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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hjälstaviken; 11th March 2012

 Bean Geese

Met up with John Costello this morning and we made an outing to Hjälstaviken, a fabulous wetland venue that is starting to come to life at the minute. We arrived at the north end of the lake an I immediately had a three yearticks. 4 Lapwing flew past as we watched a flock of Bean Geese feeding, along with Starlings! Goose were actively moving around in flocks and it wasn't long until we picked out one of our target species dropping in among the Greylag and Bean Geese, 3 Eurasion White-fronted Geese. Though distant we had good views as Skylark sang overhead, a good start to the day. We would see about 600 Bean Geese over the course of the day in total...


 Eurasion White-fronted Geese(2) feeding amongst Bean Geese at distance...

We moved position to Lingbokullen, another first for 2012 came in the form of a Stock Dove flying past to the north. We soon were in position on the small hill at the watchpoint when we picked up more Eurasian White-fronted Geese, at least six birds present. Goldfinch, Goldcrest and Yellowhammer sang about us. I was scoping any groups of geese flying into the area and found myself checking a group of about a dozen Bean Geese when the blue grey hit my retina, Pink-footed Goose. The bird landed out of view and we couldn't locate it on the deck before the entire flock took to the sky, spooked by a couple of careless birders on the other side. The flocks flew to the fields nearbly and then returned. With fantastic light behind us I was lucky enough to get one of the Eurasian White Fronted Geese in the viewfinder and grab some much better shots as a result..

 Above and below; Eurasian White-fronted Goose, the top bird in the image below. Nice to get some decent images of this species today in good light...



Onwards then to Harby where there was less activity, though we did have a distant eagle, as well as two Raven which tumbled overhead. Better still was a single Rook, a scarce bird in the Stockholm area and welcolme to the yearlist. Then, high overhead, a Common Buzzard, six birds in total seen today...

 Raven tumbling in the skies over Hårby...


 Common Buzzard

Further on towards the south of the lake we had a couple of Whooper Swan which took a few nice shots before we moved along. These birds breed at the site...





 Whooper Swans..

At the southern end of the lake we checked the reedbeds for Bearded Tit without success, though a White-tailed Eagle overhead was a nice bonus. Small numbers of common species were seen at the feeding station before we watched the skies for a bit. Small numbers of Greylag and Bean Geese, Woodpigeon and a single Stock Dove were noted. We moved of to get the bus, it was well late! A total of 34 species noted today in all. A cracking day at a brilliant birding site, there will be several return visits to this premier location in the coming month's...

White-tailed Eagle; an immature bird passes overhead, a signature species at Hjälstaviken.


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