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, April 20, 2010

Tyresta; 20th April 2010

Siskin; Large numbers of these birds seen today in the pine woods...

Out early today, starting off at Tyresta National Park, a huge area of pristine forest south east of Stockhom city. On arrival a few Goosander and Goldeneye picked up on lake Flaten, though no early Black Throated Divers as I had hoped for. Moved into the forest in search of woodland species. Siskin were everywhere, singing from the treetops. Other common species noted were Blue tit, Great Tit, Song Thrush, Treecreeper, Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker. Better came in the form of Black Woodpecker, two drumming males were heard, as well as a female over the trail briefly. I entered the woods to investigate another Black Woodpecker which sounded as if it was excavating a nest hole, only to flush the best bird of the day, a female Black Grouse...


Slavonian Grebe; Elusive on this small lake and stayed in cover, always seemed aware of my presence...

Onward to a small lake in the centre of the woods I came across last year, the target bird had returned. A single Slavonian Grebe was picked out, though was rather elusive and remained in cover at some distance. Several Goldeneye also at this site, along with a female Sparrowhawk and a pair of Common Buzzard. Walked a few more miles of trails before leaving the woods and heading for Tyresö Slott...


Great Crested Grebe; now on the breeding sites...

On arrival at the Slott it was apparent a lot of birds had returned. Lots of Great Crested Grebe on site, at least 8 pairs present. A Green Woodpecker, 2 Hawfinch, a Brambling and a male Goshawk also noted...

Osprey overhead, a feature of birding in Sweden at the moment, a great time tp get photo's of this magnificent bird...


Osprey at the begining of a stoop, the bird took a Bream on this occasion...


Common Buzzard, finally within range of the camera...

Late highlights included fishing Ospreys over the water, watched them for some time until they both took a Bream each. A distant Caspian Tern was scoped and sketched for a while before I packed up my gear. A pair of Common Buzzard rounded off the afternoon nicely and allowed a photo today for a change...



Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19th 2010

Displaying Nuthatch; the bird was stationary for a long time, unusual for this species. Took the opportunity to make a fuller sketch of the bird and its surroundings...


Nuthatch, the same bird as above....


Singing Nuthatch, again another study of this cooperative bird...


Lapwing pair in display flight. Glorious to watch in the air...


Common Buzzard, a pair displaing over the forest all day....


Yellowhammer



A few sketches from today as the spring creeps in. The weather was great, warm sun and glorious light and a very relaxing day out wandering around drawing whatever stopped me..

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Angarn; 15th April 2010

Greylag in flight, perhaps the best shot of the day...


Angarn again visited today in good light, hoped for a few photos. A tough day birdwise, northerly winds meant little migration and birds were hard to come by at times. Alot of ground covered over eight hours. An early highlight was a pair of Common Crossbill overhead as I made my way to the reserve. A Common Buzzard also floated overhead before the noise of the Greylag Geese and Black Headed Gulls filled my senses. A lot of these birds on the reserve. Teal, Wigeon, a Gadwall pair were picked out before I picked up an Osprey drifting in from the north....


Quartering the water from overhead as it floated over my head....


Hovering over the water...


Always a great bird to watch when they hunt. Had hoped for a catch in front of me, but alas not to be and that photograph still awaits my lens at close range...


Eventually the Osprey moved on, so I did to, only to run into another hunting raptor, this time a Sparrowhawk. The bird had ambushed a flock of 30 Starling and pushed the flock out over the marsh. The raptor took station over the flock and drove them downwards towards the water, where one happless bird hit the surface. Not to be put off the hawk plunged straight into the water in the manner of an Osprey and lifted the hapless Starling out, happily flying pst me as it exited the scene!
Starling in the talons, the bird moves away to feed at it's leisure. An amazing hunting display by this bird...

My last view of the bird through the camera lens....


After that things were a little dull for some time, regular fare such as mallard and Coot, the odd passerine noted, though all common species and no notable migrants. Later in the evening I heard a Water Rail call, before a couple of distant Cranes were noted moving to the north. An enjoyable day all the same, with some memorable moments...


Black Headed Gull in Flight.






Monday, April 12, 2010

Angarn; 12th April 2010

Caspian Tern moving overhead. One of these birds is always memorable, a brute of a tern.


Another shot of this memorable bird, my first of the year and a long way inland...


Migrating Whooper Swans moving to the northeast, these birds could be in arctic Russia in two weeks...


Starling. A migratory species here, early to return to breed. Small numbers seen today...


Greylag Goose in stunning light...


Osprey. Pandemonium as the bird slams into the water to claim a fish supper...


Black Headed Gull; raucous and back on the breeding sites. A large colony breeds here at Angarn...


Common Frog; a sure sign spring is here...



A nice day out, and several species noted for the first time this year. Bird of the day was a superb Caspian Tern briefly seen over the marsh before moving off to the northeast. A stonking bird and something of a suprise today. A Rock Pipit also noted, a decent bird to see at the site. Two Ospreys were enjoyed as the fished over the reserve and enjoyed some success too, catching fish all day. Marsh Harrier also seen today and added to the yearlist. Song Trush, Skylark, White Wagtail and Garganey also added to the yearlist today.
The reserve looks great, with high water levels and all surface ice now melted, will be back soon for more at this cracking birding site....



Tyresö Slott; 11th April 2010

Coot, one of the few seen at the slott today, still a lot of ice at the site...


A typical view of Brambling from today. This bird knows exactly where I am....

Hawfich, way up in the treetops as they tend to do at this time of year. At least 6 birds seen today...

Arrived to find the Slott largely covered in ice, sadly very few waterbirds were present at the site as a result. A Goshawk displayed in the distance, as did a pair od Buzzard, also far to the south. Brambling and Hawfinches were the feature of the day, though both proved very elusive and stayed high up in the trees, as can be seen from the posted photos. Will return to this site frequently in the coming month to photograph the resident waterbirds as they return.....