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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Caspian Plover; 1st Swedish Record; Sandasjön, Norra Mörkö; 26th March 2014
















News came yesterday whilst I was at work that a Caspian Plover had been found on Norra Mörkö. The bird was a male and I couldn't get there on the first day, cue an agonising wait overnight before setting out the next morning. The weather was bad at first light and I decided to take a chance and leave after visiting my local camera shop where I picked up a TLS APO adaptor for my scope, which would allow me to attach my nikon D90 body to the scope in order to digiscope. The bird was reported as distant most of the time and I wanted to get some reasonable record shots of the bird. News had reached me that the bird was still present as I travelled and on arrival a 20 minute dash resulted in the bird feeding in a flooded field about 80 metres away. It was everything I expected, a glorious bird and the scope  views were crippling. I just watched it for a while before eventually spendeing a little time grabbing some digiscoped shots. The I sat and sketched the bird and took in all the details, spending four and a half hours enjoying what is one of the most sought after rarities in the world, with good reason. The light improved in the afternoon and the bright rufous breast band seemed to gleam. This was a really unforgetable, tidy bird. A mythical bird really and I really never did expect to ever see one. As lifers go, this was one of the very best for me. The bird showed very well indeed all day and after getting my head around the adaptor and camera settings I got some lovely shots though my scope. What a bird...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Målarklippan; Diurnal Migration; 11th March 2014


A morning spent observing diurnal migration proved to be a great early spring experience on a fine day with light westerly winds. From just after dawn migration was strong and Niklas Westernark, Per Äsberg and myself were busy scanning the skies. During the day there were many highlights, with Geese, Swans, Skylarks and Pigeons the main species involved along with corvids. The highlight was a flock of 28 Eurasian White Fronted Geese, 3 Rook, a Woodlark and a Teal. I missed an Arctic Redpoll flying by with the local Redpoll flock, though had seen the bird on a previous visit. The view at this site is quite stunning with a huge vista to the west over Lake Malaren and south over the northern Stockholm suburbs, allowing excellent viewing of migrating birds. Woodpigeon, Crane, Geese and Swans featured heavily today, a wonderful experience that resulted in a superb haul of early migrants. The following were noted migrating;
1 Teal, 46 Crane, 46 Whooper Swan, 30 Eurasian White Fronted Goose, 67 Bean Goose, 48 Greylag Goose, 35 Anser Sp., 47 Cormorant, 92 Goosander, 3 Goldeneye, 1 Tufted Duck, 36 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 25 Starling, 613 Woodpigeon, 21 Stock Dove, 136 Skylark, 1 Woodlark, 59 Lapwing, 34 Chaffinch, 5 Mistle Thrush, 3 Rook, 176 Hooded Crow, 276 Jackdaw.
A supporting cast of species included Arctic Redpoll, Parrot Crossbill, Crested Tit, Black Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, White Tailed Eagles, Rough Legged Buzzard, Hawfinch and a host of other species. A good days birding by any standards...