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, August 27, 2012

Landsort; 27th August 2012

Having arrived the previous evening, I was up for dawn at 04.30am only to find the weather forecast had been accurate, a strong northwest wind and driving rain saw me back in bed for two hours. Northwestly and strong is a bad combination for migration here, which is what I had come in the hope of seeing, namely diurnal migration. The hope was to auto record the pre dawn period, a four hour period of constant recording in order to get some migrant species calls. Sadly the wind was far too strong this morning and the Telinga Parabol stayed in the observatory...
After the rain relented I headed north and was in position at the north point, Norrudden, after 45 minutes. The usual watch point was raked by the wind and I was forced to moved back a short way to find some shelter from it. Birds here can be distant and it pays to have a position where optics can be steadied. Eventually, I settled in in the lee of a rocky outcrop..
From 08.30-15.30 the area between the mainland, directly overhead and behind me was monitored care fully for migrants, visually and aurally. It soon became apparent that little was moving in the strong wind, this would be a tough session. The odd bird was picked up all the same and there is always the chance of a rarity here. It became apparent that a small number of birds had been either swept out to see or had struggled across the Baltic Sea and these came from behind me, flying directly into the wind toward the mainland along the islands west side. Though sparse, birds were moving in a trickle, the following was noted...

5 Yellow Wagtail(NW), 3 Cuckoo(NW) 2 juv.&1 adult, 11 Sparrowhawk(SW), 2 Kestrel, 6 White Tailed Eagles, 1 Osprey, 3 Hobby(NW), 83 Black Headed Gull(SW), 272 Cormorant, 2 Arctic Skua(SW), 18 Meadow Pipit( NW), 13 Woodpigeon, 74 House Martin(NW), 2 Sand Martin(NW), 11 Swallow(NW), 7 Common Swift(NW), 5 Common Tern(SW), 1 Arctic Tern(E), 1 Red Breasted Merganser, 5 Goosander, 2 Oystercatcher, 2 Wood Sandpiper(SW), 1 Spotted Flycatcher( NW), 1 Willow Warbler(NW), 1 Black Throated Diver(SW), 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull(SW), 450 Eider(offshore).

Given that there were approaching a thousand wildfowl, hundreds of waders and many more passer ones just a day previously this was rather lean pickings, though I reminded myself that this species list would be a memorable haul elsewhere. Even though it was just a trickle, there is something magical about seeing migration like this..
The walk back was quiet, another Cuckoo, several Sparrowhawk and a couple of Red Backed Shrike were the best. An evening watching Bredmar added another Hobby and a lone juvenile Marsh Harrier at the death before I prepared food, organized my notes and got the weather forecast. Light Northwesterly swinging round to Sourhwesterly early afternoon, improving prospects for birding considerably...
Photos etc. to follow on my return to Stockholm...



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