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

Friday, October 26, 2012

Golden Eagle; 2nd Calender; Landsort; 23rd October 2012

 Golden Eagle over Sodra Udden, a magnificent sight. This was one of the hightlights of the trip for me and I can hardly expect to ever have better views of a wild bird. Note the long wings and tail, long primary fingers, white inner tail and primaries and pale nape. The eye is dark, as is the cere.

 A shot taken at 150mm of the bird taking off into the wind. Note the white bases on the upper inner primaries in this shot..

 As regards ageing, this is obviously a young bird, as can be seen from the broad white inner tail and lage amount of white on the inner primaries. This white is not symetrical on both wings due to moult. Combined with the very worn remiges and new P1-P3 we can conclude that this is a bird in its second calender year. Not the all juvenile P4-P10, just on moult step being visible here in the primaries. The tail is also rather obviously worn...

The bird directly over my head. A very good view of the tail here, note again the rather worn appearance..

 The bird directly in front of me here...

 A view here of the upperwing. Upperwing covert's mid brown, with darker remiges and white bases to the inner primaries. Note there the new P1-P3, nice fresh, round feathers in comparison to the older, juvenile P1-P10. Again here the dark eye and blue grey cere at the base of the bill as visible..

Again, directly over my head. Not the asymetrical white bases to the primaries ans secondaries on the undewing...

Golden Eagle at Landsort. This was an incredible experience. This bird was actually stumbled across whilst trying to relocate a Dusky Warbler, which we had seen and heard only minutes previously! Having seen and heard the warbler well briefly, it had flitted a short way and dissapeared into cover, frustratingly it could not be relocated and after a few minutes the four of us broadened our search. Just a couple of minutes later I heard Håkan roaring and assumed he had the Dusky Warbler again, though no, he had in fact seen a Golden Eagle rounding Sodra Udden, presumably migrating. I ran to the tip of Sodra Udden to scan the sea to the south for a glimpse of what would be my second Golden Eagle. On reaching the crest of the hill I was stopped dead in my tracks, there, not fifteen metres away, a Golden Eagle was perched, looking back at me from the rocks! The bird lifted slowly in front of me, flapping into the wind, an image that will stay with me for a long time. It was an incredible sight, I was frozen still for a few seconds in awe, taking it all in. I eventually raised my camera and was forced to leave the zoom at 150mm in order to get the whole bird into frame as it rose in front of me. The bird gathered height slowly before circling above us for several minutes, giving quite stunning views to us all. It eventually headed out to se, mobbed by Common Gulls.
 We quickly turned our attention back to the Dusky Warbler, though there was a twist in the tail. The warbler was never relocated. About an hour later, the bird reappeared over Bredmar soaring and moved south again. I had it high overhead as it passed Sodra Udden a second time, this time higher up, looking rather tidier at range. I wondered was it the same bird, though studying photos later revealed it was indeed. This time the bird had gained considerable height and drifted off over the sea in a southeasterly direction and was not seen again. This was only my second ever Golden Eagle, my first coming just a couple of weeks ago! After a ten year wait for the first, two in a few weeks! This one though, was a bit special and I doubt I will ever be as close to a wild Golden Eagle again..

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