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

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Lesser Grey Shrike; Angarn; 3rd July 2013








News that a Lesser Grey Shrike had been found at Angarn came through late morning and saw me drop everything to go for the bird. I had not seen this species in almost 20 years, it was a Swedish tick and being a nice bird, I decided it was worth the effort. I arrived and made my way to Lundbydyket, only to find the bird on show immediately, giving stunning scope views. Though not apparent from these shots the bird was an adult male, with a beautiful, diffuse pink flush across the upper breast and flanks, though this showed well only in certain lights. The bird moved after ten minutes or so, becoming more distant. It was very mobileand eventually moved 500m to an area in farmland, giving only distant views to those arriving later in the afternoon. A stunning bird this and I was very happy to see it...


Northern Wheatear; Angarn; 3rd July 2013



 Juvenile Northern Wheatear


 Adult female Northern Wheatear


 Juvenile Northern Wheatear


Juvenile Northern Wheatear

Whilst out at angarn searching for the Lesser Grey shrike I came across a family of Northern Wheatear, the newly fledged young being attended by the female. The light was good and I managed some nice shots of these birds, the best of which are posted here. Other birds included 2 Osprey, 4 Marsh Harrier, 80 Common Swift, 2 Redshank, 8 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Wood sandpiper, 1 honey buzzard and a Common Buzzard...

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Hjälstaviken; 2nd July 2013



 Above and below; Osprey were busy fishing over the lake, at least three pairs breeding in the area...









White Tailed Eagle. All three images are of the same bird.This bird is in it's third calender year, or second plumage. Note the moulting primaries, dark head, dark bill, whitish underbelly and the ragged appearance of the retrices. Note P8 growing out, as well as new inner P2 and P3 also new. Outer primaries, P9 and P10 are retained juvenile feathers. Secondary moult can also be clearly seen in the bottom image...

A day trip to Hjälstaviken today with Adrian Rooney, who was visiting from Ireland. Adrian was interested principally in raptors, which led me to visiting Hjälsta. We had no sooner stepped off the bus and two White Tailed Eagles and an Osprey were in view over the reserve! A short while later a female Marsh Harrier floated past, closely followed by a male. Ten the expected haul of birds of prey was complete as a Hobby tore past, hawking insects over the reeds. Many of these birds were seen throughout the day and it was difficult to say how many Osprey and White Tailed Eagle were seen, though at least five Eagles were told apart on age anf plumage.
 A couple of nice summer plumaged spotted Redshank were very nice, with many Wood Sandpipers also noted, at least 60. A hand ful of Green Sandpiper, Greenshank and Redhank were also around, whilst a single Black Tern and Little Gull were feeding over the open water on the lake. There were nice views of Bearded Tit, though brief. A male bird was feeding young at the nest and this was roughly located. a Savi's Warbler reeled from the reeds, a long staying bird, whilst many Sedge and Reed Warblers were seen, busy feeding young. Crane were plentiful, several flocks flying into the wetland.


Amanda's Blue(Agrodiateteus f. isius); Hällögern; Vasterbotten



 My first ever Amanda's Blue, a stunning little beast it was too...


 A  nice view of the underwing here...


A clear view of the upperwings here on the resting butterfly...

A new species for me last week, this Amanda's Blue butterfly. It photographed well and allowed me to get some nice macro shots, which was very pleasing. A stunning blue this one, at least two were seen...

Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary; Hällögern; Vasterbotten











Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary is a common species on Hällögern, though in late June they are in immaculate condition and it was nice to get some good macro shots of them in all their finery..

Four Spotted Chaser; Hällögern; Vasterbotten





Probably the commonest dragonfly at the moment, here's a shot of a Four Spotted Chaser taken on Hällögern last week. Quite a few around on goood days, though a little dissapointing for other species on this trip..

Wood Ants; Macro; Hällögen; Vasterbotten

















Spent some time working with Wood Ants in macro whilst on Hällögern, they make amazing subjects. Here are the best of the images of these fierce creatures, they make for drmatic subjects despite their small size...


Large Skipper; Hällögern; Vasterbotten












The best of the images of Large Skipper from Hällögern, all taken last week. The species is very common no the island...


Common Blue; Hällögern; Vasterbotten




An image here of a Common Blue taken on Hällögern last week...

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Downy Emerald; Flight Shots



 
 
 


The first images I have managed of Downy Emerald, plentiful at a small lake I recently visited in order to check out it's fishing potential. I had the camera bag with me and became absorbed in getting images of this species in flight as they patrolled the margins. Not a bad result, it's always very difficult to get any kind of image of dragonflies in flight...

Little Gull; Hällögern; June 29th 2013









 






Shots here of a superb Little Gull, a pristine adult in full summer plumage. I had seen up to three birds in a day during my stay, though failed to get close to these birds. I wasn't untill the last morning that I found this bird patrolling a beat along the shore of a nearby bay and i used the rowing boat to get close to the bird. Really happy to get these shots, the species is scarce around Stockholm and these are the first good images of the species I have managed here in Sweden.

Hällögern; June 2013



Arctic Tern

 Arctic Tern

 Common Gull

 Spotted Redshank high overhead, calling constantly...

 Velvet Scoters

Arctic Tern...

A selection of bird photos from my recent trip to Hällögern, Vasterbotten. This tiny island is a little gem and is a great place to relax and enjoy birds, often throwing up a suprise or two. Being so far north it has some interesting breeding species too...

Caspian Tern; Hällögern







A couple of images here of the biggest tern around, Caspian Tern. The species has been fairly regular for me on visits to Hällögern, seemingly though, the species is locally scarce. This bird drew attention by it's call, which alerted me to it's presence. Happily the bird flew around and fished for a while, allowing me to grab a few images of this always impressive bird...