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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sandemar Reserve; 20th July 2014

Red-backed Shrike; This cracking male bird was quite watchful, as it's rather skitish brood of newly fledged young were in the area. It eventually settled and treated me to a scratchy bout of sub song..
These shots, indeed all of them here were digiscoped with the Panasonic GH4, which I am starting to get my head around after some practice...

An adult female here, like it's mate above, it was closely attending it's brood. Both parents were rather showy in fact, whilst the young were flighty and difficult to approach.

Another shot of a stunning bird with the Panasonic GH4....

This Common Redshank has taken to spending much of it's time on the boundaries of it's territory scolding passing hikers and birder's next to a grassy track, from atop various small trees and bushes. I took the chance to grab a series of shots today, in, not exactly a sterotypical pose for this species...

A morning trip to Sandemar Reserve today was decided on ast minute after I woke early in dead heat. July is now coming to an end and wader passage is just begining, I figured it was worth a shot a site which could easily produce a rarity from the east. On arrival the area around the carpark was scanned an revealed a fledged brood of Red-backed Shrike, with five juveniles feeding in the area. Goldfinch were also heer, whilst a juvenile Marsh Harrier went overhead, along with a few parties of migrating Common Swift. Onwards into the reserve, where there were a couple of Common Rosefinch juveniles feeding. Garden Warbler were still singing. whilst a Calling Marsh Warbler was well recieved in thick cover, showing briefly, but well enough to identify it as one of the adult birds.
 I made my way to the observation Tower, no other birders were present there. Careful scanning with the scope revealed a Golden Plover, 27 Wood Sandpipers and 2 Dunlin among the breeding Lapwing, Redshank and Common Snipe.These are the first returning waders I have seen this year and were most welcome. Another feature of the day were White Tailed Eagles, at least five 1st calender, one third calender and a single adult bird were in the area. 380 Greylag goose, 250 Cormorant, common eider and good numbers of Grey Heron were more expected fare, whilst a brief Hobby overhead was better. After the Tower I moved into Hoggarn and spent some time digiscoping both Red-backed Shrike and Redshank. Finally, after plenty of testing and a little practice I am finally getting a better grasp on the settings, the results are getting better.

Click on the link below for video footage of male Red-backed Shrike in 4K;

Footage here of a scolding Common Redshank;

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