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

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Black-throated Divers

A collection of field sketches of Black-throated Diver from this week, as well as a couple of rough black and white sketches worked up from the fieldwork...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Damselflies; June 2010

Male Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerim Lacks the spearhead dark marking on the third segment of the abdomen seen on Northern Damselfly, here appearing more square, note also the wings held tightly to the body. The blue stripes on the thorax are noticably further apart than seen on Northern Damselfly. Sections 8 and 9 all blue as in Northen Damselfly.

Immature male Northern Damselfly Coenagrion hastulatum

Female Nortern Damselfly Coenagrion hastulatum

Female Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum. Rear edge of the pronotum appears strongly indented, also there appears to be a pale bar between the eye supports. There is a small chance this could in fact be an Azure Damselfy Coenagrion puella, though features seem to support Variable..

Some more Damselflies here of various species. These are tough to identify but have had help on birdforum with these from some very knowledgeable and helpful experts.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Large Skipper; Ochlodes venatus; June 2010

A shot posted here of a new species of butterfly to me, a Large Skipper from Tyresta National Park today. I initially thought this to be a moth but after posting the shot for identification on Birdforum I was enlightened as to it's true identity...
Apparently widespread distribition across Europe and Northern Asia, the species flies from May to September and is a nectar feeder with a liking for bramble flowers. The main breeding plant is Cocksfoot, the caterpillars on hatching use the leaves as shelter, binding them around themselves by use of silk threads.

Northern Damselfly; Coenagrion hastulatum; June 2010

Male Northern Damselfly Coenagrion hastulatum. note the diagnostic spearpoint marking on the third segment of the abdomen. Sections 8 and 9 all blue...

Note the wings raised, Northern Damsels often adopt this posture...

A couple of images today of an adult male Coenagrion hastulatum, or Northern Damselfly. They are stunning insects when seen up close. These are new to me only for the simple reason I have never looked before, the species ws commonly found today around a small lake at Tyresta National Park. With birding being rather quiet through the summer I will be trying to learn a little about both Dragonflies and Damselflies during this period, with hopefully some sucess photographing them too. These images were taken with a Sigma 150mm Macro lens...

Tyresta National Park; 16th June 2010

Black-throated Diver

Great Spotted Woodpecker at the nest....


Comma Butterfly

Out at first light in the hope of getting some good images of Black-throated Diver on the lake at Flaten, though the birds were very elusive and feeding over a large area, only managed a single photo in the end. The birds spent most of the time well out in the lake and only allowed a few sketches in the end.
Elsewhere, as is usual at this time of yesr, birds were difficult to see in the forest. Pied Flycatchers, Robins, Song Thrush, Blackbird, and Great Spotted Woodpecker were noted commonly. Reed Bunting, Osprey and a distant calling Black Woodpecker were more noteworthy. Spent a fair bit of time photographing insects in the end,
which proved rather fruitful, with two first's for me, a Large Skipper butterfly and Northern Damselfly, both posted above...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Flash Painting

Black Throated Diver; Watercolour Flash Painting..
A very quick watercolour which took 15 minutes, an enjoyable exercise. Have been watching these fabulous birds of late at dawn, brilliant birds...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Glanville Fritillary

A new species of butterfly for me this one. Took the photo at Ramsvik nature reserve in southwest Sweden a few days ago and got the identification verified later. The summer is coming into full swing now and butterflies are everywhere, though not always the easiest subjects in the world...