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, September 06, 2012

Diurnal Migration; Sound Recordings, Landsort; 28th August 2012
















Above; Five recordings of migrant Tree Pipits passing overhead on early morning diurnal migration. Most of these birds seemed to be coming in off the sea and making their way back to the mainland. In many cases small flocks were involved and I recorded almost 100 birds on the morning. These are the classic cals given by migrating Tree Pipit, though they are in fact more variable than one might think. Nice to record migrant birds in this fashion...










Yellow Wagtail migrants here in the three recordings above, those of the grey headed race commonly found here in Sweden, Motacilla flava thunbergi. Not as common as Tree Pipit on the day in question, though plenty of birds going over, mostly single birds. This is another classic early autumn migrant...







Here we have another classic early autumn migrant, White Wagtail. Two recordings above of this species giving calls typical of migrating birds. These birds often move in small groups and are typically very vocal..




House Martin were also passing overhead towards the mainland and their occasional harsh calls colud be hard, here is a soundbite of a handful of migrating birds just overhead as they moved through the area...




Chaffinch are begining to move, though they will become more predominent later in the autumn when the largest numbers move with Brambling in tow. Here a recording of the quiet calls of these birds, typical of migrating Chaffinch. Hopefully I will get a few better recordings of this species later in the autumn..




Here a recording of a Greenshank offshore, also a migrating bird. Nice to get this call recorded on Landsort. A very distintive wader call...




Above a nice recording of a single Green sandpiper that passed over on migration, the parabol placed well to get this call and resulted in quite a nice sonogram. Delighted to get this species recorded on passage...




The final recording here, the classic 'tek' calls of Lesser Whitethroat. The bird was alling from low cover quite close to the upward pointing parabol. Hard to know whether this is a migrant or one of the islands breeding birds.

A selection of recordings from the baltic island of Landsort where I spent the morning on the north tip, Norrudden, observing early autumn migration. The morning in question saw good numbers of Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail. I wanted to record migrating birds, so decided to place the parabol in a static position and recorded constantly for for hours. I programmed the recorder, a Marantz 661, to break the recording up into ten minute files to allow easier editing of the soundfiles. Minor mistakes where made placing the parabol in heather, the morning was fine and bees started to collect pollen there, soundiing somewhat like jumbo jets at close range through the parabol! Aslo there was a slight static problem and a little noise from grasses being blown against the exterior of the parabol. Mounting the parabol on a tripod out of the wind would seem to be the solution, though a second tripod would be a lot to haul to this site, along with my telescope, tripod, camera and binoculars! Placing the parabola allowed me to move away from it and concentrate of birding myself, whilst the recorder worked to record all the birds flying over. All in all a very useful morning and a good learning experience...

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