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

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Smew; Rästasjön; 15th January 2010

Smew. A small diving duck belonging to the sawbill family, close relations being the larger Red Breasted Merganser and the even larger Goosander. This female was a delight to watch at close range, my first good shots of the species were the result. This bird is rather easy to identify, the reddish brown head and white cheeks the most noticable feature...





A Canada goose dwarfs this small diving duck...


The bird occasionally hauled itself out onto the ice, this photo shows how far back the lags are placed on the species...







The reddish tones on the head just visible here...



A good record shot showing the upperwing pattern...



News came through that a female Smew had turned up at the lake on the only patch of open water for miles. Whilst the species is far from a rarity around Stockholm, it rarely offers close views in the area. This bird was at fairly close range and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a few shots of the species, I was happy to find the bird immediatly on my arrival. Spent a couple of hours photographing and sketching the bird, a lovely female type. A male would be quite a lovely sight at that range!
Other birds were rather scarce, though a Water Rail was seen briefly. A Great Black-backed Gull was picked out among the Argentatus Herring Gulls, whilst 47 Grey Heron were on site at the west end. A single Jay was the best of the landbirds...
Some further posts below deal with a few of these birds on the day...


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