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

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Common Crossbills; Kungsholmen; 7th January 2012

 My favourite shot of the day, a male crossbill backed by golden morning light boucing off windows in the background and lit from the morning sun directly...




 Another shot of a male bird. The bird is searching for snow, which these birds were eating. Male Common Crossbills are stunning birds when seen well and in bright light the red plumage gleams..




 A female type eating snow. Eating snow is a remarkable adaptation and shows how these birds can survive in bitterly cold habitat. The resin from pine cones ensures these birds must take in water on a very regular basis, in frozen conditions water freezes. Eating snow ensures the birds take in enough fluid to survive. The birds eat ate little and often as a stomach full of snow would drop their core temperature and could prove lethal...




 The upper bird drew my full attention due to the wing-barred appearance. Not also the white fringes on the tertials. The bird finlly revealed it's identity by calling, a classic 'Glip' call and proving this bird to be a Common Crossbill...as in many species, as soon as you look closely, variablility becomes apparent.




A sulphur yellow flushed breast and flank on this female type....

Spent the morning at Kungsholmen looking at Common Crossbills carefully and searching for rarer Two- Barred Crossbill. In total there were 19 Common Crossbill present just after dawn and eventually I got some very good views. Of most interested was a wing barred bird, certainly a Common Crossbill due to the diagnostic 'Glip' call of the species, which the bird was heard to utter on several occasions. Notes in the captions below the photographs...

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