Have a GoPro? Phone Skope has a setup for you!

Recently, Phone Skope released adapters for GoPro‘s Hero 2 and Hero 3 cameras. They have an adapter to give you a digiscoping adapter as follows – GoPro Hero 3 + Spotting Scope & Phone Skope C-2 Adapter. They also have an adapter for the GoPro Hero 2. Check it out on a Vortex Razor HD below.

Here’s a bit from Phone Skope on the product: “Simply attach our unique C-2 Pro Skope Kit to your GoPro and then you will be able to connect your go pro to most all optical devices!”

Check out this video on the installation of the adapter:

Be sure to check out www.phoneskope.com for your smartphone digiscoping needs! They make an adapter for most smartphone and spotting scope/binocular combinations. Also, follow Phone Skope on FacebookTwitterPinterestYouTubeGoogle +, and Instagram!

What do you think? If you had a GoPro, would you use it for digiscoping? Let us know in the comments!

Phone Skope Video Compilation!

Here’s a video compilation I made using iMovie for iOS. The video, Phone Skope Birding, is comprised of birds digiscoped with an iPhone 4S + Celestron Regal M2 80ED & Phone Skope Adapter.

Be sure to check out www.phoneskope.com for your smartphone digiscoping needs! Also, follow Phone Skope on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google +, and Instagram!

The Shortest Chase – Mew Gull at Rotary Park!

Mew Gull

‘American’ Mew Gull at Rotary Park in Lake Havasu City, AZ on 24 March 2013. Photo by Oscar Johnson.

Lauren Harter of Phainopepla Fables texted Oscar Johnson and I on Sunday, March 24th, informing us of a Mew Gull at Rotary Park. Mew Gull would be a lifer and Rotary Park is only five minutes from our field house. You know what that means? The chase was on!

We grabbed Bob and our optics, jumped in the Jeep, and sped safely to Rotary Park. Lauren was watching the gull and guarding the flock from any nearby threats, i.e. children, that could scare and flush the flock. The gull was associating with Ring-billed Gulls, a lone Bonaparte’s Gull, and a few American Coots.

‘American’ Mew Gull at Rotary Park in Lake Havasu City, AZ on 24 March 2013. Photo by Tim Schreckengost.

The Mew Gull was extremely cooperative allowing for excellent photo and video opportunities. I had my iPhone 4s hooked up with a Celestron Regal 80 F-ED Spotting Scope with the Phone Skope iPhone 4s Adapter.

‘American’ Mew Gull at Rotary Park in Lake Havasu City, AZ on 24 March 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

‘American’ Mew Gull at Rotary Park in Lake Havasu City, AZ on 24 March 2013. iPhone photo by Tim Schreckengost.

Oscar laid down some nasty handheld, digiscoped photos. So sick. He definitely put everyone else to shame. (Also, look at the first photo in this post for immediate face-melting).

Mew Gull

‘American’ Mew Gull at Rotary Park in Lake Havasu City, AZ on 24 March 2013. Photo by Oscar Johnson.

Here’s his photo of the Bonaparte’s Gull for good measure.

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte’s Gull at Rotary Park in Lake Havasu City, AZ on 24 March 2013. Photo by Oscar Johnson.

OK. So it wasn’t really a chase, but it was a darn good bird for Arizona, with less than 25 accepted records. According to eBird (see below and click on the map to go directly to eBird), the majority of the birds were found along the lower Colorado River. Mew Gull was considered a casual winter visitor or transient before 1984 in the lower Colorado River Valley (Rosenberg et al. 1991).

Be sure to check out Lauren’s post on Phainopepla Fables and the AZFO Photo Documentation for more information. Here’s the eBird Checklist from Rotary Park as well.

Thanks to Drew Weber and his awesome post about using the iPhone app called StillShot to take high quality screen grabs from videos. That’s what I used for most of my photos in this post. It definitely adds a new dimension to digiscoping with the iPhone. Here’s the link – http://www.nemesisbird.com/2013/03/iphone-digiscoping-pro-tip-video-grabs/

Literature Cited

Rosenberg, K. V., Ohmart, R. D., Hunter, W. C., and Anderson, B. W. 1991. Birds of the Lower Colorado River Valley. Univ. Ariz. Press, Tucson.

Video: Birding the Delaware Bayshore

Before this fall and winter, I have only birded the Delaware Bayshore one time. Since September, I have had the opportunity to explore places such as Bombay Hook NWR and Prime Hook NWR and have found an array of wildlife and beautiful scenery. I urge every naturalist to scope out the Delaware Bayshore in the future. Here is what DNREC has to say about the Delaware Bayshore:

Extending from Pea Patch Island in New Castle County to the City of Lewes in Sussex County, the Delaware Bay shoreline is widely recognized as an area of global ecological significance. Its expansive coastal marshes, shoreline, agricultural lands and forests provide diverse habitat to many species, including migratory shorebirds. Birders and biologists from around the world come to central Delaware to witness the annual spring spectacle of more than a half million shorebirds taking a rest stop to dine on eggs laid by spawning horseshoe crabs.”

DNREC is inviting current and potential recreational users of public lands along the Delaware Bayshore to participate in a survey. Survey responses will assist DNREC’s Delaware Bayshore Initiative Team with planning and implementing investments in the Bayshore region. Take the Bayshore Initiative Survey

All content used with permission from DNREC. 

Video: Scott Weidensaul banding PA’s fourth record of Allen’s Hummingbird

Video–Sandhill Crane Migration

Here’s a cool video from National Geographic on Sandhill Crane Migration at Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory.

Check out more videos from National Geographic of YouTube!

Hat-tip to “Bird Bytes” on Facebook for sharing this video.

Type 2 Red Crossbill in Bucks County, PA

While observing the Allen’s Hummingbird in Babe Webster’s Yard last Thursday, Thanksgiving, I watched and recorded a Red Crossbill call from the tops of different trees throughout the yard. The bird was a lifer for me as I’ve only heard them flying over the Cape Henlopen SP Hawk Watch back at the end of September. I was able to record call as I was taking a video of the Allen’s and the crossbill. Here’s the video:

I sent the video to Matt Young of Cornell, who confirmed the bird as a Type 2 Red Crossbill. Matt is studying Red Crossbills and published an article on eBird earlier this fall. Also, links to more of his publications can be seen over at the ABA Blog. Here’s what Matt had to say about the bird and the spectrogram he sent me:

“Nice find, a Type 2. There have been a few type 2’s in Massachusetts, but no others in the Northeast. Type 2 have been steadily moving eastward though out over the Plains. In the past month I have them confirmed from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Illinois.”

Type 2 Red Crossbill, Spectrogram from Matt Young

Type 2 Red Crossbills reported to eBird since August 2012.

Matt was discussing the sighting with Doug Gross ,from the PA Game Commission, and it could be the first documented record of a Type 2 Red Crossbill for Pennsylvania!

Type 2 Red Crossbills have been documented to breed across the country, but are more dense in the western portion. Here’s more on the geographic range (source: American Museum of Natural History):

“In the East, breeding by this form has been documented in the southern Appalachian mountains, the state of New York, and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Breeding may also extend to the pine barrens of New Jersey and other coniferous forests along the Atlantic coast. In the Rocky Mountain west, this form is relatively common in conifer forests at all elevations, including foothill areas where other forms are less frequent. In the Pacific Northwest, this crossbill is found mainly on the drier east side of the Cascades, but it also occurs along the Pacific coast of Oregon and California (including San Francisco’s Presidio and Golden Gate Park). It is perhaps the most common crossbill in the Sierra Nevada and other California ranges, as well as the Mogollon Rim of Arizona and various mountains of New Mexico. Type 2 birds are probably frequent in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Occasional crossbills in southern pine forests, from east Texas and Mississippi to the Carolinas, are likely to be of this form.”

Make sure to send any Red Crossbill recordings to Matt Young to confirm the bird or birds to “Type.” After confirmation, enter your sightings to “Type” in eBird! Recordings can be sent to may6 A cornell DOT edu.

Curious about what the other winter finches are up to? Check out the Status of Winter Finch Irruptions in the Northeast!

The video was taken with a Samsung Stratosphere on a Vortex Skyline 80 Spotting Scope using the Phone Skope Universal Adapter set up.

Phone Skope makes custom adapters for any smartphone and spotting scope combination. Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter.