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
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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stellers Eider; Landsort; 18th April 2012

 Steller's Eider. Record shot of this lifer. Note the small size in comparison to Eider as well as the long tail. The bird is aged as a 2nd calender female by the tertials, had this been an adult they would be longer with clean whitish outer webs. Note there the greyish toned tertials on this bird. Shots here are record only, the bird distant througout, though veiws through the scope were excellent. a few sketches also made..

 Remained asleep the majority od the time, though still easily picked out. Only a few brief views of the grey bill, noticably smaller than Common Eider and more rounded. The head looked slightly square in profile, whilst a pale area was evident about the eye. Also noted through the scope was a small, diffuse dark spot on the nape. The bird did not fly, rather drifted off around a rocky outcrop and out of view..

 At times looked remarkably small, a slimmer smaller bird than Eider, by a degree that surprised me..

Record shots here of an almost mythical species from my point of view, my first Stellers Eider! The bird was found a few days previously by Raul vicente and stayed for a few days. On the evening of the 16th I searched in vain for it, like wise on the 17th, scouring the northern tip for this young female bird. Alas no joy, surely it was gone? This morning I seawatched until 9am., then checked the area of Bredmar thouroughly before deciding to have one last search at the last minute, cycling down to Norrudden with a few hours to spare before the ferry. I got to the harbour and decided to start there at the first group of Eiders I saw, a quick scan and...small dark duck..long tail..I couldn't quite believe my luck! There in the harbour mouth with a small group of Eider was the bird I had hoped for, where had it been until now? It didn't matter really, I enjoyed superb views in the scope for forty five minutes as well as managing a few record shots. Growing up in Ireland this was seen as a holy grail, one of the most northern of all seaduck, little known and extremely unlikely to be seen without serious effort. Hopefully someday a male will come my way!


ed keeble said...


Alan Dalton said...

Many thanks Ed and thanks for dropping by!