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

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Cape Clear Island; 5th October 2011

Up early and straight to Cotters. the weather changing for the worst. A large low pressure came over last night and force 7 southwesterlies were the order of the day. Things were tough amd birds were lying low, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler were all noted, a single Spotted Flycatcher and the the suspected Blyth's Reed started to call. I decided to plant myself in the mist net lane, later sqiurming through the escalonia trunks under the birds favourite cover where I found myself in the old central mist net lane. I waited. Nothing happened. I was dropping off a while later when the 'teck' stirred me. I spotted the bird behind me, it moved allong my right side at a couple of metres range in a thick tangle of escalonia before it jumped into a nearbly willow and gave me a cracking view. It moved through a few more willows and escalonia giving me another superb view in the open as well as great partial views where I could check on several features. The bird called several times as I watched, a grating 'teck' with a tongue clicking quality, very different to Reed Warbler and most like Lesser Whitethroat...


Fieldsketch of the bird ith a few scribbled notes...

The following features were noted, or rather confirmed...

1. Short primary projection, judged half the length of the tertials, which where difficult to see due to lack of contrast. Noticablly shorter than Reed Warbler, two of which were also seen on the day..
2. Well defined supercilium which extended beyond the eye. Widest in front of eye. The birds most notible feature and gave a very different facial appearance to Reed Warbler, which looks much more open faced with an obvious eyering.
3. Very clean underparts and undertail covert's. Suffuse greyish wash on flanks, though not very noticable at times.
4. More pot bellied than Reed Warbler.
5. Upperpart tone lacking the warmth of Reed Warbler, cold toned brownish grey, striking. Simular to Garden Warbler in some rspects, but looking at the face most reminiscent of Chiffchaff, due to the striking super...
6. Call a short, very slightly grating 'teck', the bird witnessed calling!

Other birds seen included a second Reed Warbler at the Youth Hostel and a White Wagtail at the same spot. The Wryneck was seen again at the graveyard, whilst the Rosefinch was back in The Waist, though yours truly did not see them due to acro efforts. I had one more fleeting view of the Blyth's in the evening, whilst trying to get a photo, a nightmare bird to photograph and there was no joy there...

The bird


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