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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hawk Owl; Tyresta National Park; October 2012

Stensjön; Tyresta National Park

On my return from Georgia, reports of a Hawk Owl at Stensjön in Tyresta National Park could not be ingnored. Despite the long hike, on my first day off work I abandoned plans to stay at Landsort and was at Tyresta for dawn. The scene at Lake Flaten as I passed through was stunning and I grabbed a few shots on the iPhone. I made my way through the forrest quickly, I was familiar with the route for 90% of the hike. The autumn colours were fantastic throughout the hike and it was a very enjoyable walk. Jay were everywhere, collecting and hoarding acorns for the winter. Crested Tit bubbled in the trees, a calling Coal Tit was seen briefly, a lovely scandinavian bird. A small flock of Common Crossbill went over a couple of times, whilst a distant Black Woodpecker was heard early on. Common woodland species were everywhere and mixed flocks of tits were commonplace

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Lake Flaten at Dawn; Tyresta National Park; A stunning location...


It took me a couple of hours to cover the 7km hike to the area where the Hawk Owl had been reported. On arrival I was left in no doubt I was in the right area, the habitat was stunning and perfect for Hawk Owl. I found a high point and settled down to wait at around 08.40am. Overhead, there was good diurnal migration going on and I had Common Cranes, Barnacle Geese, Meadow Pipits and Fieldfare over in numbers. A Green Woodpecker gave stunning views, whilst up to 5 Black Woodpeckers were the most I have ever seen in one area. They have good view and were calling constantly, I found myself wishing I had my sound recording gear with me, despite the hike. At around 09.30am I had a really nice surprise when a Great Grey Shrike appeared from nowhere close by and I occupied myself by sketching the bird. After a while the bird became more active and began to move around, I resumed scanning carefully for the Hawk Owl. A Goshawk being mobbed by Fieldfare gave me a scare, before I picked up the Hawk Owl at 10.40am, sat on the ridge about a kilometre, atop a tree. Despite the distance it was easily identifiable. I had it for a few minutes and was debating whether to wait where I was, or approach the bird, when a jogger appeared on the trail. I was in the middle of nowhere and couldn't believe it as the bird was flushed and flew north, behind a hill and out of view. Still, the bird was still in the area and I figured it would reappear. A couple of birder's arrived an hour later and I was still there waiting. Around 1.00pm the rain started and it was miserable. I stuck it out for two more hours, three birder's now searching, no bird seen. I figured it was time to go when I began to feel the cold and began the hike back, happy to have seen the bird, though a little dissapointed with the views. Better than dipping though...


 Fieldfare; Many of these birds were migrationg overhead throughout the day, this one landed briefly...



 Great Grey Shrike; A bonus whilst waiting on the Hawk Owl, always a great bird to sketch. A couple of drawings here from the mornings drawings..




Autumn is certainly here now, a shot here of the leaf litter, a day of wonderful scenery and colour...

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