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, January 05, 2012

Two-barred Crossbills; Kungsholmen, 5th January 2012

 The best shot of the day, this male dropped down briefly onto the top of the lowest pine, allowing me some decent shots. Cracking birds these, they were calling constantly to each other..




 A pair drank from the gutter on a nearbly building early in the morning, giving superb views..




 A more typical view of a feeding male from this morning. The birds generally stayed at the tops of the tallest pines in the square...




 Again, a typical view, this time of a female or first winter bird...




 A closer view of a male bird on the building...




A closer crop of the best image. The white double wingbars are visible here. Note the relatively slim bill, dark lores and well marked undertail covert's...

2012 is off to a fine start thanks to superb views of 5 Two-barred Crossbill this morning at Radhusetsparken, Kungsholmen. The light was quite superb throughout and the birds were quickly found on arrival, they were calling constantly. It was great to hear the calls as they fed and flew around, the double flight call and trumpet call were heard throughout the morning. There were three males and two females present, feeding in the tall conifers at a small park square in the middle of Stockhom City! Also present were 4 Common Crossbill for comparison, which were noticably bigger and deeper billed and calling with the usual 'glip' type calls. The Two-barred Crossbills gave stunning views throughout the morning and allowed some photos too. This is only the third occasion I have seen these birds and the first time I have managed some images with the camera, so a very happy birder on this end...
 Two-barred Crossbill erupted last year in summer after the Larch crop failed and the species, which specializes in Larch cones, found itself having to move westwards in huge numbers. Tens of thousands moved across the Finnish Archipelago and into Sweden. Many are still present throughout the country, giving birder's an opportunity to see this glorious little bird, often in small flocks. I have a feeling the species may feature for some time to come...


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very nice! Quite exciting to see this species in the middle of Stockholm! I also tried to picture them for about an hour between 12:00 and 13:00, but I only saw two flocks of Common Crossbills and the light quickly became more difficult for photography anyway. Cheers. Dirk.

Alan Dalton said...

Hi Dirk,

Had good views first thing in the morning, so perhaps the best time. Cant see them moving far with food and water plentiful, maybe next time! Light was great first thing though it closed in rapidly. See you out there somewhere...