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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hällogårn; Västerbotten; 27th July 2012

Up at dawn, which up this far north is just after 3am.! As I got out there came the trumpeting of Common Cranes from over the trees on the mainland, a wonderful backdrop. I made my way to the north end of the island, which is rather small. As always, the Arctic Tern Colony was active, at least 34 young fledged at the northern end of the island, a quick count revealed. Common Gulls also bred well, though there were no Velvet Scoter broods in evidence this morning, the species usually an obvious breeder here...
A couple of Wood Sandpipers were welcome, before three young Common Sandpiper were noticed. A sudden burst of activity put me on to a superb female Hen Harrier, which flew southeast over the colony, nice! Then there were superb views of a pair of White Tailed Eagle offshore being mobbed by terns and gulls. Velvet Scoters were moving offshore in small numbers, whilst a few Eider, Goosander and Cormorant were also picked up. Tufted Duck and Red breasted Merganser had young offshore, whilst 17 Lapwing were then noted moving south over the mainland. Overhead a curious call got my full attention, as I had heard it yesterday evening overhead. After a short period I located the source high up above me, 2 Red Throated Divers, perhaps a pair, or maybe disputing, territorial males. I have brought my recording equipment and will try to record this interesting call, which was new to me. A sort while later other calls, Common Crossbill and Green Sandpiper. All this in a few hours after first light, quality birding in incredible environment...
In due course I will return to Stockholm and upload artwork and photos of birds seen, for the next week I will keep up to date, blogging from the iPhone..

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