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

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Steller's Eider; Landsort; 6th May 2012

 Asleep on the island in the centre on Norrhamn, Steller's Eider. Fantastic to get such a good opportunity to photograph this bird after my last distant encounter...




 The bird eventually stirred and stood up, what a beauty! 




 Then a wing strech for the camera, showing me the white underwing for the first time..




 The bird in the water. Note the tertials her with greyish fringes, ageing the bird as a second calender female...




 Another shot of the bird on the water...




 Size comparison with Tufted Duck very much suprised me, more or less the same size, though structurally a different bird...




 A very distinctive bird, note the bill shape, small head and chunky body..




 Record flight shot showing the white underwing and upperwing with two whit bars at trailing edge of greater covert's and secondaries...




 Landing, again showing the upperwing pattern..




Size comparison with Common Eider, so shocking! Looked tiny beside Eider, something I had not expected at all to the extent it differed.


Having been watching migration from Norrudden with Raul Vicente on the 6th May, it was Raul who first located the bird a mile out beside an outlying island. It was a lifer for John Costello, who was at the other end of the island, after a White Tailed Eagle flew over the bird appeared in the harbour at Norrhamn and promptly wen asleep. We finally got in contact with John and I moved down to the harbour and began taking photos. After a while the bird stirred, wing stretched and joined a small flock of Tufted Duck in the water, swimming out  of view behind a large flat rock. John then arrived an we decided to relocate. After a lot of clambering over rocks we got the bird in view again, still in the company of Tufted Duck. After a while the bird flew and we thought it would leave the harbour, not the case. It joined a pair of Eider and remained there until we left it there.
 I first saw this bird a few weeks ago more distantly, having travelled down from Stockholm to get this long awaited soecies. It was brilliant to get it again at such close range. It was again present the next morning when I sketch it at my leisure in fantastic light...

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