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

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Skeppsholmen; 23rd Febuary 2010

A brace of Goldeneye drakes, the best image of the day...


Common Gull coming in to land....

Greater Black Backed Gull; Adult


Drake Goldeneye


Pochard; Adult Female


Herring Gull Trio...


A Greater Black Backed Gull in flight...


Drake Pochard; Adult bird...



Goldeneye males....



A pair of Black Headed Gulls on the ice..


Herring Gull; 2nd Calender



Really severe weather at the moment, at minus fifteen degrees plus wind chill today and heavy snowfalls to boot. Public transport is in a state of chaos as a result, so I decided to stay local and take a look around Skeppsholmen in the city. A huge build up of gulls today in the area, 118 Greater Black Backed Gulls is a very large count. Hundreds of Herring Gull also present, as well as a few Common and Black Headed Gulls. 12 Pochard were noted, the best of the wildfowl. Goldeneye were also present in small numbers, happily manged some good images of all these birds today. Goosander, Tufted Ducks and Coot also present in large numbers...






Monday, February 15, 2010

Tufted Ducks; Stockholm Strom; 15th Febuary 2010

Surfacing bird; tried to get on to the birds as they came up to capture the water flowing over the birds...


Underwater; crystal clear water allowed me to get this shot of a bird on it's way back to the surface....

Surfacing bird...


A pair of drakes taking a nap....

A series of shots of Tufted Duck taken today at Stockholm Strom in the city centre....

Faboda Gård/Råstasjön; 15th Febuary 2010

Willow Tit; the first of the year for me today....


Stunning winter scenery as the cold snap really deepens. It has been minus degrees now for eight weeks....


Faboda Gård was my first point of call today to search for an elusive Pygmy Owl, though the search did not prove fruitful in the end. This bird is faithful to the area though and I hope to get some good views of this bird as it begins to display in the coming weeks. Willow Tits were a nice bonus though, at least four birds were picked up today. A distant Black Woodpecker was heard, as were several Crested Tit. Common Crossbills were also seen today at this site....

Grey Heron; Numbers way down at this site due to the last of the open water now being frozen over, hard times to come for these birds...


Herring Gull; adult bird...


On then to Råstasjön after hearing the Glaucous Gull had put in an appearance, alas I mised the bird by 45 minutes! Them are the breaks as they say, this bird continues to elude my camera lens!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sandhamn; 3rd Febuary 2010

Common Gull; this bird in it's 2nd calender year..


A shot from the ferry...

Seriously cold conditions here on the outer archipelago makes life hard for Mute Swans.


Another shot from the ferry of the archipelago...



Crested Tit; a poor photo of this hard to photograph species....



A trip the Sandhamn proved very hard work in truly baltic conditions, the outer archipelago is experiencing some of the worst winter freezes of recent years and deep snow and thick ice made birding very tough. Had hoped to photograph White Tailed Eagles today, though the reality was these birds saw me coming a long way off as I struggled to approach through deep snow and never let me approach within a close enough range to obtain a quality shot. A few days previously a couple of Mute Swan corpses had attracted a dozen of these birds to feed, the corpes I found today and had been picked clean of flesh, the birds now stationed about the island in smaller numbers and difficult to approach. Birds were very scarce, a single female Smew the best the island had to offer today. Crested Tit, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit and a single Waxwing were the only landbirds noted initially. Mute Swan, Goldeneye, Goosander, Black Headed Gull, Greater Black Backed Gull, Common and Herring Gull were also noted around the island. A single Meadow Pipit was a real surprise, not common at all in witer in these conditions. A total of 5 White Tailed Eagles noted.
All in all a really tough days birding, though nevertheless a day of striking winter scenery and very enjoyable despite the hardship....

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Black Throated Thrush; Duvbo; 2nd Febuary 2010

First view off the bird as it approached through the trees behind the garden, a very distinct bird which is not hard to pick out amongst the commoner thrush species...



Rather wary on first arriving in the garden before it settles down to feed....


The bird dropped to the ground after checking the area out from the trees, dropping in behind the low pine trees at the rear of the garden. The bird then moves trough this cover before pausing a few seconds at the back of the slope, it the moves into the garden to feed....



The bird performed well today and allowed a lot of good images to be taken....












This shot and the one below are perhaps the best shots of the day...



Feeding right in front of me on the snow....



Back to Duvbo today to secure a few more images of the long staying Black-throated Thrush, prompted by better light over the past few days. The bird took a while to show, but when it did it obliged me with some very good views and the photos reflect that. This bird has been present for a number of weeks now and it looks like it will stay around until the winter is through, the feeding station providing all it needs foodwise. The garden was full of birds today, hordes of Blackbird and Fieldfare present, as well as Redwing, Hawfinch, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Tree Sparrow, Meally Redpoll, Common Crossbill, Jay, Treecreeper, Great Tit, Blue tit, Coal Tit and Greenfinch all noted.
Again, many thanks due the owners of the garden for kindly allowing birder's access to the back garden to view this superb bird....


Video here of Rewing feeding on fruit in the garden;



video

Hawfich; Duvbo; 2nd Febuary 2010














The winter weather is drawing many species in to closer proximity to humans, food becomes scrcer as a big freeze goes on and birds are forced to feed where they can. This Hawfinch was an unexpected bonus today whilst waiting on the Black-throated Thrush to appear. Had heard a couple of these birds calling earlier, high in the canopy. These birds are often elusive and I had never managed a photo of real quality of this species until this bird suddenly appeared in front of me amongst Tree Sparrows, which it dwarfed. This is a stunning finch. There is a whole lot to look at here, the massive bill is capable of huge force, these birds can crack open cherry stones with ease. Another unique feature are the odd crimped tertial feathers, just visible in some of these shots. The bird fed for just 30 seconds on the ground before it flew off into the woods, allowing me to fire off the shots posted above...


Redwings; Duvbo; 2nd Febuary 2010











Some photos posted here from today from Duvbo, where Redwing were feeding on the garden. Hard to say how many were visiting the garden to feed, though a minimum of 5 birds involved. These birds are a real feature of birding in Stockholm at the minute and are visiting feeding stations in large numbers now due too the cold....

Treecreeper; Duvbo; 2nd Febuary 2010


A photo from today of Treecreeper, illustrating how well camoflaged this species is from above. The species is common all year round here in Stockholm, a number of them stay through the winter. The species is rather cocal and can easily be located when calling if one is familiar with it's call. This species often joins mixed flocks of foraging Tits in the winter months when it can also be easily observed with patience...