21.05.07 | Digiscoping on Anglesey

Spent a week holidaying in Anglesey and managed to squeeze in some digiscoping.

The Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, offers a rich and varied habitat, resulting in a huge range of bird species. From rocky cliffs for breeding sea birds, to vast coastline heath lands for summer migrants.

I visited various sites around the Island and have been able to increase the range of species that I have photographed. See the my pictures section for latest additions.

Highlights of the week included a visit to South Stack, where the cliffs offer the perfect conditions for nesting Guillemot and Razorbill. I also visited Cemlyn Bay to see the colony of nesting Sandwich, Arctic and Common Tern.

I spent a lot of early mornings on some costal heath land between Trearddur Bay and South Stack, observing Stonechat, Skylark, Meadow Pipet, Chough and Wheatear all busy feeding their young.

Also a visit to the largest Reservoir on Anglesey, Llyn Alaw, brought my first sighting of a Grasshopper Warbler in the lush vegetation surrounding the shore.


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South Stack


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Cemlyn Bay



12.05.07 | Dodging the showers at Belvide

Spent a rainy afternoon at Belvide Reservoir.

Saturday afternoon at Belvide was a mixture of bright skies and sudden down-pours.

My friend Anthony, Anthony's Father-in-Law Peter and myself arrived around midday. The showers meant that most of the day was spent in the hides on the south shore.

We were treated with the occasional bright spell and managed to get some shots of a Great Crested Grebe nesting near to the hide, also Reed Warbler.

Whitethroat on the edge of the reeds teased us, but never stayed long enough for a picture.

Anthony brought along his EOS 30D and Sigma 50-500mm resting on a bean bag on the edge of the hide window, whilst Peter tried out his new fantastic, home made digiscope adapter! He has custom built it to fit his Opticron scope and Canon Ixus 900Ti, It worked amazingly well allowing the camera to be angled away when not in use and incorporated a cable shutter release.

The Canon Ixus 900Ti looks like a cracking little camera, even with the external zoom lens set at the widest there was no vignetting.

I also took along my Canon EOS 400D and 75-300USM lens, plus a 2x converter doubled the magnification. I got some reasonable shots, but would have been a lot better with the use of a bean bag for stability.



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Anthony and Peter in
Scott Hide on the south
shore of Belvide

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Reed Warbler



Sedge Warbler, Belvide. Canon EOS 400D

05.05.07 | Digiscoping in the Belvide Plantation

I spent the Saturday sunny afternoon in the Plantation at Belvide Reservoir.

I decided to take my Canon EOS 400D DLSR to Belvide today to try to get some good digiscoped images.

The Plantation at Belvide was alive with warblers and the bright sunshine made excellent lighting conditions.

Once again I struggled using the DSLR, in theory using the DLSR body connected direct to the scope, should give me better results, but I'm finding that the DSLR just can't compete with the Contax SL300T* compact camera.

After focussing the scope on the subject and looking through the viewfinder, the image is sharp, but when viewed in Photoshop, the results seem consistently blurred. The camera was in AV mode (aperture priority) I set the ISO to 200, and shutter speed was around the 1/500 second. The pictures above of the Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat have been reduced in size and sharpened.

If anybody out there has got any tips on digiscoping with a DSLR - please let me know!

From now on I have decided that my DSLR will be used for normal photography and I will continue to use my Contax SL300T* for digiscoping as the results it gives are consistently good, plus the added bonus of live preview on the LCD makes digiscoping much easier.



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The Plantation at Belvide


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Whitethroat, EOS 400D


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Sedge Warbler, EOS 400D



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