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 22, 2012

Landsort; Migration; 22nd October 2012

A phenomenal days birding today, quite unexpected. Yesterday evenings weather forecast was greeted with no great excitement and dawn saw cold tempature and a northeasterly breeze. Immediately on arrival at Sodra Udden at 07.15am I set up my telinga parabol, this time having carefully checked the preset. A flock of 220 Siskin piled past me whilst doing this! Eventually the digital recording started and I preprogrammed it to continuously record the morning session, the batteries would take me to 11.30am. I then settled down and set up the scope as Mikael ├ůsberg, Per ├ůsberg, and Jan Ohlsson arrived..
Things started a little slowly, though there was a little passage at sea, whilst overhead finches, thrushes and some Meadow Pipits went over. A Snow Bunting was the first good bird. After a hour or so this passerines passage picked up, a flock of Woodpigeon, the flocks of Fieldfare and a couple of Mistle Thrush, along with plenty of Respoll and a few Twite passing. At sea too things picked up and we began to warm to the birding. A busy period at 09.30am culminated in the sudden call of a Richard's Pipit, the bird rounding the lighthouse right over the parabol, calling as it went. A rarity and no doubt, spirits were well and truly lifted. So began a fantastic day. A short while later we had a Shore Lark pass by calling, whilst viewing a cracking 1st Calender male Ring Ouzel on the rocks to the east. Eventually we had stunning views of the latter. Then it was a Wood Lark flying south with a Skylark. Another Snow Bunting, before 2 Shore Lark passed and ditched down, eventually I located them on the southern tip, they flew off out to sea on being flushed. At sea, passage really picked up as Barnacle Geese and Brent Geese began to appear. Soon there were Wigeon, Red Throated Diver, Red Breasted Merganser, Common Scoter and Long Tailed Duck passing in numbers before another scream went up, Kittiwake! A rarity here, a first Calender passed southwest, another good bird. Little Gulls, Tufted Duck, Whooper Swan, Black Guillemot all passing, though it was geese that really took over. flocks of Barnacle Goose began to appear regularly. It was very impressive. A handful of Eurasian White Fronted Geese were welcomed, as were Red Necked Grebe, Scaup and a Shoveler. Overhead we're lots of corvids now, as well as a Rough Legged Buzzard and a stunning adult male Hen Harrier in off the Baltic...
The afternoon saw two Shorelark located to the east and I managed a few photos of these birds on the road feeding, a real highlight. Amazing birds.
Twite, Waxwing, another Woodlark, more Snow Bunting and geese in the thousands. It was a pleasure to witness it all, this was as fine a days migration as I have ever had in Sweden, or anywhere else more that matter. There was so much to see, so much to learn from and so much to enjoy...
I decided to head back at 15.30 and grabbed some fruit and looked around on land. I was now the only birder on the island after the rest of the crew left on the late afternoon boat. I will be here alone tomorrow, having the whole island to myself on an October day will be a bit special.
At Bredmar at 16.30 not a lot had been happening, with the exception of a few hundred geese streaming west. The I heard a mournful call, which Iwas familiar. Happily the source revealed itself to me, after good close views I was happy it was a good Siberian Chiffchaff(tristis). Another very good bird at the end if the day, my only gripe was I had not brought the camera. The batteries on the telinga were dead by now, it would be nice to record this bird. Perhaps tomorrow...
The following species and totals were logged from Sodra Udden;
2412 Common Scoter, 320 Red Breasted Merganser, 302 Wigeon, 75 Goldeneye, 255 Cormorant, 8 Snow Bunting, 70 Velvet Scoter, 35 Little Gull, 5 Red Necked Grebe, 8 Teal, 10,460 Barnacle Goose, 280 Eider, 70 Mallard, 55 Waxwing, 365 Jackdaw, 5 White Wagtail, 14 Red Throated Diver, 11 Skylark, 2 Wood Lark, 4 Shore Lark, 1 Richards Pipit, 20 Black Headed Gull, 100 Black Headed Gull, 305 Wood Pigeon, 6 Stock Dove, 26 Whooper Swan, 269 Brent Goose, 130 Tufted Duck, 61 Goosander, 65 Twite, 16 Black Guillemot, 490 Fieldfare, 50 Long Tailed Tit, 3 Black Throated Diver, 2,500 Long Tailed Duck, 3 Shoveler, 14 Scaup, 4 Sparrowhawk, 2 Hen Harrier, 1 Grey Plover, 10 Eurasian White Fronted Goose, 158 Chaffinch, 95 Brambling, 45 Meadow Pipit, 1 Kittiwake, 30 Greenfinch, 320 Redpoll, 430 Siskin, 29 Bullfinch, 7 Redwing, 7 Dunnock, 7 Reed Bunting, 133 Hodded Crow, 1 Rough Legged Buzzard, 1 Kittiwake.

Now that's what I call a good day's birding...

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