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, May 10, 2010

Landsort; 10th May 2010

Razorbills; filing through the mist alongside the ferry...

Arived at Landsort at 07.50am in very thick mist. Had tried to birdwatch of the ferry but the fog made it difficult, as can be seen from the Razorbill image. A Black Throated Diver was also noted flying over the ferry before we docked and I began birding. Conditions were tough, no visibility and a lack of migrants was noticable around the harbour...


Spotted Flycatcher..
The first migrant noted was a Pied Flycatcher, then a Redstart. Conditions were tough and I could hear Tree Pipits constantly flying over the island as I searched the south tip near the lighthouse, I felt at this stage that most birds were simply flying past the island in poor visibility. An early highlight was a powerhouse Hobby patrolling the southern tip at speed, looking for tired migrants no doubt. It was too fast for the camera but I enjoyed great views of a fabulous male bird. I decided to head north and soon had my first Spotted Flycatcher of the day along the road..


Nest building Slavonian Grebes...

Slavonian Grebe pair.

On arrival at Norra Udden I was delighted to find a pair of stunning summer plumaged Slavonian Grebes nestbuilding in th reeds, a lovely find. Managed some great views of the pair and even a few snaps before moving along. A lot of Arctic Terns present here and the Black Headed Gull colony here is full of birds preparing to breed.

Pied Flycatcher


Back from Norra Udden Pied Flycatchers were very much in evidence, all male birds today. Spent a while in vain trying to get a close up photo, but the birds did not oblige on this occasion.
Several Lesser Whitethroats were also here along with numerous Willow Warbler. A Hobby blasted past me as I watched them. I walked futher up the road and a heard a plaintive "Heep" coming from the woods to my left, Collared Flycatcher? I walked into the woods after the bird and soon located it, first views left no doubt, not a difficult bird to identify, the white collar obvious at range. Delighted to get this bird, I watched it for a few hours...

Collared Flycatcher, there it was, a real result on a tough day...



A lot of patience required with this bird to get these images, which took about three hours....


A very useful shot showing the upperparts of this second calender male bird.


Back towards the south I went, a satisfied man. 6 Bar Tailed Godwit passed over my head, a good record over the island. Back along the road I was seeing the same birds again, though 8 Common Crossbill were new, moving north over the woods. On the Sodra Udden for a second look. I had heard Thrush Nightingale earlier in the day, here I found myself watching one on the bare earth briefly, a stunning view of a normally secretive species. Five minutes later another movement, probably a Willow Warbler I thought until it sat up, Bluethroat! A spring male always makes your day, that are simply stonking birds. Got a few shots too before i pushed it a little too far and it dived into cover....

Bluethroat, a little nondescript on a side view....



Until it turns to face you, what a cracking bird in every way....



Common Gulls.

After that it was winding down for the ferry and pottering about the harbout for the last few minutes, where I snapped this Common Gull pair before hopping onto the boat. A White Tailed Eagle was seen from the deck on the way back, along with stacks of Eider, Long Tailed Duck, Arctic Tern and a single Raven. A tough days birding in places, but highly enjoyable with a few magic moments. Totals for the day included 3 Hobby, 25 Pied Flycatcher, 8 Common Crossbill, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Common Sandpiper, 50 Willow Warber, 30 lesser Whitethroat, 12 Redstart, 2 Thrush Nightingale, 43 Tree Pipit, 6 Bar Tailed Godwit, that Bluethroat and even better, Collared Flycatcher. I'll be back...








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