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, August 21, 2014

Hällögern; 19th August 2014

 Above and below; Yellow Wagtail, abundant right now on the island...

A trip to the far North to the summer house is always anticipated, we arrived the previous evening in atrocious weather, driving rain and thunder. I got to bed early and awoke at dawn to find the rain still beating down, an absolute deluge. It hammered down until 08.30am, when I quickly made my way to the northeast tip, where I found to my dismay that the water levels were so high that the waders prefered area was underwater. I have never seen the water so high here, though the rain in th past few days has been remarkable and caused flooding over much of Sweden. I settled down to see what might pass overhead. A slow passage of White Wagtails, Yellow Wagtail and the odd Tree Pipit was apparent, whilst other better birds came eventually. A migrating Cuckoo was nice, as were three White-tailed Eagle out at sea. A rarity then went over, a Carrion Crow, in with a small group of Hooded Crow, I had excellent views as it passed, a rare bird this far north, if not the most sought after species. Three juvenile Arctic Skua were most welcome, two of them joining forces to terrorize the local Common Gulls as they passed. Then came two Grey Plover, flying southeast, as did most of the migrating birds. The weather then closed in again and heavy rain soon drenched me and passage stopped.
 Later in the afternoon came a second dry spell and I watched from the west of the island, as it was very obvious that a huge passage of hirundines was taking place. I pulled out a sunbed for comfort and started to count as Swallows streamed by, the odd Swift and Martin in their midst. The final totals would be 1,135 Sawllow, 78 Swift, 31 House Martin and 2 Sand Martin. Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Willow Tit, Velvet Scoter with Young, Wood Sandpiper, Brambling, Common Crossbill and Common Crane were also noted nad Before the weather once again closed in I had a very good total of 62 species recorded, an excellent day on such a small Island...

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