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, October 29, 2013

Bullfinch; Landsort; 24th October 2013














Mealy Redpoll; Landsort; 24th October 2013







Mealy Redpol in the hand. These are cracking birds, rather common here, but always nice to see a bird close up in the hand....


Treecreeper; Landsort; 22nd October 2013

Treecreeper in the hand. One of four caught on the day by Rasmus Elleby at Sodra Udden.


Yellow browed Warbler, Landsort; 23rd October 2012



 Yellow Browed Warbler. This bird was found on the 23rd October along the roadside, feeding among a group of Goldcrest. Only minutes later we found a Pallas's Warbler. With such a late date we were conscious that the bird be carefully screened for features that might suggest Hume's Leaf Warbler, though, as can be seen from the photo, this bird was quite bright and had dark bases to the secondaries. It also called eventually and confirmed its identity. Only my second Swedish Yellow browed Warbler, having found one at the same site a year previously...

 Nutcracker. Not a species I see a lot of and this bird was most welcome. The bird was secretive, though has been on the island for a week or two, it was nice to see it. Not the greatest photo in the world..


Greenfinch and Bramblings. Finally, on the morning of the 24th October, there was some passerine passage...


A few shots here of some birding moments from Landsort last week....

Pallas's Warbler; Landsort; 23rd October 2013





A couple of record shots here of Pallas's Warbler from Landsort on what was a fantastic days birding. O couple of days previously I had found a Pallas's Warbler and here was another. These siberian warblers are gems and it had been many years since I found one on Cape Clear Island in Ireland, so these birds were most welcome. This bird in particular gave stunning views as it fed in front of us..


Monday, October 28, 2013

Landsort; 24th October 2013

Awoke to a very windy morning, an exceptionally strong southwesterly scouring the island. Dawn at Sodra Udden saw very little passage at sea, though for the fist time during the week, there was active diurnal migration. Unfortunately, there was too much wind to allow be to set up my sound recur ding gear, though it was nice to have some passerines moving. Over the first four hours the following were counted;
 63 Waxwing, 1 Bullfinch, 2 Siskin, 6 Brambling, 2 Yellowhammer, 23 Meadow Pipit, 8 Goldfinch, 24 Twite, 1 Snow Bunting, 1 Hawfinch, 1 Long Eared Owl, 75 Common Redpoll, 2 Dunnock, 24 Common Crossbill, 19 Parrot Crossbill, 10 Jackdaw, 2 Reed Bunting, 21 Starling, 1 male Merlin, 1 Golden Plover, 1 juvenile Goshawk.



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Landsort; 23rd October 2013

By any stretch of the imagination, a fantastic days birding. I left the observatory at dawn and set out for Sodra Udden, after 100 metres a pipit flew right across the road, low down calling. It initially struck me as a Tree Pipit type call, but it was to high pitched and I watched as it seemed to pitch down towards Bredmar, a few hundred metres away. This, surely, was an Olive backed Pipit. I raced back to the bird observatory and alerted the lads who were getting through the last of their breakfast. We then proceeded to flog Bredmar for some time with no result in strong winds, a needle in a haystack...
 Onward to Sodra Udden where a 90 minute watch produced little, though an adult Little Gull, a late juvenile Lesser Black backed Gull, 86 Common Scoter, 1 Scaup, 210 Long tailed Duck and 16 Brent Geese were notable. Then at the end of the watch four Crossbills flew past, amongst them an adult male Two barred Crossbill! The birds promptly flew out of view and were gone as the rain began to fall and we headed back to dry out and grab a sandwich. A while later the rain eased off to light drizzle and we were out again. Common Redpolls, a Brabling and 2 Siskin came quickly. Then on to the north. A large party of Goldcrests were filtered, just a single Chiffchaff the result. A brief Encounter with what was almost certainly a Ring Ouzel came next before Mårten Wikström rang to say he had located a couple of Two barred Crossbill feeding on rowan berries. A short while later we were just metres away from a cracking adult male, as well as a second calender male. Chris Sharpe made it in time too, a lifer for him and the perfect way to get one, point black!
 Again we went northwards, nothing at Saltmar. Then, a while later cane another party of Goldcrests. This time we quickly picked out a Yellow browed Warbler, we were well happy. We had cracking views of the bird as it fed and called occasionally. Eventually it moved into the woods, we moved on and had a Nutcracker just a few minutes later. Bull finches were feeding on Rowan berries too, as we approached Norrudden we located four more, though this time the calls told us these were Northern Bullfinches, with their nasal, trumpeting call. A Rough legged Buzzard went overhead, this was nice birding. Redwing and Blackbirds were everywhere, 7 Common Crossbill flew south calling and then we heard some Goldcrests. Then it came, a flash of sulphur with double wingbars, a Pallas's Warbler appeared right in front of us! It gave stunning views for three or four minutes and we were elated. We rang Mårten, WHO would eventually see the bird some time later, which was nice. We went on to comb Norra Udden and had a frustrating time chasing a silent pipit around for some time until dusk stopped play, though we couldn't complain. What a day, a couple of sibe warblers, two barred males and loads of good birds and excitement. It doesn't come along often, what a magical island this is...


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Landsort; 22nd October 2013

Up before dawn for a hearty breakfast before getting the gear packed and getting out the door. The conditions were tough, strong SSE winds and light rain. There was a few passerines around the village, Goldcrests were heard and a single Chiffchaff was picked up. A seawatch from the lighthouse  in the south was my mission, I found a nice sheltered shot and began at 07.40am. Seasick passage was reasonable, even in deteriorating conditions and I managed a four hour watch with Rasmus Elleby. The following birds were recorded;
 2 Great crested Grebe, 1 Red throated Diver, 102 Common Scoter, 72 Velvet Scoter, 710 Long tailed Duck, 2 SCAUP, 25 Eider, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldeneye, 10 Red breasted Merganser, 21 Wigeon, 1 Wigeon, 1 Teal, 46 Barnacle Goose, 72 Common Gull, 25 Black headed Gull, 5 LITTLE GULL(1 first Calender, 4 Adult), 7 Black Guillemot.
 In addition there were 6 Waxwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Redwing, 1 Reed Bunting and a Meadow Pipit overhead. All in all, not a bad haul on a tough morning..


Monday, October 21, 2013

Landsort; 21st October 2013

Back on Landsort today after far to long without a visit. A delay on the train led to me missing the early ferry, which was disappointing, though I eventually got off the boat at 09.30am and made my way to the observatory, said hello and dropped my bags off. I was informed the ringing station had seen a very quiet morning, so I headed straight for the lighthouse at Sodra Udden. It proved very quiet at sea too, I sat and watched for a few hours all the same. Very little was passing , though a single adult Little Gull wasn't bad. Also noted were 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Black throated Diver, 12 Velvet Scoter, 103 Long Tailed Duck, 7 Eider, 5 White Tailed Eagle, 23 Cormorant, 1 Black Guillemot, 5 Red Breasted Merganser, 123 Common Gull, 5 Black Headed Gull, 2 Brent Goose, 2 Red Throated Diver, 32 Chaffinch and a Dunnock. All these birds were migrating, with the exception of the eagles... Whilst all this was going on ringing in the area saw me get nice views of Treecreeper and Chiffchaff in the hand, though again, things were quiet...
 After the seawarch, I decided to check the west side of Sodra Udden, as it was more sheltered there. After covering the crevices and cover on that side there was very little seen, with no diurnal migration in evidence. All was not in vain though. At the end of quartering the area I flushed a stunning Short Eared Owl, which gave me wonderful flight views. I was happy with myself as I made my way back to the observatory. I checked the gardens in the village on my way to no avail...
 After a bit of lunch I decided to head back out and headed north along the only road on the island. There was no life at all in evidence apart from a flock of Redpoll, then just after Bredmar I heard the calls of a flock of Blue Tit/Marsh Tit/Great Tit. I stopped to check these birds, thinking there might be a straggler amongst them, perhaps a Treecreeper or Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. The first two birds that showed were Blue Tits. Then a third bird showed, I got a double wing bar first before a sulphur lemon supercilium hit my retina. Yellow browwd Warbler briefly flashed through my mind before the bird showed its crown, along with great big crown stripe and I knew I had an eastern gem, Pallas's Warbler. The bird then hovered briefly, as if to confirm, the lemon yellow rump nailed on. I was elated as I grabbed for my mobile, desperately trying to keep the bird in view as I rang the alert to the observatory. The lads got there within two minutes, a 700m sprint completed, just as I relocated the bird as it called to my left. After a tense few minutes it showed briefly and over the next two hours all four of us had good views, which was great. I was elated with my first Swedish Pallas's Warbler, always a very good bird and I was thrilled to find the bird. Only my third ever in Europe.
Landsort had done me proud again on what seemed a day destined to be very quiet, you just never know with this place...


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Raptor Watch at 30 M Kärret; 2nd October 2013



 

 

 

 

 Above; Best images here of a pair of juvenile Goshawk that were in the area all day...


 Common Buzzard


Sparrowhawks

Images here of raptors from 30 M Kärret today where I spent several hours watching migration. 2 White Tailed Eagle, 1 Rough legged Buzzard, 8 Common Buzzard, 14 Sparrowhawk and 3 Goshawk were noted...

Finches; 30 M Kärret, Norra Järvafältet; 2nd October 2013



 Goldfinch

 Golfinch

 Goldfinch

 Goldfinch

 Common Redpoll

Tree Sparows

A few of the better shots of finches from 30 M Kärret today where birds were feeding on seed in the area, gloious light today....