little steady. Over the last few weeks I have enjoy some local birding as well as a couple of trips to my favorite migrant hotspot Spurn. Here are a few shots, Digiscoped as always.

Arctic tern

Arctic tern

This Arctic Tern was at Lakeside Doncaster, note the grey markings on its forewing making it possibly a 2nd summer bird a rarely seen plumage in the UK as immature birds tend to stay on their wintering grounds.

Swallow

Swallow

Red necked Grebe

Red necked Grebe

This Red necked Grebe had a good stay at Hornsea mere.  Thanks must go to Garry Taylor who rang me up to say he had really close views that morning.

Mallard also Hornsea mere

Mallard also Hornsea mere.

This shot of this Mallard demonstrates the shallow depth of field Digiscoping creates giving an interesting look to the image.

Redshank Old moor RSPB.

Redshank Old moor RSPB.

Tundra Ringed Plover Hatfield Moors

Tundra Ringed Plover Hatfield Moors.

Well Spring isn’t over yet so lets pray for easterlies over the next couple of weeks.

All shots Digiscoped on a Swarovski ATX 85.

World Digiscopers Meeting, part 3

posted by Justin Carr.

This posting is my final post on my amazing experience my friends and I had in Florida back in January. For those who didn’t see the last 2 posts let me briefly explain what the meeting was.

This get-together was for Digiscopers from all over the world. A lot of us sort of knew each other through social media so it was a great opportunity for us to meet face to face. And of course,  a spot of scoping along the way. :) Here are the last of my favourite  shots from the trip.

Anhinga

Anhinga

Logger head shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

Great blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

American Bittern

American Bitttern

Ring necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck.

phpeZAPdAPM

the butterfly above was digiscoped through a pair of Swarovski 8.5 x 42 els

Red shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

 Dunlin

Dunlin: subspecies hudsonia

Sunrise over Merrit Island

Sunrise over Merrit Island

The above shows Digiscoping doesn’t always have to be birds.

Wood ibis

Wood ibis

No I haven’t  messed up posting upside down this is a reflection as you have probably guessed.

Green Heron

Green Heron

I would like to give special thanks to Danny Porter (Danny’s Digiscoping) for being my partner in crime, and also Mr Robert Wilson for being the brainchild of this Amazing event.

I hope it will be the first of many world Digiscopers meetings!

 

 

How Digiscoping has brought back my youthful way of looking at birds

Justin Carr

Recently I was privileged to do my first one-on-one Digiscoping workshop at the Old Moor RSPB reserve.

The facilities there have been designed specifically for photographers with a small hide sunk into the ground so as you look out of the hide your eyes are at ground level. It’s ideal for photographing feeding birds at point-blank range. Birds such as Bullfinches, Greenfinches, and various Buntings. Most of these birds, experienced birder’s (me included) take for granted. Seeing and  photographing these birds at only a few feet in front of me and my client gave us both a real buzz  bringing back that felling I had when I started out birding in my early teens.

My local patch ‘Back in the Day’ was my grandparents back garden which had numerous feeders hung up. Many an exiting hour was spent watching and recording the bird that visited. A chart was kept, with the species and numbers recorded month by month. My rarities were Reed Buntings and Siskin. These two birds really got the juices flowing. The point I am trying to make is the more experience we get the more we forget how exciting our common birds can be.

We all like finding and seeing Rarities but don’t forget to enjoy the common ones too before they become Rarities. Here are a few images to inspire you!!

A stunning male Bullfinch

A stunning male Bullfinch

Male yellowhammer another stunning bird

Male Yellowhammer. Another stunning bird

Redwing

How often do we really look at Redwings.

Redwing

Redwing

Pheasant

Pheasant

and it’s not just male Pheasants that are attractive.

And from the Old Moor to Harpham East Yorks for the long staying Black-bellied Dipper, one of my favorite birds.

Black Bellied Dipper

Black Bellied Dipper

One more thing.

Being a photographer by spending time looking through a lens you see different aspects of a birds behavior. This Wren below was on Kelk beck with the Dipper it worked its way along the river edge gleaning insects from the water and at on point dipped its head into the water to pick food from below the surface. How many of you have seen this behavior before?

Wren

Wren

all images Digiscoped on a Swarovski 80.

 

 

iPhonescoping

By Steve Blain

It just so happened that while Justin was in Florida for the World Digiscopers meeting I was also in Florida for a holiday.  A family holiday.  Definitely not a birding holiday.
But maybe a holiday with a little birding.  And by complete coincidence some of the places we ended up going for a walk were great birding spots too!  Although you can’t really fail to see great birds all around Florida – from flocks of White Ibis in your yard, Eastern Phoebes on your mailbox, and Palm Warblers hopping around your drive, to Sandhill Cranes along the central reservations of the freeways and Ring-billed Gulls trying to steal your sandwiches on the beach! The confiding nature of some of these birds gave me an opportunity to try out my new telephone…

Green Heron, Viera Wetlands

Painted Bunting, Merrit Island (shot using the HDR setting to retain some details in the over-exposed area of the feeder in the sunshine)

Great White Egret, Gatorland

Snowy Egret, Gatorland

Reddish Egret, Merrit Island

Aligator, Gatorland

White Ibis, Gatorland

All images in this post were taken with an iPhone 6, hand-held to a Swarovski ATS 80 HD, and 25-50x eyepiece.

World Digiscopers meeting part 2

By Justin Carr

Here is another assortment of Digiscoped images from my week in the sunshine state that is Florida.

Belted kinkfisher

Belted kingfisher

Osprey

Osprey

 

How many people have seen Ospreys in the UK like this.

American Herring Gull

American Herring Gull

Royal Tern

Royal Tern

Blue gray gnatcatcher

Blue gray gnatcatcher

White eyed Vireo

White eyed Vireo

Forsters Tern

Forsters Tern

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte’s Gull

Laughing Gulls

Laughing Gulls

Just in case you were wondering how tame the Ospreys are its on top of the telegraph post.         End of part two.

all images taken on a Swarovski 80

Good Digiscoping.

The first World Digiscopers meeting Part 1.

Posted by Justin Carr

This January saw the first world digiscopers meeting which was held in Titusville Florida, the event was the brainchild of fellow digiscoper and good friend Robert wilson. His vision was to get a group of digiscopers who all knew each other only through social media. This idea was put to Swarovski who organised the event.  Robert persuaded me i should attend, I was glad i did, it was an amazing experiance,meeting some of the best scopers in the world. the week was spent with my good friend Danny Porter and my new friend Robert Wilson. it was mine and Dans first trip to the Sunshine State. We where both blown away by the spectacular wildlife. This is the first part of our photograghic trip hope you enjoy.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Eastern Bluebird

 

This Eastern Bluebird above was the only one of the trip so i was pleased to get this shot.

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

Palm Warblers were by far the commonest warbler they were everywhere.

White ibis

White ibis

Laughing Gull

Laughing Gull

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Lunch at the Deck Down Under restaurant, Daytona was a great opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing birds.

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

End of part one.

all shots taken through a Swarovski 80                                                                                                               Good Digiscoping!!