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

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A lifer and a Lapland bunting; 26th January 2010

A great days birding began early with a train to Stuvsta for a very special bird, Two Barred Crossbill. A species I have heard twice overhead and not seen, therefore it remained off my life list. Arrived at 09.45 and began combing the area, frustratingly hearing the odd Common Crossbill in the distance at intervals. Then frustration reached new heights when I heard the Two Barred call three times at 10.20 from a thick stand of pine, again I did not see the bird and it slipped away unseen. An hour of further searching followed before I decided to head for the bus. Then just ten minutes before the bus arrived sweet joy arrived, a Common Crossbill was heard first, then the Bullfinch like trumpet call of Two Barred Crossbill. Better followed as both birds alighted on top of a spruce directly across the road from me and allowed me good views through the binoculors before they again took flight and dissapeared. I had a pretty good look at the bird, an adult female, taking in the double wing bars and fringed tertials, bright rump, greyish tones, smaller bill and general size. The bird called a few times and cemented my view that this is the best means of identification, a really diagnostic call, similar to Bullfinch, though with a slight quality akin to blowing across the top of a bottle. Lifer! Result!
Onward then to Västerhanige by bus and train in search of a Lapland Bunting, a bird reported feeding in a garden there. Arrived at the site and scanned the tree over the feeding station, there it was....


My first view of the bird, sitting with its back to me, above the feeding station. een a while since I have had a good view of the species and this was very much enjoyed..


The bird remained in the tree for some time, eventually perching in a position that allowed me better shots with no obstructions. Very nice indeed when the bird turned and showed the lovely markings on the upper breast, this confirming it as a male bird....

Another shot from the same spot, a really nice bird this....


Eventually, as I hoped the bird went to groung to feed and gave me some fantastic views. Got a lot of shots on the ground, this being as good as any.
Eventually the bird went back to the tree, just before a Sparrowhawk spooked it and the other birds in the area as it tried to catch a Blackbird in a surprise attack, it missed and sent birds scattering in every direction. Left at that point very happy with superb views of the Bunting. Just up the road a small bonus in the form of a small flock of Waxwing, which i managed a few shots of...


Waxwings, first shot taken from the road....


Moved closer and managed to get this shot in before the birds moved on throught the gardens on the road....

Onwards then towards town in the hope of Glaucous Gull, though alas no sign of the beast today. A few shots taken and a few birds noted. thre Graellsii/Intermedius Lesser Black Backed Gull is still in the area. Also noted a pair of Goshawk, which was a real highlight as they locked talons in mid air briefly over my head....

Tufted Duck, a drake bird. I counted 235 of these bird this evening....


Herring Gull, a 3rd Calender type bird...


All in all a really superb day, considering this is January the birding is exceptional at the moment. Seems to be lots about at the minute and hopefully some more surprises to come in the next few weeks. Did hear tonight the Glaucous Gull was seen this morning at Skeppsbron, then later at roost at Hammarby. Still would like some decent images of that bird, as well as possibly an image of the Two Barred Crossbill, though the latter may prove extremely difficult....




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