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

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tyresta National Park; Sound Recordings; 26th March 2012

Arrived at dawn at Tyresta National Park, the conditions almost perfect for recording, with clear skies and just a light wind. I spent about five hours recording various species, light snow making conditions difficult and I found the breeze gave me problems at times, vibrating the dish dimensions and affecting recording. Wind is not the recordists friend! I was able to get into sheltered positions though in most areas and get around this. I got my first soundbite today at the marsh at Ovre Kärret, lots of birds calling, dominated by the occasional warning calls of a pair of Crane. Later I watched my recording levels carefully and got some very fine recordings of Common Buzzard, Goldcrest and Chaffinch as the wind dropped off. I have got an old camera strap now for the dish, which can easily be slung over the shoulder whilst walking and looking about. So, some new species and a real idea of the kind of recordings I can expect from the equipment...



Here is a recording of Ovre Kärret, where a pair on newly arrived Common Crane were diplaying, one of the truly iconic sounds of Swedish rural areas. A quite amazing, trumpeting call- Other birds can be heard on this dawn recording, calling Eurasian Jay, Whooper Swan, Siskin and Great Spotted Woodpecker, as well as singing Song Thrush and Yellowhammer.







Here again the calls of Common Crane displaying, though this time the recording is tighter...







Close by were a pair of Goldeneye, you can hear the display calls here if you listen carefully, before the drake gives a louder call typical of courting males..







After leaving Ovre Kärret I walked towards the sound of a displaying Common Buzzard and managed to get a very nice recording of this bird..







A little while later I recorded this singing Goldcrest. One can see on the sonogram the high pitch of the song, perhaps the highest pitch of all birds at the site....







Chaffinch are now returning in numbers and these strong singers offer good recording opportunity. Here a probable adult male singing strongly, providing a nice sonogram..






Again here a Chaffinch, but this bird was much duller in tone a judged to be a second calender bird. A young bird that lacks experience on the breeding grounds. Note the difference in song to the adult bird above, a much weaker song which shows a markedly different sonograms. Ageing birds is one area where sound recording can be exremely useful in the field...






Also very abundant today where Siskin, another meber of the finch family. Here is a nice recording of an adult male singing close by...






Another male Siskin here in song, with Eurasian Nuthatch, European Robin and Song Thrush all in the background...






More Siskin this time, though not the song above. This time there were a few birds calling and seemingly displaying in flight...






A European Robin here in song, probably just returned on migration as there were none here a few days ago. The song in the early season is often unpolished and is refered to as 'plastic song'. In time the song is refined by the singing bird in order to impress a female...






A drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker here...right atop a dead tree hammering away....


So, all in all, a very good mornings recording I think. I think I have the use of the equipment worked out and the results with the telinga dish are quite amazing. Mostly common species seen today, but even still there were two year ticks, Song Thrush and Green Sandpiper. A Woodcock was also flushed over the morning, probably the best bird of the day, though the displaying Cranes at dawn was very memorable.

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