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, December 22, 2014

Argentatus Herring Gull in December

 2nd Calendar year/2nd winter plumage.


 Yound birds are rather variable. Note there the dark bill of the bird to the rear.


 A rather dark 1st calendar bird here. Such individuals are not uncommon at all.


 Birds feeding on food left out by visiting people who often feed these birds at the site..


2nd Calendar Year/2nd winter

Photo's and video here of Argentatus Herring Gull from Skeppsbron today. Around 110 birds were present, though as always it is hard to gauge how many birds are around as they are coming and going all the time. All images were taken with the Panasonic Gh4, which will prove to be a major boon for gull watching I think.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rough-legged Buzzard; Hjälstaviken; December 2014

 An adult male Rough legged Buzzard, a cracking bird which gave me breathtaking views today. The photos are terrible due to the dark light, though here on the underwing the solid dark trailing edge to the wing can just be seen here. The inner primaries and secondaries were very clean wite and lacked much barring. The tail was that of a classic male, with a dark subterminal band.



Note the rather well marked undercarriage and generally very dark appearance.

The day was spent at Hjälstaviken today as a result of some good raptor observations in the area over the past few weeks. There was a lot of cloud forecast, though full days off are at a premium right now and I decided to go anyhow, despite the feeling that birds of prey might not be very mobile in overcast conditions. I arrived at around 09.30am and immediatly picked up a large raptor perched in a low tree on the north section of the lake. It proved not to be the Golden Eagle I had very much hoped for, though it was in fact a very nice White Tailed Eagle, an adult bird. It was obscure and did not allow a close approach before moving off. As it moved away I glanced to my left and clocked a buzzard sitting in a spruce tree not far from my position. The bird sat tight and allowed me to get some images and video footage and proved to be a lovely adult male bird. I watched it for around thirty minutes before it moved off. Despite the terrible light it gave stunning scope views that were surely the best I have ever had of this enigmatic species.
 Onwards towards Hårby, where I had two mor Rough-legged Buzzard, though both of these birds were very distant. I scanned to distant pines for lager birds, locating two adult White Tailed Eagle for my trouble, as well as a distant Great Grey shrike. to the west I had a Hen Harrier quartering the meadows at Vaster Til, even at range the bird was identifiable a a female type Hen Harrier. Things were going well at this point, though that would change as it began to snow quite heavily and the visibility dropped dramatically. It was nice to be out in the open country more the first snow of the year, though I was quite sure the weather would see most birds sit tight, particularly birds of prey and it was tough going from this point onwards, with no let up in the weather. A Green woodpecker was closely followed by a Black Woodpecker, whilst 21 migrating Whooper Swans made a nice sight as the winged their way southwest over my head. There were no geese at the site, the lake already being frozen over. small birds were at a premium, with just Yellowhammer, Bullfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, a single Wren, Blackbird, Fieldfare and a small group of Goldfinch note. Winter has truly arrived. In the end, my hopes of Golden Eagle did not materialise, though the views of Rough legged Buzzard alone made the trip worthwhile.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fieldfare Sketches








Been a while once I did any drawing from life, these Fieldfares were drawn today from my kitchen window. there are twenty or so of these birds present at a time feeding on berries out the back garden and it took me being housebound due to the sore throat and chest to get around to looking at them properly. The birds have been present for some days now and generally are most noticeable ay first light when they can be heard calling. They make good subjects to draw as they often spend time at rest, when they stay reasonably still.