With my Canon 300mm lens sent off for rehab, I've been limited to digiscoping. Well, perhaps 'limited' is the wrong word. Given relatively cooperative birds, digiscoping can result in some wonderful images. I'm using a Leica D-Lux 4 digital camera with a Leica digital adapter, and a Leica 85mm spotting scope. It's a pretty user-friendly set up, I have to say.
Digiscoping and birding go together really well. A professional photographer friend of mine once told me (and repeated this many times since) that you can either go birding or you can be a bird photographer, but it's almost impossible to do both well at once. Bird photographers, like my friend, tend to find a cooperative bird or spot and work it for an extended period. Birders can lose patience with this because they may want to move on to the next birdy spot.
I'll write more extensively about digiscoping in Guyana in a future post.
Being without my big lens has felt somewhat liberating. In my two most recent festivals, in Arizona, and at the New River Birding Festival in West Virginia, I was solely digiscoping, which fits better with being a field trip leader, too, since I always tote and operate the spotting scope. After everyone has seen a bird in the scope, if the bird obliges, I snap a few shots with my digiscoping camera, which I carry on my hip in a small pouch.
If you'd like to find out more about digiscoping from one of the pros, I suggest you go to a birding festival where the field reps from the major optics companies often hold seminars on this subject. If you get a good camera/adapter/spotting scope arrangement, digiscoping is so easy it will surprise you.