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

Monday, January 17, 2011

Coues's Arctic Redpoll; Barnangen; 17th January 2011

The first view of the bird as it sat over the feeders among Goldfinch. First impressions were of a very pale bird with an unmarked buff/salmon washed breast and rather reduced streaking on the flanks...a male?

A heavily cropped record image. Several key features can be seen in this shot...
1. Very small bill with straight edged culmen.
2.Rather reduced, small area of red on the forehead.
3. Suffuse salmon washed buff throat and upper breast largely unmarked.
4. Snow white flanks and belly sporting more diffuse and sparse streaking in comparison to Mealy Redpoll.
5. Snow white, completely unmarked undertail covert's.
6. General pale, frosty appearance of plumage overall.
7. Mantle and majority of the scapulars whitish based forming predominantly white based back.

Here with a Goldfich appearing remarkably pale. The general pallid appearance, the pale, unmarked salmon washed breast and completely unmarked undertail covert's suggest this to be a male bird, possibly an adult bird? With regard to determining beyond any doubt whether the bird is an adult or otherwise, I did not see the shape of the tail feathers well enough. Older birds beyond their second calender year have rounded retrices across the entire tail. I may return to see this bird again in order to learn more.

Here another record shot of the bird feeding with Mealy Redpolls on the ground, the bird here on the far right. The bird is noticably pallid and small billed even at some distance.

The second trip to Barnangen this month to see Coues's Arctic Redpoll. Had brief views of the bird on the last visit, though I wanted to photograph the bird today and duly did so, albeit a little distantly. A very informative morning spent watching a really stunning bird. Key identification points can be found in the caption below the photos.


Cosme Damian Romai Cousido said...

Hi Alan!

I'm Cosme Damián Romay, and I'm a biologist from Galicia (NW Spain).

I read at birdforum,com about a record of you of a second cy Iceland Gull on 12 Set 2008 at the harbour of Sanxenxo. It is a very interesting observation... may be the 5th-6th for southern Galicia.

Have you got pictures of that bird? My e-mail is cdromai at gmail,com?

Thanks in advance!

Good birding,
PD: I was born at O Grove, a dozen of km from Sanxenxo.

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