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

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Tyresta National Park; 4th August 2011

 My favourite shot of a long mornings birding. A Black-throated diver in flight, the bird coming in to land on Långsjön. No less than eight seen in total, always a great bird to watch...

This was a really early start and I left home at 02.30am to ensure arrival at dawn, first light is just before 4am. even in August this far north. I ad one regret immediatly, I had left my Tokina 11-16mm wide angle lens at home. The early morning was incredible, a spectacular dawn unfolded before my eyes in one of the most picturesque areas you might ever witness. Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Fieldfare and Hooded Crow were first into the notebook before I came across a large buck Roe Deer, busily rubbing it's antlers of some young trees, the rutting season is on the way. I watched him at just ten metres range before moving on...
Älbysjön at dawn, taken at 150mm. I really was kicking myself for leaving the wide angle lens at home, a glorious morning...

On then past the waterfall at nyfors. I made my way to the top of the falls where Lake Flaten can be viewed and took in the scene, mist rose of the water in the cool of the morning. At the far side of the lake a group of four adult Black-throated Divers moved through the mist together as the twisted their sinuous neck about to face one another, a display I have seen before post breeding, when adults can gather into small flocks for a few weeks before they depart for the winter quarters. A really memorable scene and I made a few sketches in order to remember it by... A Black Headed Gull, Baltic Gull, Mallards and a mass of pond skaters completed the cast as fish jumped and broke the surface...

 A pondskater. The early morning sky reflected intensely in the still water of the lakes...


Onwards then past Albysjön which was a stunnig spectacle. Grey Herons were fishing at the head of the lake. Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatches,Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinches, Treecreepers and Goldcrest were finding their voice and thie voices filled the woods. A flock of northern Long-tailed Tits moved through calling at a damp area of willows.


 High Brown Fritillary; a lifer for me today, kindly identified by Andrew Kinghorn...

Siskin and Jay were next to appear, the latter scolding at me from the trees. The a group of ten Common Crossbill were located feeding in the spruces, a nice sight in the morning light. At a small clearing called Rundmar Red-backed Shrike, Common Buzzard, Common Redpoll, Tree Pipt, Blackcap, 35 Common Crossbill, Starling, Pied Flycatcher and Green Woodpecker made for a very productive stop...
 Silver Washed Fritillary, this one still in good condition, many are very worn at this stage. The commonest butterfly today...

Butterflies began to appear now that the sun was higher. Crested Tit and even better a Willow Tit followed, the latter giving good views. Wren and Coal Tit were also added, whilst at Stensjön another two Black-throated Diver were noted...

 A pair of divers relaxing in the early morning sun on Stensjön...


 Moving of to start feeding....

Onward then all the way to Långsjön, a lot of miles going on the walk, my legs were starting to feel the hills at this point. I relaxed at the lake for a while. 14 Common Crosbill, Willow Tit and two more Black-throated Diver were noted here. A Downy Emerald patrolled the margins of the lake.

 A fly sp. collecting pollen from a thistle...

I then moved back through the park taking pictures of butterflies, odonata and insects. Common Darters were everywhere. Ruddy Darter were noted. Common Bluetail, Common Spreadwing, Brown Hawker, Blue Hawker were also noted. Camberwell Beauty, Painted Lady, Brimstone, Silver Washed Fritillary were all plentiful, a couple of better species would be noted before long as well as photographed. A very large Aeshna species was noted in a woodland clearing, though not identified..

 Common Darter. Everywhere you looked after the sun rose...


Common Spreadwing, the commonest Lestes species here in Sweden....

It was after a while I realized I had taken the wrong left turn and it cost me several miles effort to get back on track. I followed a trail through the woods with the aid of a compass and eventually located two Wryneck, a real bonus. It was whilst trying to get a photo of the second of these I heard the call I had been listening for all day, a trumpeting mellow call, that of Two-barred Crossbill! I tracked the calls to some pines and though the views were not great I saw two adult males and a single adult female bird at least. The then moved slightly before moving off the the southwest, calling the whole time. This was a result and I was delighted as I made my way out of the park. The species is irrupting out of Russia a the minute here in Sweden and many have been recorded. Only the second time I have seen this species, these are my first adult males and will last long in the memory. What a great mornings birding!



3 comments:

Andrew Kinghorn said...

Hi,

Just a quick comment (please feel free to remove if you want). You have ladled wither a Dark Green Fritillary or High Brown Fritillary as a Painted Lady. Looks to me more like High Brown with the 3rd black "spot" from top of the forewing set in close to the body and fairly small.

Cheers,
Andrew

Alan Dalton said...

Many thanks Andrew,

Not only did I not look properly and assume it a painted lady, its a lifer for me! Thanks for your vigilence, Alan.

Andrew Kinghorn said...

Hi again Alan,

I have cracked by butterfly book out; "Butterflies of Britian & Ireland A field and site guide." I am perhaps wondering if it is a female Dark Green Fritillary as apparently they show whiter more faded fringes to the tops of the forewings. But that black "spot" I mentioned in my previous comment is bugging me as it looks perfect for High Brown. These two species are a nightmare to separate unless the underwing is seen.

If you know the location where it was taken it might be best to check out what Fritillary's occur on that site? As if only be Dark Green or High Brown that occurs on that site. :)

Cheers, Andrew