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, November 29, 2011

Dusky Thrush; Låssa 2011; Fieldsketches






A selection of field sketches of the Dusky Thrush at Låssa, done with black ballpoint biro...


Monday, November 14, 2011

Dusky Thrush; A first for Sweden; Låssa; 14th November 2011

My first clear view of this stunning thrush, a Swedish first, a very distinctive bird which thrilled the crowds today...




The bird reappeared every fifteen minutes feeding in the berry tree, then retireing to an area of pine to digest food before reappearing. The bird would gorge itself on a dozen berries before moving off.




Note the supercilium, breastband of crescented feathers, marked flanks ovet a whitisish base, A stunning bird...




Thr birds wing caught on the branches as it flopped down to feed. Throughout the observations the golden berries provided an incredibly colourful backdrop..




Again, a stunning bird. Note the pale fringes to the tertials...




The bird fed actively throughout the day...




Note the fresh outer greater coverts contrasting with the inner covert's, active post juvenile moult which confirms the bird to be a first calender bird. A small thrush, though rather thick legged and sturdy billed.






















Thee bird was occasionally seen high in the nearby treees. Variable light meant difficuly conditions for photography and I constantly had to reset the camera settings in manual mode. Eventually I reverted to the telescope and just enjoyed the views, taking some fieldsketches...




The only flight shot of the day...



Dusky Thrush, what can you say, a European Mega Rare and this one, a Swedish first record. Arrived just after first light and was relieved to find it still present, what a bird. Without doubt one of the best birds I have ever seen, it gave stunning views at times.
 The bird was found at Låssa two days ago, feeding on a large ornamntal berry tree, possibly a Fireberry or Pyrocantha variety. It is thought the bird may have been present for a week, what a surprise it must of been for the local birder that found it..
 I arrived just after dawn to find birder's present and on my arrival they already seen the bird moments before. I waited anxiously, confident the bird would reappear. Ten minutes later it flew into the berry tree from a large spruce at the back of the garden and I got the scope on it and had the first of many stunning views. Over the next few hours it showed well every fifteen minutes or so feeding on the berries before retiring to the spruce tree nearby. The light early on was poor, so I used the scope and got lots of notes and sketches done before eventually trying to get the shots posted here. Hopefully the bird will stay n...

Waxwing; Låssa; 14th November 2011









Waxwings here from Låssa. Initially I had 45 birds at Bro train station, then later, whilst onsite waiting for the Dusky Thrush up to 50 birds were present. It took a while for them to descend, whilst in the treetops they concentrated on Mistletoe berries. Great birds in every way...

Mistle Thrush; Låssa; 14th November 2011







Shots here of the single Mistle Thrush present today at Låssa. my irst decent images of the species. This was the dominant bird at the fruiting tree, often chasing off fieldfares and the Dusky Thrush.

Fieldfare; Låssa; 14th Novemer 2011






A couple of shots of Fieldfare from Låssa taken while waiting for the Dusky Thrush to show. Again, quite remarkable the colours provided by the orange berries, making for some remarkable images...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Common Gulls; Skeppsbron; 1st November 2011

 1st Calender. Note the newer mantle and scapular feathers.




 1st Calender. The same individual.




 A view here of the underwing of the same 1st calender bird, the underwing covert's well marked at their tips. Note the spotted necklace effect..




 One last shot of this cooperative individual...




 Above and below; Sub adult Common Gull, note the dark markings on the upper primary covert's. There are two large mirror's on P9 and P10. Note also the diffuse grey 'necklace' effect, overlaid with neat spots...




A selection of images here of Common Gull from earlier today, spent the afternoon checking out the gulls at the site..


Black-headed Gulls; Skeppsbron; 1st November 2011








Shots here of adult Black-headed Gulls from Skeppsbron. The light was not good at all, in the end I had to shoot at ISO 1250 in oder to get these birds in flight...

Herring Gulls; Skeppsbron; 1st November 2011

 1st Calender with a well marked underwing here. The bill looked rather deep...




 Above and below, the same 1st calender bird...









 A 1st calender bird in flight showing it's upperparts.




 A second calender here in flight...




 Above and below; Adult Argentatus in flight...




A selection of shots here of Herring Gulls from Skeppsbron today. Not a lot of birds around, alarmingly there is a large building site developing right where the gulls tend to loaf. If nothing else viewing the birds at this site may become more difficult in the future. It's impact on the birds itself will be harder to predict...

Moorhen; Lotsjön; 31st October 2011















Spent the day looking for Two-barred Crossbill beside the lake today, the birds having been present for the past four days. I had been working solidly and hoping they would stay as they were giving great views to local birder's and I still needed photo's of the species. They were gone!
 On the lake itself there were two first year Moorhen, which is a very local species this far north. These were in fact only my second record this year in Sweden! Decided to grab some shots as both birds were showing well at close range around some Bistort...
Autumn is remarkable this year and it is still mild. Birding has been phenomenal on the archipelago around Stockholm. Chestnut Eared Bunting(Swedish first record), Hume's Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Siberian Thrush, Olive-backed Pipit have been the cream of the crop...