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, April 22, 2013

Tyresö Slott; 22nd April 2013

 Great Crested Grebe; These birds are now returning to the breeding grounds after the thaw, a late winter here has seen them arrive a little later than usual..


 The birds have wasted no time getting down to breeding, plenty of displaying and nest prospecting going on today...


 A few pairs of Coot also in evidence today...


 Mink. I have seen three of these in the past fortnight, not good news at all for the local waterbirds. This foreign invader is wreaking havoc withing the ecosystem here and is a very real problem for breeding birds such as Coot and Great Crested Grebe.


 Above and below; White Wagtails are now returning en masse. One of the earliest birds to return...


Also today I managed some video footage of diplaying Great Crested Grebe, click here on the link to view this footage;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKJrhLma6CI&feature=youtu.be

A casual trip today to the slott today saw plenty of waterbirds. The ice has melted at this site and Goosander, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Mute Swan and Greylag Goose were all busily preparing for breeding. A handful of Green Sandpiper were better, though I was suprised at the absence of Osprey, having had one here already a few days ago. A pair of Common Buzzard floated past, whilst Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted woodpecker and Black Woodpecker were all in evidence. A very nice day out, time for some more serious birding I think..


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Iceland Gull; Blecktornsparken; Sodermalm; Stockholm; 11th April 2013


 Finally caught up on this northern beauty today, Iceland Gull. A Swedish tick!


 Present on arrival at the site, a cracking Iceland Gull in its 2nd calender year....


 Here foraging in the snow, where there were oats scatted to feed the birds, which seems to be the reason the bird is attending this small park in Sodermalm...


 Note the rather long wings here, typical of the species. In size was slightly larger than common gulls, yet much smaller and slighter than the local Herring Gulls and Baltic Lesser Black-backed Gulls.


 Looking for food in the newly exposed grass. The spring thaw in now underway after a very late winter cold snap...


 The bird was very tame and generally unconcerned by the presence of birders...


 On occasion the bird went for a stroll around the crazy golfcourse in the park...


 The bird dropping in after a short flight. note the white primaries, with concolourous outer webs on the primaries. The bill can be seen to be diffusely tipped dark, the bill itself rather slight and of delicate build.


 Another flight shot here from further away...


 An image here in black and white, which works rather well...




Click on the link here to view video footage of the bird, shot in videomode through the Nikon D90;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yrza_DzT7c&feature=youtu.be


Having made several trips at this stage to try and see this 2nd calender Iceland Gull, without success, I had more or less decided to give up on it. The bird had last been searched for a few days ago at Brevik Hamn an few days ago, for the second time, with no sign of the bird. Having also been checking at skeppsbron regularily, as well as narrowly missing the bird at Riddarfjärden on another occasion and it seemed this far roaming bird had slipped from my grasp...
Yesterday afternoon came a report that the bird had been seen at a small park not far from my apartment here in Sodermalm. Details were scant and it was assumed a flyover sighting by a single observer. Then this morning came another report, this time the bird being reported as being on the deck for an hour at least, right in the middle of an urban area. I quickly dropped eveything and got there promptly. On arrival there it was, sitting right in the middle of the small park, which has started to thaw. The bird was very tame indeed and a model to photograph, as can been seen from the shots above. Until now there have been few good images obtained of this bird, which is an exremely rare bird in Stockholm. I stayed with the bird for a couple of hours until I got a decent flight shot, before leaving. I would be a little concerned for this birds safety, it seems rather confiding and not very 'sharp'. There is at least one Goshawk active in the area that I know of and it would seem this bird could easily become prey to this bird, should their paths cross, which seems inevitable should the bird stay here for a few days, hopefully the bird will revert to roaming widely, as it has before now..



Gulls; Lilla Blecktornsparken; Sodermalm; 11th April 2013

 A displaying adult summer plumaged Black Headed Gull in full sunlight...


 A newly returned pair of Baltic Lesser Black-backed Gulls were also present today at the small park, here is the smaller billed of the two, perhaps a female bird...


A second calender year Argentatus Herring Gull came down onto the deck for my biscuits...

I couldn't resist posting a few nice shots of the other gull species taken today whilst watching the Iceland Gull. The light today was superb. the gulls were in immaculate, full plumage. Here is the best of the shots taken...