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, January 04, 2010

Arctic Redpoll; Barkarby; 4th January 2010

Arctic Redpoll; 3rd Calender male bird, note the crisp white wing bars and pale rump in this, my best shot of the upperparts...


A glorious bird this, immaculate white undertail and reduced streaking on the flanks. A beautiful salmon flush over the upper breast and flanks. Delicious...



Looked remarkably pale in sunlight, when a pinkish tone suddenly became apparent on the underparts. Note smallish bill...



Another view of the gleaming white undertail covert's in this useful shot...



A very accomadating bird shows its rump for the camera, in actual fact it took me four hours to get the batch of shots I wanted, very pleased in the end to get this shot. Note the pinkish tones on the rump...


Arctic Redpoll amongst Twite, noticeably paler and smaller as one might expect..
All tail feathers are fresh, as indeed are the feathers on the wings, indicating a moult in the previous calender year. As this bird is not a first winter bird it is safe to assume that the bird is in at least it's 3rd calender year now, in that a new calender year has just begun. Inner tail feathers are rather rounded, though the outer tail feathers are slightly pointed, all of which are clearly fringed with a narrow border off white. A bird born in spring of 2008 or a year older? Very hard to be sure, though other features such as the presence of flank streaking indicate a sub adult male of at least 3rd calender year....

Had been itching to get out to Barkarby after hearing of a stationary male Arctic Redpoll at the site, the fact it was in the company of 30 Twite only made me more eager! Arrived this morning and immediatly located the Twite flock and saw the bird among them. Not east to get photos at first, but persistance paid off and eventually obtained my best shots of the species to date, all the better for this being a superb male just entering it's 3rd. calender year. Very cold today as the freeze continues, the temperture at just 11 degrees below zero, these birds are hopefully a sign of things to come as the winter deepens and more visitors move south from the high north to escape the worst of the cold....

Link here to some excellent video footage of the bird taken by Carl Wallin, a superb sequence towards the end offers a wonderful direct comparison with male Meally Redpoll....

1 comment:

timwootton said...

If you weren't such a fabulous artist, I'd be telling you to take up photography professionally. These images are far from merely the informative (although, of course they are just that) but show a level of fieldcraft and intution required by the finest of wildlife observers. Superb work Al - brilliant images.
Now get some painting done!!!!