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

Friday, February 17, 2012

Eagle Owl; Stockholm; 17th Febuary 2012

After taking a look around Skeppsbron this evening I decided on impulse to go and stake out an area where a pair Eagle Owl has been known to display. I arrived around 4pm., too early really, but I was able to familiarize myself with all of the potential perches in the area and their shape. I waited. At 5.18pm I thought I heard the bird calling in the distance. I had been scanning the area since before dusk through the binoculars and on another routine sweep, a shape on a mast where there had been nothing earlier. I moved a little closer, a heavy silhouette with the ear tufts just visible, my first ever views of Eagle Owl! I was very ecstatic with the sighting and despite the darkness I grabbed the camera in order to get some sort of record of the bird. I had to crank up the ISO and open the shutter...


 Eagle Owl silhouette against the early night sky, my first view of the species ever despite hearing them of several occasions. Despite hearing them in the past I consider this a lifer in some ways, a memorable experience was just begining. ISO 2000 and shuter open for half a second!

The bird the flew downwards and out of view, I waited. Within two minutes the deep call of Eagle Owl came across the darkness, then again. It repeated at intervals of eight or nine seconds as it displayed, though I could not see it at this point. After ten minutes the calling stopped. I was delighted at this point, then the bird began calling again fifty metres away and after some trying I located it on the roof, calling repeatedly, raising its tail and moving its heads downwards and forward as it did so. It stayed there for 25 minutes before moving to the woods nearby where it was very close but I could not see it. The call at close range though, was an incredible experience. I left after the bird went quiet, a superb hours birding..

Another record shot in darkness, the bird atop a building calling and displaying. A remarkable sight so close to a major city, demonstrating how this species can adapt and live alongside mankind. The species is making a major comeback from the brink here in Sweden...


1 comment:

John Costello said...

Well done, super jelous! Did you have the tripod or what that handheld?
We will have to get up there :)