Country Corner

Heron
Heron

Following the widespread use of spotting scopes among bird watchers, and advances in digital pocket cameras, a new bird photography technique has found popularity over recent years.

“Digiscoping” simply consists of holding a digital camera to the eyepiece of the telescope. This allows very close up and detailed pictures such as this portrait of a heron, which I took at Aberlady Bay recently.

Beautiful Creatures. PA Photo/Entertainment Film.

Beautiful Creatures. PA Photo/Entertainment Film.

Of course, it is best if the bird or mammal is within 20 metres or less.

This shot positively screams of stealth and concentration as the bird stalks its prey.

A new technique I am trying at present involves a “trail camera”, which is simply a camera to fix to a tree or such like and leave it there for some days or even weeks.

The camera will photograph whatever passes close enough to trigger its movement and heat sensors. Of course, sighting is everything, as the camera must either be baited or set to watch some natural passing place. Initial trials have been interesting.

For instance, when I found a rabbit killed by a stoat, I anchored it down in a nearby thicket and set the camera to await action.

Sure enough, the stoat showed up a couple of times, but over the following nights, I was surprised to see that the creatures which reduced the bait to skin and bone were in fact woodmice.

Watch this space for more telescope and trail cam results soon. I hope !