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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Birding on Landsort; 27th September 2011

A stunning scene at dawn, Sodra Udden.

Up early, this time to a west/southwesterly wind of about F3. Thw wind matters greatly to migrating birs and we expected less birds of prey as a result. Sea passage and passerines wold be passing though and on arrival at thelighthouse the scene was spectacular due to a stunning sunrise over the sea to the east. I took some time to get some shots in the half darkness. using long exposures to photograph the lighthouse...



Above and below; Sodra Udden Fyren; The lighthouse pre dawn...



The birding today was as expected. as soon as it was bright enough to see them birds were passing on the sea in greater numbers than yesterday. First up were a Great Crested Grebe and a summer plumaged Black-throated Diver flying south purposefully. Duck were moving in small flocks, with Wigeon, Teal, Eider and Velvet Scoter the most numerous. Then a raptor over the sea heading for the island, wings held upwards during the glide, a Marsh Harrier, which flew fairly close in the early morning light..

Marsh Harrier

Sparrowhawk were present too, though in smaller numbers, as were Kestrel. Then the call for a group of 3 Little Gull, most welcome and my first in some time. A short while later there was a closer bird, then another group of ten! As it transpired there was a notable movement of these birds taking place and we would go on the record 106 moving south, an exceptional passage and one of the highlights of the morning...


Sparrowhawk




Stock Dove

As the light increased the passerines became identifiable. A feature were the first Skylark of the trip, groups flying east overhead, vocal as always. Then cam the deep call of Crossbills, three passed at close range, big with deep bills, Parrot Crossbill! My first of the year and a superb view. THe first of three Merlin had been seen hunting passerines over the sea, I watched it now to the south as it attacked pipits, eventually catching one whilts upside down in mid air. Then the shout for Peregrine came and we had a huge adult female bird over the west shore of the island. It dissapeared for a short time and then reappeared, it was about to give me one of the most memorable birding species imaginable...

Attack from beneath and behind bt a Peregrine on a juvenie Hobby, a quite amazing sight over the sea on the west side of the island. The peregrine was a very large female and caught up on the Hobby in speed quickly...




The bird sweeps up on the hapless smaller falcon, which tries to evade it..




The strike happenned a split second agter this moment, the two birds are already in contact here. The peregrine flipped over and took the Hobby, then carried it off southwards.

Quite incredibly it was chasing down a Hobby, it soon became apparent this was no game but a true hunt. The bird powered from the coast at the smaller falcon which was migrating along the coast of the island. The peregrine powered along underneath the Hobby before twisting and powering upwards, the Hooby avoiding it by twisting to the side upwards. The peregrine turned again and corkscrewed, this time maling contact with the smaller bird, but was not able to hold on, the Hobby slipped free and escaped calling loudly. Some damage may have been inflicted though, as the peregrine easily caugh up on the bird in level flight and took it in its talons, the bird then carrying ot off to the south. A quite incredible spectacle...

Kestrel hovering. All birds seen over three days were juvenile...

After the Peregrine left we had some good views of Kestrel. The first of 5 Red Necked Grebes was also picked up distantly in the scope, whilst Merlin was seen again. Little Gulls passed constantly, the final count was a remarkable 106. 7 Waders over the sea were eventually identified as Purple Sandpipers, my first of the year.


A Magpie mobs a passing Sparrowhawk.

Afte a while the passage died and we left to search for passerines, Song Thrush were everywhere. We had seen many arrive earlier from the lighthouse and many were resting on the island. Again Goldcrest and Chiffchaff were dominant, though John had a brief Yellow-browed Warbler which was not relocated. We left on the afternoon ferry after a wonderful birding experience, looking forward to next years visits already..


The west harbour at Storhamn, taken from the ferry as we left the island..


1 comment:

Flavipes said...

Very cool pics Alan! The peregrine-pictures is very nice!
/Z