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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Landsort; 17th May 2009

Male Ortolan Bunting, a real surprise on a difficult day, a cracking bird...

Willow Warbler, Sodra Udden.

Common Gull

Arctic Skua, a dark morph bird, the photo taken from the ferry at some distance....

A day of two halves really, the first half the weather was fine, whilst the latter part of the day was ruined by constant rain and saw me sitting in shelter for four hours!
Arrived at 08.00am to find little evidence of migrants. A dark morph Arctic Skua off the ferry provided an early highlight, though a chat with a ringer at the bird observatory confirmed the island was dead migrant wise. A thorough check of the south tip at Sodra Udden led to a few Willow Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Common Whitethroat and a female Redstart, scant reward from an area that can be crawling with migrants in the right conditions. Checked the area around the observatory thouroughly for little reward, then on to the north end, with Lesser Whitethroats and Willow Warblers all alond the road. A Spotted Flycatcher and a male Redstart were welcome finds along the way. Norra Udden, when I arrived was full on Thrush Nightingales. Two Wryneck were heard calling whilst I was working hard to get some photos of the Thrush Nightingales. Then, whilst lying on a rocky outcrop, my attention was drawn to a bunting atop a nearby tree by its call. Then the song started as I looked on through the binoculars at a superb male Ortolan Bunting, a brilliant bird that left me well chuffed with myself. It's been a long time since I saw this species last, perhaps ten years ago when I had two males in Poland. My only other sighting around 1992, when I found two juvenile birds on passage on Cape Clear Island in Ireland. These birds are declining steadily throughout europe due to changes in agricultural practices, a real shame as thay are truly lovely birds.
Later in the day, from noon in fact, it bucketed down rain. It let up a little at 3pm., when i had a nice surprise agian in the form of an Arctic Tern, photos above. Left the island rather happy, a few good birds winkled out of the island in tough conditions....

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