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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mälarklippan; Visible Migration; 19th Febuary 2014

A day out to see if any late winter migration might be taking place was a real eye opener. I joined Raul Vicente, Par Ă…sberg, Niklas Westermark and Leo Rudberg at Malarklippen, a new venue for me. The site is located north of Stockholm and is located on a high, rocky outcrop. There is a breathtaking , extensive view to the west, which takes in Lake Malaren and surrounding forest, whilst to the south and southeast Stockholm can be seen. It is quiet, very promising and is ideal for spring migration.
 The date was 19th Febuary, which normally would mean little migration, though this year the winter has been incredibly mild here. Almost immediately we had Skylark flying north, then a Mistle Thrush! Jackdaws were the main species moving north, we settled in for the day and started to count.

The following were recorded migrating north, quite remarkable considering the date;
 683 Jackdaw, 21 Skylark, 3 Mistle Thrush, 1 Lapwing, 11 Common Buzzard, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Waxwing, 20 Stock Dove, 8 Mute Swan, 1 Greylag Goose, I Bean Goose, 1 Grey Heron.

The following were noted in habitat on site;
 1 Black Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Wren, 7 White Tailed Eagle, 173 Tufted Duck, 1 pair Smew, 4 Hawfinch, 65 Common Redpoll, 7 Stock Dove, 6 Goldfinch.

All in all, a quietly remarkable day in mid Febuary. Hoppfully The early birds continue to appear to break the winter monotony. A day much enjoyed by all present. I was very impressed by this sites potential and Ill be back for more here this spring..

Monday, February 17, 2014

Little Gulls; Bull Island; Dublin; 12th Febuary 2014

A quite amazing days birding,which began early in appalling conditions as the island was lashed by southeasterly gales and driving rain. After visiting Howth looking for northern gulls we arrived at Sutton and parked across from the north tip of the island. Tommy Cooney was driving and within moments we quickly realized there was an exceptional number of Kittiwakes present, they were everywhere. A short while later I remarked that Little Gull must be likely, just as Tom picked up an adult over the surf. More followed and we watched them from the land rover before heading north. More Kittiwakes and Little Gull were noted in south lagoon, indeed by the time we got to the causeway we were seeing storm driven Kittiwake almost landing on the road! Along the road at south lagging we were treated to incredible views of more adult Little Gull as they fed along the roadside. We crossed the wooden bridge on foot as it was closed to traffic, getting soaked by waves. A flock of 6 Little Gulls rested on the sea, lifting up as we passed. On to the Bull Wall where more Little Gulls were added, along with other storm driven species. Auks, Kittiwakes and other gulls were everywhere. By the end of it all we had a minimum count of 26 Little Gull, a site record and certainly there were more involved. Indeed there were 35 along the beach the following day, whilst the 14th saw a remarkable 47 Little Gull recorded by Tom, remarkable birds in quite remarkable weather conditions..

Purple Sandpipers; Bull Island; 12th Febuary 2014

An irregular visitor to Bull Island and a much sought patch bird. Tom Cooney and I were delighted to get this brace in stormy conditions, initially they ran across the path right beside us on the Bull Wall before posing for a few photos!brilliant birds and a welcome addition to the island year list ...

Sanderling; Bull Island; 12th Febuary 2014

Dunlin; Bull Island; 12th February 2014

Great Northern Diver, Howth; Dublin; 9th Febuary 2014

Kittiwake; Dublin; 8th Febuary 2014

Kittiwake were a big feature of my recent trip home to Ireland, due to the stormy conditions there. Violent gales had been pounding the coast and these seafaring gulls were present in numbers all along the coast. Both shots here were taken at Howth, where several adults were present...

Turnstone; Howth; Dublin; 9th Febuary 2014

Turnstone are a rather common species around the east coast of Ireland, these birds were photographed at Howth, Dublin. Not a common species around Stockholm, where I live, it was nice to get close to these birds and get some decent images...

Black Guillemot; Howth; Dublin; 9th Febuary 2014

Winter plumage Black Guillemot are cracking birds an this one allowed a few shots to be taken from the east pier at Howth, Dublin. The monotone green tones and winter light lend well to the cold plumage. Around twenty birds were present at the site...

Wigeon; Poolbeg; Dublin; 11th Febuary 2014

A couple of shots of a confiding drake Wigeon taken at the South Wall in Poolbeg on my recent trip home to Dublin.