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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Landsort; 21st October 2013

Back on Landsort today after far to long without a visit. A delay on the train led to me missing the early ferry, which was disappointing, though I eventually got off the boat at 09.30am and made my way to the observatory, said hello and dropped my bags off. I was informed the ringing station had seen a very quiet morning, so I headed straight for the lighthouse at Sodra Udden. It proved very quiet at sea too, I sat and watched for a few hours all the same. Very little was passing , though a single adult Little Gull wasn't bad. Also noted were 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Black throated Diver, 12 Velvet Scoter, 103 Long Tailed Duck, 7 Eider, 5 White Tailed Eagle, 23 Cormorant, 1 Black Guillemot, 5 Red Breasted Merganser, 123 Common Gull, 5 Black Headed Gull, 2 Brent Goose, 2 Red Throated Diver, 32 Chaffinch and a Dunnock. All these birds were migrating, with the exception of the eagles... Whilst all this was going on ringing in the area saw me get nice views of Treecreeper and Chiffchaff in the hand, though again, things were quiet...
 After the seawarch, I decided to check the west side of Sodra Udden, as it was more sheltered there. After covering the crevices and cover on that side there was very little seen, with no diurnal migration in evidence. All was not in vain though. At the end of quartering the area I flushed a stunning Short Eared Owl, which gave me wonderful flight views. I was happy with myself as I made my way back to the observatory. I checked the gardens in the village on my way to no avail...
 After a bit of lunch I decided to head back out and headed north along the only road on the island. There was no life at all in evidence apart from a flock of Redpoll, then just after Bredmar I heard the calls of a flock of Blue Tit/Marsh Tit/Great Tit. I stopped to check these birds, thinking there might be a straggler amongst them, perhaps a Treecreeper or Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. The first two birds that showed were Blue Tits. Then a third bird showed, I got a double wing bar first before a sulphur lemon supercilium hit my retina. Yellow browwd Warbler briefly flashed through my mind before the bird showed its crown, along with great big crown stripe and I knew I had an eastern gem, Pallas's Warbler. The bird then hovered briefly, as if to confirm, the lemon yellow rump nailed on. I was elated as I grabbed for my mobile, desperately trying to keep the bird in view as I rang the alert to the observatory. The lads got there within two minutes, a 700m sprint completed, just as I relocated the bird as it called to my left. After a tense few minutes it showed briefly and over the next two hours all four of us had good views, which was great. I was elated with my first Swedish Pallas's Warbler, always a very good bird and I was thrilled to find the bird. Only my third ever in Europe.
Landsort had done me proud again on what seemed a day destined to be very quiet, you just never know with this place...


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