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 12, 2011

Landsort; 12th April 2011

Herring Gull; an adult argentatus showing yellow legs...

The first visit of the year to Landsort today, arrived with john Costello of the early ferry and made our way tothe lighthouse. Redwings, Chaffinches, Brambling and Meadow Pipit were all noted on the way. Decided tospend a few hours watching the sea and it was not long before birds began to fly past on migration north...


                                         Red Breasted Merganser pair....

Razorbills were first into the notebook, along with Red Breasted Merganser. Birds tend to follow the coast north and sweep around the islands southern tip, offering birders a chance to view the birds as they pass...


                                         Curlew flock moving north...


It was soon apparent that not just seaduck were on the move, Curlew were moving today also. A pair of Pintail was more of a surprise, before a superb dark morph Arctic Skua was picked up low over the water.


                                          Velvet Scoters

Another very welcome sight was flocks of Velvet Scoters, stunning birds to watch. A Black Throated Diver and two Red Throated diver followed, high over the horizon in typical fashion. A flock of 12 Oystercatcher followed, all the while streams of Eider were passing, along with smaller flocks of Long Tailed Ducks. John had a male Merlin briefly at this point...


                                         Common Scoters


Common Scoter were also on the move, with several flocks noted low over the water. It was noticable that Velvet Scoters were flying at greater height than these birds. Both these species breed to the north, like all of the migrating birds we viewed. Greater Black-backed Gulls loafed offshore and a White Tailed Eagle was notable sitting far offshore on a small outcrop of rock...


                                         Migrating Eider flock...


                                        Eider, three male birds follow a female north...


Eider continued to pass in numbers as we stayed on counting the passing birds. After a while Chaffinch and a few Bramblings began to arrive from over the baltic, a Goldcrest was feeding to our right whilst Common Redpoll also flew over.
                                                    A mist cloaked western shoreline on Landsort....


 We decided to try the rest of the island, moving slowly north. It soon became apparent large numbers of Chaffinch and Redwing were moving north along the island. Robin, Linnet, Redpoll, Skylark, Siskin, Woodpigeon and Fieldfare were also on the move. A Snipe was displaying over Bredmar and almost distracted us to the point of missing an adult White Tailed Eagle that floated past behind us. Raven, Yellowhammers and Starling were next. Still more Redwings were flushed, small flocks were everywhere as we moved on. A cold mist began to settle on the island at this point and visibility dropped dramatically, the birds became less numerous as a result. Not much was found at Norra Udden, we headed back south. There we had great views of an adult White Tailed Eagle in the mist which landed all to briefly on the rocks to out west. The remainder of the day was spent stalking a small group of Long Tailed Duck for photographs, which worked out in the end. We returned on the evening ferry to see another White Tailed Eagle and a Mink from the boat. Still early spring as yet and the main influx of migrants has yet to begin, no doubt another visit to this wonderful island lies ahead in the near future...

The following species were recorded today;
House Sparrow, Tree sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling(22), Redwing(175), Song Thrush(60), Velvet Scoter(46), Razorbill(34), Eider, Long Tailed Duck, Black Throated Diver, Red Throated Diver, Meadow Pipit, Greenfinch, Curlew(41), Red Breasted Merganser(21), Common Scoter(71), Arctic Skua, Mallard, Oystercatcher(17), Goldeneye, Raven, Common Gull, Black Headed Gull, Great Black Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Linnet, Pintail(2), Hooded Crow, Blackbird, Robin, Common Redpoll, Reed Bunting, Skylark(9), Wren, Woodpigeon, Snipe, Yellow Hammer, Starling, Nuthatch, Greylag Goose, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Marsh Tit, Goldcrest, White Tailed Eagle, Merlin, Kestrel, Fieldfare, Siskin, Teal(2), Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Arctic Tern(3).

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