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
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

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tyresö Slott; 31st January 2007

Up early today to go and see a Kingfisher at Tyresö Slott. The bird was very elusive and it took me over two hours to get a brief but decent view of the bird before it flew off upstream with no intent to reappear! Quite a scarce species this far north and was a new swedish bird for me.
Other birds noted included Black Woodpecker calling in the distance, Green Woodpecker calling, 8 Tree Sparrow, Mealy Redpoll, Goldfinch, Siskin and a host of commoner species.
Photos; Mallard Pair, Tree Sparrow, Tyresö Castle, Tyresö Slott.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Norra Järvafältet; 23rd January 2007

Out for a few hours in the first major snowfall of the winter. Light was wonderful and was happy just to get some nice images of birds in this environment. Mealy Redpolls active in the treetops, whilst a host of common birds were feeding busily all around..

Photos; Mute Swan, Great Tit, Blackbird female, Nuthatch, Siskin male.
Sketch; Male Backbird.

Videograb of male Siskin here:

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Arstafältet; 17th January 2007

Arctic Redpoll again the target species. Soon after locating the redpoll flock, now numbering about 50 birds, either a second winter or adult female Arctic Redpoll was seen perched on the sunflower heads. This individual is rather pale, very clean on the breast with some reduced streaking on the flanks. The undertail appears clean. The white rump is broad and extensive.
Most frustratingly I could not relocate this bird after the flock was spooked and split up by a local Goshawk and I did not gain a photo of the bird at all. Exasperating! Getting to the point now where I need to take a break from Redpolls and do a liitle birding elsewhere with other species for a few days!!
Other birds seen were Goshawk, Kestrel, 110 Fieldfare, Starling and a Goldfinch.

Photos; Fieldfare and Hooded Crow

Drawings; Arctic Redpoll female(Top), Mealy Redpoll 1st winter(Bottom) and Mealy Redpoll male(Middle)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Årstafältet; 11th January 2007

Redpolls the order of the day again. Following up on reports of a male Arctic Redpoll seen here yesterday. Upon arrival a large flock of about 100 Mealy Redpoll were easily located in the sunflower beds. Despite early difficulty viewing the birds as they fed on the ground the bird was eventually seen well but fleetingly, often through thick vegetation. Two better views were eventually had when the bird perched in a tree and later fed briefly on a footpath, where I missed the oppurtunity to photograph the bird due to trying to take in all the features through the scope myself! May try get images tomorrow.
Other birds seen were a lovely Hawfinch, 120 Fieldfares and a Kestrel.

Photos; 1st Winter Mealy Redpoll and Field Vole.

Videograbs of Mealy Redpoll and Fieldfare below...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Lesser Redpoll; Landsort; 8th January 2007

One of at least 9 Lesser Redpolls present in the flock at the feeding station. Again not the sharpest photo. These birds are noticably smaller than flammea Mealy Redpoll in direct comparison, showing generally browner plumage with warmer tones aroung the face and throat.
These birds are scarce around Stockholm, though maybe commoner than suspected due to simularities to Mealy. Are apparently breeding in Sweden in increasing numbers further south.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Arctic Redpoll; Landsort; 8th January 2007

The only half decent photo I managed of Arctic Redpoll today, this is a first winter bird. Display lovely clean white rump and undertail coverts. Difficult birds to pick out, just a little frostier on the upperparts in general, though only subtle difference and many Mealies displayed simular upperparts within the flock. Flanks quite clean and whitish, but again a few Mealies showed simular plumage. Bill a very good feature and was noticably smaller than that of all the Mealies present. The straight edge to the culmen noticable here in the photo but is tricky to determine in the field and requires careful scrutiny.

Mealy Redpolls; Landsort; 8th January 2007

Superb day spent on Landsort today studying Redpolls. Mixed flock of 220 birds, almost all Mealys, did manage to see at least 3 Arctic Redpolls and a minimum of 9 Lesser Redpolls as well! Incredibly rewarding day, there is amazing variation among these birds and several birds remained impossible to identify in the field...
Was so nice to have cooperative birds feeding close at hand at the feeding station at the bird observatory which allowed me to get almost 200 images...

All Photos of Mealy Redpoll.

Videograb of Mealy Redpoll at link below;

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Rough-legged Buzzard; Angarn; 4th January 2007.

This immaculate raptor brought a smile to my face today.Watched it for 45 minutes through the scope as it fed over farmland to the south of the marsh, hovering and circling over the feilds before it drifted off into the distance.
The early morning was hampered by freezing cold rainy conditions and I was more than relieved when the cloud broke. A superb female Goshawk also put in an appearance. Later in the day I had brief views of what was almost certainly an Arctic Redpoll amongst a flock of its commoner brethern. Frustratingly the flock moved on too quickly for me to clinch the ID of this tricky species...

Grey Heron; Bull Island, Dublin

Grey Heron. An immaculate adult that posed beautifully for the camera whilst complely aware of my presence...
Later that evening my memory card went blank and I feared that these pictures and those on the following five posts were lost. However, they were recovered ten days later, thanks to a young computer wizard at my local optics store here in Stockholm...

Black Tailed Godwits; Bull Island, Dublin

The reserve is a superb site for this wonderful bird, with perhaps 4oo present at peak in late July and early August. The species is common on the mudflats throughout the winter and into the spring.

Bull Island, Dublin, December 2006

Various species digiscoped on the reserve on the afternoon of December 28th. Bull Island is a digiscopers dream, many of the species are atypically tame due to the constant close proximity of people and traffic along the coastal roads and pathways.

Photos; Dunlin, Shoveler pair, Turnstone, Hooded Crow, Greenshank, Rook, Common Gull.

Ring Billed and Mediterranian Gulls; Bull Island, Dublin, December 2006

Both of these birds were present on the evening of the 28th December on the full tide roost to the north of the causeway. A second, more distant Ring Billed Gull was also present briefly. Both these species are now regular on the island, with the same individuals present over most of the winter. Top picture is the Mediterranian Gull, an adult bird. The second shows both birds among Black Headed and Common Gulls, whilst the bottom four all depict the Ring Billed Gull, again an adult bird.