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
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

Monday, October 08, 2012

Batumi Raptor Watch; 23rd September 2012

Sheltering from the rain at Station 2, Gael Foilleret...

We awoke for breakfast and were greeted by driving rain and overcast skies. It was decided that we would go to Shuamta and await the rain clearing. We stayed at the base of the hill at a house, in actual fact, it was rather nice to get some sleep there after the previous nights festivities. I slept solidly for four hours. It continued to bucket dawn until noon, then eased off and we decided to ascend the hill. We got to the top and set up the tarp for shelter and a few birds were moving. Steppe Buzzards, Marsh Harrier, Montagu's and Pallid Harriers and a few Lesser Spotted Eagles. I was rather enjoying the birding as there was time to look closely at everything that passed. Then a long, dark front moved overhead and the rain returned, thankfully not heavily. In front of us a Red Breasted Flycatcher rattled away in the low trees...

Gael Foilleret with 4 bottles of 'Yellow Beer'...

Left to Right; Jasper Wehrmann, Johannes Jansen and Brecht Verstedt, the heartbeat of Batumi Raptor Count..

The rain just kept coming. Very few birds of prey were moving. The general thought was that when the weather did clear, it would lead to a huge passage of birds. This had happened before. Bad weather holds migrating raptors up and generally speaking, after a period of wet weather, renewed passage is very heavy. Right at the end of the day the rain stopped briefly and in thirty minutes we had 1,000 Steppe Buzzard, the occasional Black Kite also flying through. Right at the end of the count we had a stunning juvenile Pallid Harrier right in front of us, flying along the ridge. A fitting way to end any day...

Filiep T'yollin and Jan Wellenkes.

Aki Aintilla.

Filiep T'yollin, Manuel Tacke and Anna Sandor.

Andrea Corso and Anna Sandor.

Aki Aintilla

Stijn Hanson, to the right...

The French Connection. Left to Right, Gael Foilleret, Mael Sinoir and Guillaume Peplinski.

Jan Wellenkes and Aki Aintilla.

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