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

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Black-winged Pratincole; Angarn; 31st May 2011

Record shot which clearly shows the dark underwing on this sensational bird....

Another view of the bird in flight as it hawked insects, a huge swiftlike wader this and a very impressive bird indeed..

One last shot..

What a stunning bird this was. This completed a hat-trick of wader lifers for me in May, Marsh Sandpiper was much wanted tick, Stone Curlew was rather impressive, but this was the best of the three for me....
The bird was found late on the evening of the 29th May and I had to work all day on the 30th, which was rather horrible. All I could do was hope it stayed and reports through the day revealed the bird was feeding over the reserve until dusk, a good sign. I arrived at 8am. having dragged myself out of bed after just four hours sleep. The weather was fantastic and I arrived on the reserve to a wonderful spectacle, the bird hawking insects over the wetland. I was lucky to watch the bird for four hours as it gave brilliant views through the scope.
A quite remarkable bird, this was my first Pratincole of any species. They are in fact waders that have specialized in hawking insects in the air and it is quite remarkable that they should of evolved to look like huge swifts, perhaps not a coincidence. In anycase it was impressive and a really stonking bird in the air where it spent most of it's time. The birds dark underwing was on view, as was the lack of white trailing edge to the wing. On the deck the short primary projection and educed amount of red on the base of the bill were very apparent, all featurees which help to separate this species from Collared Pratincole. Remarkably a Collared Pratincole was found today on Ă–land, here in Sweden!
Black Winged Pratincole is a mega rarity here in Sweden with just a handful of records, so I am happy to have got this bird today...and what a month May has been for birding this year.

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