Weekend Digiscoping Spotlight 15

The Weekend Digiscoping Spotlight will highlight some of the fun shots we’ve gotten recently with a camera paired with a spotting scope. We welcome submissions of your favorite digiscoped shots to be featured in future spotlights, just use the contact form in the menu above.


Mourning Warbler - Drew Weber

 Digiscoped with a Leica APO-Televid 65 with Phone Skope adapter for iPhone 5s.

I was down in Pennsylvania doing bird surveys on state forest land to determine the effects of forest loss due to fracking activity on bird populations. It was an area unfamiliar to me, and I was navigating with my iPhone which had no cell reception, so it was no surprise when I ended up making a wrong turn. This always has the potential for excitement because I drive a Honda Fit, not a vehicle known for its off-road abilities, nor its clearance. Luckily the road wasn’t as bad as some others in the area, but one thing I’ve learned from years of making wrong turns while birding is to keep the windows rolled down and listen for anything interesting.

This was one of those days where a wrong turn was rewarded with a great bird, a Mourning Warbler. The male wasn’t more than 30 feet away and was teeing up on different stumps and bushes so I had to take the opportunity to digiscope it. The Mourning Warbler continued to sing while I set up and snapped a few photos, but each time I switched to video mode he seemed to sense it and fly away. It was a bit overcast for photos (ok, maybe it was a downpour) and I soon took off to give him some space since he seemed pretty territorial and was hopefully entertaining some female nearby.

It was a good reminder to always keep my eyes and ears open on yet another wrong turn gone right.