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

Friday, May 25, 2007

Black Woodpecker, Tyresta NP; 25th May 2007

The first large clearing I came to just after dawn this morning at Tyresta National Park was bustling with birds. Held back for a while before emerging from the trees and just managed to pick out this resting Black Woodpecker on a tree trunk before I got too close and spooked her. A female bird, she preened and rested before moving on after ten minutes in my field of view. These birds always thrill me when they appear, never easy to see, especially if you are looking for them! Still waiting to get a good photo of a male bird....
videograb below...

Wood Warbler; Tyresta NP; 25th May 2007

Saw 8 of these little gems today, all singing males, all typically confiding. The combination of good looks and the display and song of this species make it one of my favourite songbirds. Great to watch them in full flow as they finish the song with that stacato trill and shivering wings.
Videograb with audio below...

Tyresta National Park, 25th May 2007.

Up very early and arrived not long after sunrise. Was quite dull for the first hour or two before the rising sun began to dominate the day and the cloud cleared. Bird's noted included 4 Black-throated Diver, 1 Water Rail, 8 Wood Warbler, 1 Black Woodpecker, 3 Redstart, 11 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Crossbill, 1 Redwing, 5 Siskin, 3 Reed Warbler, Tree Pipit and Common Buzzard.
Photo's;Tyresta N.P., Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red-backed Shrike and Swallow

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bluethroat; Sandemar Reserve; May 15th 2007

The highlight of the day, a bird I have waited for a very long time, a spring male Bluethroat. I found this bird skulking in Alders along a small drain on the reserve. Initially got a brief view and wondered if it could be a Sedge Warbler, but my gut feeling was confirmed when the bird emerged from cover and began feeding before me on the ground. Great bird that lived up to my expectations in every way and stayed in front of me for 2 hours until I left it.
Videograb from Canon A95 below;

Sandemar Reserve; May 15th 2007.

Great Day out. Glorious weather and summer song everywhere. Better birds included 3 Thrush Nightingales singing beautifully, Caspian Tern, Cuckoo, Icterine Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Wryneck, Redstart, Spotted Redshank, 2 Ruff males, Turnstone(rarity here), 5 Temmincks Stint and a host of others.
Particularily happy to finally get some photos of Temminck's Stint after a lot of effort in the past without any results. A favourite bird of mine....
Photos; Temminck's Stint, Whincat and Wheatear.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Möya; May 4th-6th 2007

Möya is very different in chatacter to Landsort. It is larger at 25 km2 and is heavily wooded. A total of 73 species were seen here over three days and birding was difficult at times. Best birds on May 5th included 2 White-tailed Eagle, 2 buzzard, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 3 Mistle Thrush, 1 Redwing, 1 Tree Pipit, 3 Waxwing, 1 Whinchat, 4 Parrot Crossbill, 3 Goldeneye, and 25 Song Thrush.
May 6th turned up similar birds. 4 Crane flew north calling, always a great spectacle. A flock of 45 Common Crossbill were located at the lake to the north. Black-throated Diver were also at the lake and were calling in the evening, a wonderfully evocative sound... 3 White-tailed Eagle quartered the skies over the lake whilst this was going on to add to the spectacle. Wryneck seen in the morning apparently enjoying the warmth of the morning, it gave great views as it did so. Green Woodpecker was the last bird of the day...

Photos; Wryneck Sketch, Moya Landscapes, Pine cone in lichens, Redwing Sketch, Song Thrush, white Wagtail.

Long-eared Owl, Landsort

Some of the photos taken of the Long-Eared Owl on that early morning seawatch. A quite amazing bird.
Videograb below:

Landsort; May 2nd 2007

Another dawn start seawatching, though it was rather cold due to a stiff wind. Good numbers noted between 05.15 and 07.15. Totals as follows;
476 Long-tailed Duck, 174 Velvet Scoter, 12 Tree Pipit, 138 Common Scoter, 6 Black Guillemot, 18 Red- necked Grebe, 8 Red-throated Diver, 14 Razorbill, 16 Greylag Gosse, 7 Black-throated Diver, 3 Wigeon, 2 Arctic Skua and 14 Red-breasted Merganser.
A female Merlin came in off the sea in the first hour and sent the local white Wagtails in to a frenzy, alerting me to it's presence. Later in the evening a simularscenario led to me seeing a lovely female Hen Harrier coming in low over the water, presumably it had spent the afternoon crossing the Baltic Sea. Really great to see these birds actively migrating.
A trip to the north end of the island led to superb views of a male Hobby as it coursed over my head feeding on crane flies for 15 minutes. Male Pied Flycatcher, Whinchats and several Redstarts were added bonuses.
Photos: Willow Warbler, Eiders, Eider Sketch and Pansies.

Landsort; May 1st 2007

Up at 0430 to a superb sunrise to the east as I made my way to the seawatching point at the lighthouse. Tree pipits were calling overhead as they migrated north while the sun climbed over the sea and allowed enough light for seawatching. Eiders were pouring past by the hundred as I scanned through them for other species. The next three hours were memorable for many reasons, the first being a summer plumaged White-billed Diver flying passed the tip and 06.40, a lifer for me and a species I had held out a little hope of seeing this week. It didn't dissapoint me, a cracking bird while thrilled me as it made its way northeast. a short while later an owl was picked up over the sea a kilometre out making its way steadily towards the island. I followed it in an identified it as a Long-eared Owl as it flew past me at two metres range and astounded me by landing on the rocks beside me and a swedish birder, utterly exhausted.
In addition the following was also noted; 206 Velvet Scoter, 219 Long-tailed Duck, 2 Black Guillemot, 32 Razorbill, 8 Arctic Skua, 19 Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated Diver, 4 Black-throated Diver, 12 Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Redshank, 1 Gillemot, 37 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 35 Greylag Goose.
Passerines noted during the day included Redstarts, 1 Waxwing, Whinchats, 8 Wheatear, Willow warbler, Goldcrests and ChiffChaff. A Wryneck was a nice bird to come across feeding on ants on a large flat rock.

Photos; Oystercatcher, Dawn Photo, Whinchat colour sketch, Wheatear.

Landsort; April 20th 2007

Arrived on the island at 1600hrs to begin a weeks birding on the Stockholm Archipelago, a wonderful area situated in the baltic east of the city. Landsort is a prime migration watchpoint and boasts a huge list of rare migrant species. The island was rather quiet and I spent the evening sketching wheatears in glorious weather and seawatching from 1700hrs to 1800 hrs. Seawatch produced the following, all flying north east past Sodra udden, the south tip of the island...

2 Arctic Skua, 49 Velvet Scoter, 6 Common Scoter, 66 Long-tailed Duck, 1 guillimot, 5 Razorbill, 1 Red-necked Grebe, 1 Red-throated Diver, 6 Common Tern, 1 Red-breasted Merganser.
Photos; Wheatear, Wheatear Shetches, Eiders, White Wagtail, Sodra Udden lighthouse.