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 11, 2014

Great Reed Warbler, Batumi Harbour, 2nd October 2014.

 Great Reed Warbler, on size alone there is likely to be little confusion, a hulk of a warbler, more inclined to recall juvenile Rose coloured Starling than anything else...

 Rather pallid, with much pale toned areas on the underparts. Upperparts rather sandy brown and unremarkable. Note here the rather long primary projection, typical of the species...

 Note the the very heavy bill here, darkish lores and well marked fore supercilium. The legs and feet are heavy also, a really thickset, chunky warbler this..

 This particular bird showed very well for a few minutes and allowed us to get many digiscoped shots..

 The bird reacting here to an incoming Red Backed Shrike, showing the striking orange gape..

 The bird remained very wary of the Shrike, despite its large size. This was wise as the shrikes in the area were hunting tired migrant passerines, though Great Reed Warbler was surely to big to be on the menu.

 A nice view here on the bare parts, head detail and underparts. 

One last shot of the bird...

Digiscoped shots of a Great Reed Warbler here from Batumi Harbour. Small numbers were present, perhaps four or five were seen in the area, though it was this bird early in the day that gave us the best views and allowed several digiscoped shots to be taken as it sat out in the open. These are by far my best images of this huge warbler species to date. I also managed a short video of the bird which is posted below..

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