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, January 14, 2015

Winters raptors at Hjälstaviken; 14th January 2015

 A stunning adult Rough-legged Buzzard, always a welcome sight in late winter..

 A digiscoped shot of the upperparts..

Pity it is not entirely in frame here, nevertheless a useful shot with regard to analysis of the plumage. The markings are quite exquisite on this particular individual. Note the solid, dark trailing edge to the primaries and secondaries, prescribing an adult. Other details, such as the distinctive tail pattern, dark undercarriage and dark iris help identify this bird as an adult male, a bird which i saw just a fe weeks ago in the same area...

A day spent at Hjälstaviken today in search of winter Raptors proved well worth the journey, as the intermittent sunshine, the first in some time, saw much activity in the skies over the reserve. I arrived just before 11am and immediately was frustrated. After a distant view of a Rough-legged Buzzard in the west I got onto an eagle all to briefly as it dropped from the skies and disappeared behind the distant treeline. Despite the distance I was quit sure this was a Golden Eagle, probably an older bird, though it just got away from me before I was completely sure. Despite scanning the area intently for the following hour the bird was not seen again and I had to let it go.
 Despite that, the day was quite excellent, with superb numbers of White -tailed Eagle in the area, at least three adults, two second calenders and three immatures at least. My first Common Buzzards of the year were welcome, at least three birds picked up to the west, along with my first Sparrowhawk of the year, probably an adult female. In addition there was a second calendar Goshawk, a little distant, though unmistakable. The order of the day were Rough-legged Buzzard though and I had two adult birds and a single second calendar. Again, it was the adult male above that stole the show and gave me incredible views as it quartered the northern end of the reserve. There was a stiff breeze today, though it proved bitterly cold for me, it proved perfect for the hunting Rough-legged Buzzard. The bird spent hours in the air hovering and hunting, facing into the wind. I spent a lot of time enjoying this bird today, a very nice experience...
 Other birds included Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Common Crosbill and Common Redpoll...

Depite the strong wing and the range, I managed some decent record video of the bird for posterity..

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