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

Friday, August 03, 2012

Hällogårn; Västerbotten; 26th July-2nd August 2012

 Arctic Terns; An adult with a juvenile. This species was the main bird on the island, with a colony at the north always busy, the birds feeding theor recently fledged young..




 A juvenile Arctic Tern at close range. Rather variable in appearance, this one prompted me to think of Common Tern, much orange in the bill on this bird...




 An adult Arctic Tern in flight...




 A juvenile Arctic Tern at rest. This shot was digiscoped with my new iPhone, the phone simply handheld against the eyepiece of my telescope. Perfectly useable for record shots of distant birds...




 Juvenile Arctic Tern in flight...




 Another close up of the orange billed Arctic juvenile at th site, most showed darker bills..




 An Arctic Tern juvenile hovering over the water and begining to feed for itself...




 noth iPhone digiscope, a juvenil Arctic Tern here..




 Watercolour sketch of a juvenile Arctic Tern at dawn. I tried to concentrate of sketching the birds whilst on the island, more artwork will follow once I have organized my sketchbooks and photographed the work within...




 Yours truly birding on Hällogårn, a visually stunning location in every way...




 A trio of newly fledged Common Gulls at rest..




 First light...




 Migrating Wood Sandpipers, the dominant wader this week on the island...




 Misty mornings were experienced on three mornings, a wonderful scene...




 Dawn scene....




 The seaward side of the island. Here a few Common Sandpipers fed, along with a Greenshank or two. Offshore there were Eider, Velvet Scoter, White-tailed Eagle and Red Breasted Merganser...




 Spot the Temminck's Stint...




 Panoroama; Hälogårn.




 Dawn was stunning each day...




 Sunset was almost as spectacular some evenings, as the shots above and below show. These were taken on the iPhones remarkable camera...







 Temminck's Stint, a singleton one day was a highlight, then three the next day, followed by five birds on the last full day. Often elusive and hard to see in the summer vegetation...







Northwards was the main area for birding, though this year the water was high, not ideal for waders at the site as a result...


A week of Hällogårn to relax and do a little birding and sketching on doctors orders, having been diagnosed with an auto immune problem a few days prior to leaving. The island is tiny and in the past I have had some good birding here and one never knows what might turn up, someday I fancy it to turn up a real rarity.
 This year the water levels were high and I was earlier than usual, though the place is always superb anf I had a wonderful time birding on the island. Red Throated Divers were a highlight, up to 14 flying overhead calling each day and I managed to record them with the parabol. A handful of Black Throated Divers were also recorded. Up to 3 birds were seen in a day. The birding was dominated by the local Arctic Terns, these birds were everywhere you looked, about 20 pairs breeding on the island itself, many more close by. The young had fledged and the adults were busily feeding them Three Spined Stickle backes, which were prolific in the shallow baltic waters.
Seabirds were scarce, the usual Eider, Goosander, Red Breasted Merganser and Velet Scoter were present, all of which breed here. The only other breeding duck were Tufted Duck and Mallard this year, last year I had Scaup breeding! White Tailed Eagle were present some mornings, as was a single Hobby, though the best raptor was an adult female Hen Harrier on July 26th, a nice sight. Waders were dominated by Wood Sanpipers, which were resting and migrating. Each day saw Common Snadpiper, Greenshank and Lapwing in small numbers, whilst a few Temminck's Stint and a single Knot were highlights. The high water levels did not help with waders, in previous years the island has held more species than on this occasion. Cranes were everywhere, and their dawn bugles were a great acoustic backdrop early in the day. Smaller birds were scarce, breeding Fieldfare, Willow Warbler, Robin, Crested, Blue and Great Tits were the exception. Common Crossbill were regular flying over, whilst a single Garden Warbler was almost certainly a passage bird.
 The photos may give some impression, a wonderful place to visit, a stunning location...

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