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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Batumi, Saghalvasho, 28th September 2014

A typical early morning view of a juvenile harrier in the east, where light conditions were often tough as you were looking into the early morning sun. 

A quite day, there were a few highlights all the same. Early in the day the weather was reasonable and there was a remarkable early passage of Marsh Harrier. Passage was very heavy indeed and we logged over 50 birds in the first hour alone. There were a few other points of interest, the first was a Red Rumped Swallow past the station, a rare bird here, and seen well by everyone. The next good records was a pair of Glossy Ibis moving south along the coast, also a good bird and the only ones of the trip. They eventually flew over at quite close range and allowed a few shots to be taken...

Red Rumped Swallow, a prize winning shot this one...

Glossy Ibis, a brace passing south along the coast were somewhat unexpected...

Thing were rather quiet otherwise, with a brief push of Black Kites in the early morning, with around 1,000 birds moving through rather quickly. We rally struggled after that to pick up any raptors, with a single juvenile Peregrine the highlight of the day. A single Booted Eagle and Lesser Spotted Eagle went through just after noon, before the rain started and passage was halted. We were back to rain again. We had to make do with passerines for the rest of the day. Several flocks of mixed Turtle and Stock Dove were the main interest, though other species, such as Tree Pipit, Red Throated Pipit, Tawny Pipit, Northern Wheater, Chiffchaff, Hawfinch, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Swallow, Sand Martin, Bee Eater, Chaffinch all found there way into my notebook. There were several calls I could not recognise and I feel Batumi might be a very interesting place to sound record diurnal and nocturnal migration, alas I had no room to bring my recording gear on this particular trip...
 Rain was now forecast for the following day and we spent the afternoon sheltering. Raptors would not pass before the evening, so it was a very quiet day today....

Hobby, a first calendar bird, note in particular the palle tips on the greater coverts on the upper wing...

A very quite spell resulted in the counters being extra vigilant...

The rain returned..

View from Saghalvasho, Station 1.

Batumi - Saghalvasho
Sunday 28 September 2014   

Counting period: 7:00 - 17:09
Count type: Storks and raptors
Observers: Rafa Benjumea, Daniel Hinckley, Wouter Faveyts, Johannes Silvonen, Demetrios Nizinski, Ana de Osma, Gerrit Jan van Dijk, Alan Dalton
Black Stork3Steppe Buzzard3
Honey Buzzard1Lesser Spotted Eagle1
Black Kite1216Booted Eagle1
Marsh Harrier114Peregrine1
Pallid Harrier19Stock Dove42
Montagu's Harrier2Turtle Dove19
Hen/Montagu's/Pallid Harrier10

Totals: 1432 individuals, 13 species, 10:09 hours

Bold = Remarkable observation (scarce or rare species or large number)
Comments: Calm migration day in Sakhalvasho

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