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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Landsort; Saturday

What a fantastic days birding! The weather wasn't something to look forward to going out in, light rain and a northeasterly wind, right in your face at Sodra Udden as we looked out to the east. Over the sea at dawn, passage seemed light. Little Gulls were present offshore, but not on passage.a few Velvet Scoter, Red breasted Merganser, 2 Red throated Diver and 3 probable Scaup would off made for a poor morning had it not been for passerines...
Right from the dawn we had passerines overhead. As I approached the lighthouse I had 2 Redwing, 2 Waxwing and 30 Starling south, followed by 2 White Wagtail and Fieldfares. It kept going, Brambling and Chaffinch were soon passing in small flocks, the odd Meadow Pipit, flocks of Siskin, Redpolls and Fieldfares. 4 Mistle Thrush were better, though not as good as a Snow Bunting, my first of the year. From about 9.30am the birds were piling over. Brambling, Chaffinch and Thrushes were the main species. bullfinch began to appear, also Reed Bunting and Dunnock, calling from high overhead. It was a full on diurnal migration wave. The following was recorded before 12.30pm.
2 White Wagtail, 374 Fieldfare, 4 Mistle Thrush, 11 Redwing, 31 Starling, 32 Meadow Pipit, 2 Chiffchaff, 7 Stock Dove, 602 Siskin, 129 Redpoll, 260 Brambling, 362 Chaffinch, 720 Chaffinch/Brambling, 63 Yellowhamner, 1 Snow Bunting, 2 Reed Bunting, 11 Dunnock, 42 Bullfinch, 4 Waxwing.

As if that wasn't good enough there was a shout just to our north and we were alerted to a Ring Ouzel. After a quick scramble we were there, viewing a cracking bird, before it flew northeast and disappeared. A few moments later a strident, dysyllabic call cam from some cover beside me and I roared, 'Yellow Browed Warbler!' Five of us had brief, but superb views of this little cracker, my first ever in Sweden.
After a quick lunch it was back out into the field. A Skylark was the only new bird, though a Great Grey Shrike and Merlin showed to others. Two things were memorable from the afternoon. Firstly a huge flock of Fieldfare, a thousand strong, moving south. An awesome sight...
The other was Goldcrest everywhere feeding, many exhausted. It was classic fall conditions. I spent time photographing them a point blank range, normally so hard to capture, these were oblivious to my presence and only cared about feeding. The photo below was taken with an iPhone only, no digiscoping! That's how close they were, remarkable. Right now I'm awaiting my dinner, then the log will be called at the observatory, then bed. Tonight the guys will attempt to mist
net, the target being Tengmalm's Owl. Please, let it happen...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Goldcrest photographed with an iPhone!!! That is really amazing! Cheers! Dirk