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

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Red-backed Shrike predating Savi's Warbler, Batumi Harbour, 2nd Otober 2014

 Above and below, not something you see every day, a Red backed Shrike predating a Savi's Warbler at Batumi Harbour...

 The unwitting victim. note the small head, fine bill and quite long primary projection. also here, one can see the long under tail coverts, classic 'locustella'.

 Note the fresh inner primaries on the bird, the bird showing a clear moult window, indicating it is in at least it's second calendar year.

A view here of the under tail covert's, pale coffee brown with pale tips to the under tail coverts, a key feature in the identification of Savi's Warbler.

Another view of the moult in the wing. note that the primary coverts corresponding to the inner primaries are also new, which is usual in moulting passerines...

A photographic record here of a Red-backed shrike predating Savi's Warbler, an event we were amazed to witness at Batumi harbour. The shrike flew across the path in front of me with a passerine, clearly still alive at that point and proceed to perch in a low bush where it dispatched the unfortunate victim. to our amazement, looking on with the scopes, it seemed this was a Savi's Warbler. The Shrike then dropped its prey and we decided to have a closer look, much to the shrikes annoyance, which scolded us from a nearby perch. We grabbed a few quick photos  of the hapless victim, still warm but very much dead, before moving away, only to see the shrike reclaim its prize quickly. A quite amazing bit of behaviour...

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