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, August 31, 2010

Great Snipe; Ågesta; 31st August 2010

Great Snipe; a record shot. Very difficult to photograph indeed, though this shot is useful nevertheless. Note the general bulk, short bill, white tipped primary covert's and upperwing pattern...


Another blurred shot, though the white on the outertail and white tipped primary covert's are enough to confirm the birds identity...



Spotted Flycatcher...



Red Backed Shrike


Great Snipe is a bird I have not seen in years, since a trip to Poland where I saw displaying birds at dusk, at about 100 metres range. The lek had been a dissapointment due to poor light, so I was very keen to see the species again, Over the past few days the species has been recorded at three of my regular birding sites and I made the trip to Ågesta early this morning as a result. A White Tailed Eagle floated past on arrival as I made my way to Pumphusängen. On arrival I was directed to a Little Grebe, before settling down for an hour. A pair of Nutcracker flew into the woods in the distance, a nice bonus, though would dearly like to see this species well.
After a while I accompanied Stefan Ettestam, a local birder who had seen the bird the previous morning, across a meadow and back through an area of damp sedge grass. After just a short way the bird exploded from just in front of us, immediatly showing the white outer tail. This was my first view of a flushed bird and I can say the species is very distintive. A heavier bird than Common Snipe, and obviously so too. The deeper barrel chest and shorter bill were very apparent, as well as the double white wingbars. The voice was simular to Common Snipe, but lower in pitch and more supressed, lacking the grating quality of Common Snipe. The bird flew a hundred metres before landing, we againg flushed it and had a more prolonged view as it circled the marsh before settling at the rear if the meadow. Managed a few record shots with the camera at this stage. All in all a very satisfying view of a difficult species, many thanks to Stefan for guiding me to the bird...
The day was not quite over and we searched the back of the meadow where I managed my first Bluethroat of the autumn, as well as Red-backed Shrikes, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Osprey and Common Buzzard. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker were heard calling, at least two individuals. I headied off around noon and stopped bt Årstafältet on the way home, dissapointing. The site has become very overgrown, so much so I fear locating migrants here may prove almost impossible. No sunflowers have been planted this year either, which is a real shame, as they attract large numbers of Tree Sparrow, Finches and Redpolls.
All in all a very good day and a swedish tick. The first good bird of the autumn and the next few weeks should see some good birds in the area...

No comments: