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

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cape Clear Island; 14th October 2011

 Blackcap, the most abundant species today in a classic October fall of migrants, what a days birding today..

After a night of southeasterlies expectations were high and I was first out in the field. Cotter held 6 Goldcrest and a single Chiffchaff, with a single Blackcap above on the bank. I had expected more to be honest and was a little dissapointed, I moved on to the bogs. At the lake a flock of 5 Grey Herons went over and I had a few Chiffchaff coming in from over the sea, interesting. Then I met Derek charles at the Lake Gardens and we had a Spotted Flycatcher there, before moving to the bogs where there was a single Blackcap, a Merlin, a Sparrowhawk and a Whitethroat. Then news came of a Black Redstart at Cotters Garden and things began to change. Blackcaps became more numerous and were moving in small groups, Chiffchaff were moving. I had a brief Red Throated Pipit in The Waist, found by Paul Kelly, only my second irish. Migrants were now arriving on the island off the sea. I went to the lighthouse road as a Yellow Browed Warbler was found at Mc Loughlans...

 Grey Heron

On arrival at Mc Loughlans the bird was immediatly present and was a little star, performing down to a couple of metres! I spent time enjoying incredible views and taking some shots of the bird, then a few drawings. Then I had a Black Redstart, lots more Blackcaps too. Birds were everywhere and I headed for the Post Office. On the way there I found a second Yellow Browed Warbler bouncing down the Glen calling as it went. At the back of the Post Office were Blackcaps, which I was watching when a bird flew down the slopes to my right calling, Ring Ouzel. I had fantastic views of the bird for ten minutes before moving on, thoroughly enjoyable...

 Yellow Browed Warbler

Back down at the Waist the Wryneck was seen for a couple of minutes. I heard a Red Breasted Flycatcher had been foung and headed back towards the Post Office, bumping into an adult Lesser Whitethroat at the Youth Hostel! I dipped on the fycatcher, though it was seen at dusk so theres always tomorrow. On the way back in the evening there was a third Yellow Browed Warbler in Cotters! Quality birding. The Red Eyed Vireo was seen late in the day by birders, as were up to 7 Black Redstarts.

Ring Ouzel behing the Post Office..

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