Alan Dalton post's birding diaries and original artwork from Sweden. Established in 2006, this now long running blog is now a complete overview of my birding experiences. As an artist I greatly enjoy sketching birds in the field and you will find a wide selection of that work here, from fieldwork to finished paintings. I am very passionate about my artwork and try to depict birds in their natural habitat, as I see them in the wild. My artwork is for sale and can be viewed at http://www.alandalton.net/
As regards to my photography, since 2008 I have used a Nikon D90 DSLR camera coupled with a Sigma 150-500mm OS lens for since March 2012 for bird photography, all previous images being digiscoped. Regarding sound recording, I have been usung a Telinga Stereo Dat Mic and parabol to record birds in the field, coupled to a Marrantz 661 digital recorder, a superb piece of kit. Interest in butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies has recently seen the accquisition of a Sigma 150mm macro lens. I hope you enjoy the blog and please feel free to leave comments or contact me at alandltn@gmail.com

Monday, July 13, 2015

Gulls at Skeppsbron; 13th July 2015




 A first calendar Herring Gull, race 'argentatus'. This bird appeared at the site a couple of days ago and showed quite well tonight. The first of this years youngsters at the site, it will soon be followed by many others. A darkish individual this one.

 Video footage of this 1st Calendar bird here. The bird spent a lot of time preening in order to remove down feathers...





 Above; A couple of images of a newly fledged Common Gull, alway nice to see such fresh plumage...








Baltic Gull adults, several birds present tonight, rather common at the site.


Video footage, Baltic Gull; Adult in July. Features some long calling birds and slow motion footage...

A few shots taken this evening during my spot-check of the gulls present at Skeppsbron.

Birding on Hällogern; Västerbotten; June 2015




Fully edited video taken over a week on the island of Hällogern. Ultra HD Footage.

This year the trip to Hällogern was rather earlier than usual and it was my first visit in mid June. Not surprisingly, it was breeding birds that featured and there were very few other species passing at this time of the year. Common Gulls were very much a feature, as were Arctic and Common Terns. More interesting breeding birds included Kestrel, Velvet Scoter, Red Breasted Merganser, Goldcrest and Common Sanpiper, all of which were found breeding during the week. Interesting birds were few, though some nice waders were seen, the best being three breeding plumed Male Ruff, several Spotted Redshank and some nice Curlew. Red throated Diver were breeding nearby, as were Black throated Diver, both species were viewed just offshore in the early morning and evenings. Common Crane were also close by on the mainland. Small birds were rather scarce, though other good birds included regular Little Gulls around the island, all proving to be breeding plumaged adults. Three Scaup, two males and an adult female, were recorded. This is not the first time I have seen the species in the area,  the species has bred either on the island or close by a few years back, when I saw a young brood with a female. Many Goosander, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck and other common species around..
A wonderful trip with many nice moments in the land of eternal sunshine. Wonderful sunny weather 22 hours a day this year...
















 Common Gulls and their young were all willing subjected for digiscoping over the seven days...



 Common Tern on the mainland...




 Displaying Common Gulls close by out little cabin...











 Spider Macro images...


Ultra HD video of offshore dispalying Red Breasted Mergansers...









 Velvet Scoter were a big feature, breeding on the island. First broods were already fledged...



Green Veined White, Macro image...



Timelapse videos of sunset on the island, shot in HD over two evenings. The sun remained down for just two hours!


Friday, June 12, 2015

Sandemar Reserve; 10th June 2015





A last minute decision made to go to Sandemar Reserve proved an excellent decision after work. I only had a few hours on my hands, but the weather was glorious and birds were busy everywhere. On arrival I had nice views of a cracking male Red backed Shrike, though the bird was wary and avoided the camera lens. I figure the female is incubating and this species is rather prone to disturbance whilst on eggs, so I have the area a wide berth around the bush where I know the nest to be.
 Next up was a pair of Long tailed Tits, busily feeding a huge fledged clutch of young birds. Then a nice, though brief view of Garden Warbler. A singing Marsh Warbler was belting it out from deep cover at the corner of Stigen, I quickly located two more. Eventually I had nice views of one bird and even managed a little video footage. Yellowhammer, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat and Icterine Warbler were all easily noted and all were singing. Common Rosefinch were next, at least two singing males near the tower, were there was a lot of activity, mainly from breeding Common Snipe, Lapwing and Redshank. A cracking summer plumaged Spotted Redshank was a highlight, feeding along the shore, whilst a single Temminck's Stint was distant. Offshore was a Black-throated Diver, some Eider, Goosander and Cormorant. There were a couple of second calendar White Tailed Eagle in the area too.
 At Hoggarn there were many Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit and a nice singing Whinchat. Skylark were less obvious now and are probably busy nesting now. A Cuckoo was heard, though not seen. The evening really was stunning and there was nobody else in the area. I spent some time filming and managed to get some nice footage of the area, which I have now edited and have posted here.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Wood Warbler; Digiscoped with Panasonic GH4; 7th May 2015































A series of digiscoped images today of Wood Warbler. Looking at these photo's, one might think the bird was a real poser, this was certainly not the case! The bird was incredibly active and I spent two hours trying to get some decent images. As often as not, as soon as I got the bird in the scope and tried to slip the camera over the scope eyepiece the bird would have moved on. It was frustrating at times and I found myself wishing I had my DSLR with me, especially as the birds landed right in front of me a few times.
 As the bird sang from numerous perches I sat back and watched for a while, soon identifying a number of perches the bird used repeatedly. Eventually, despite the birds constant movements, I got few decent images. One of the better birds of summer in my opinion, I just love the song and they a tidy birds to boot.
 Over 40 Species seen today, nothing strange, though still a great morning. Best birds were Green Sandpipers on the breeding grounds, a pair of Slavonia Grebes, several Pied Flycatchers and Blackcap. All in all, a very nice morning...

Black-throated Divers; Tyresta National Park; 7th May 2015

 Black-throated Diver in summer, just about as good as it gets in my opinion. My best digiscoped shot from this morning...


 Above and below; The second bird looked a little smaller and sleeker, it also kept a little further back. Remarkably serpentine birds, perfectly appraised to life in the water...



Having spent several hours checking put the National Park from early in the morning I was most disappointed and suprised not to come across any Black-Throated Diver's on either Lake Flaten or Stensjön. These are both regular breeding sites for this species and I had never had any difficulty finding birds at either site in May before today. I was therefore thinking my luck was out and it wasn't until I got to Fatburen that my luck change. I was stopped in my tracks there by a Grey Heron that had somehow managed to catch a Tench and was trying to deal with this large fish. As I watched the Heron gave up, possibly because it was wary of my sudden appearance. All of a sudden. as if out of nowhere, a pair of Black-throated Diver appeared in the margins, ghosting up from under the water. The birds spent ten minutes fishing the area before leaving the bay, allowing a few half decent digiscopes to be taken. Quite simply put, these birds are stunning in summer garb. One of my favourite species and I will never tire of seeing them...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baltic Gull; Skeppsbron; 30th April 2015







































Baltic Gulls are the big plus at my gulling patch. They have just returned and I had a nice time watching them today. Around 16 birds were present in the area, with several birds displaying, offering wonderful photo opportunities. Wonderful birds...