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 23, 2013

Landsort; 23rd October 2013

By any stretch of the imagination, a fantastic days birding. I left the observatory at dawn and set out for Sodra Udden, after 100 metres a pipit flew right across the road, low down calling. It initially struck me as a Tree Pipit type call, but it was to high pitched and I watched as it seemed to pitch down towards Bredmar, a few hundred metres away. This, surely, was an Olive backed Pipit. I raced back to the bird observatory and alerted the lads who were getting through the last of their breakfast. We then proceeded to flog Bredmar for some time with no result in strong winds, a needle in a haystack...
 Onward to Sodra Udden where a 90 minute watch produced little, though an adult Little Gull, a late juvenile Lesser Black backed Gull, 86 Common Scoter, 1 Scaup, 210 Long tailed Duck and 16 Brent Geese were notable. Then at the end of the watch four Crossbills flew past, amongst them an adult male Two barred Crossbill! The birds promptly flew out of view and were gone as the rain began to fall and we headed back to dry out and grab a sandwich. A while later the rain eased off to light drizzle and we were out again. Common Redpolls, a Brabling and 2 Siskin came quickly. Then on to the north. A large party of Goldcrests were filtered, just a single Chiffchaff the result. A brief Encounter with what was almost certainly a Ring Ouzel came next before Mårten Wikström rang to say he had located a couple of Two barred Crossbill feeding on rowan berries. A short while later we were just metres away from a cracking adult male, as well as a second calender male. Chris Sharpe made it in time too, a lifer for him and the perfect way to get one, point black!
 Again we went northwards, nothing at Saltmar. Then, a while later cane another party of Goldcrests. This time we quickly picked out a Yellow browed Warbler, we were well happy. We had cracking views of the bird as it fed and called occasionally. Eventually it moved into the woods, we moved on and had a Nutcracker just a few minutes later. Bull finches were feeding on Rowan berries too, as we approached Norrudden we located four more, though this time the calls told us these were Northern Bullfinches, with their nasal, trumpeting call. A Rough legged Buzzard went overhead, this was nice birding. Redwing and Blackbirds were everywhere, 7 Common Crossbill flew south calling and then we heard some Goldcrests. Then it came, a flash of sulphur with double wingbars, a Pallas's Warbler appeared right in front of us! It gave stunning views for three or four minutes and we were elated. We rang Mårten, WHO would eventually see the bird some time later, which was nice. We went on to comb Norra Udden and had a frustrating time chasing a silent pipit around for some time until dusk stopped play, though we couldn't complain. What a day, a couple of sibe warblers, two barred males and loads of good birds and excitement. It doesn't come along often, what a magical island this is...


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