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, February 11, 2015

Winter Birding at Hjälstaviken; 11th Febuary 2015

 A digiscoped Common Buzzard around 400m from my position. Looking forward to getting some closer subjects in good light when the spring comes in. This bird can be aged as second calendar, note the light amber iris.

Video here of the same Common Buzzard, select a higher resolution for optimal viewing..

My fourth trip of the winter so far in a concerted effort to see Golden Eagle, at least three of these birds have been present around the wider area all winter. I arrived at 9am. On this occasion, I decided to change my direction of approach and went to the south end of the reserve, there was a second reason for that. This was a Common Kingfisher, a rarity here so far north and worth getting on the year list. Not just a statistic though, there is nothing wrong with making an effort to see Kingfisher, quite simply one of the best birds out there and it had been too long since my last view of one of these lovely birds.
 On arrival the bird, a female, was present at her usual fishing spot, just below the sluice gate at Svännas. I had only just got on to the bird when a raptor caught my eye over the lake and I raised my binoculars to reveal what I had been hoping for for some months, a superb Golden Eagle! The bird winged slowly to the west and I had little trouble getting the scope onto the bird. The white wing panels and tail bases were easily seen in what was a brief, but excellent view. It was in my field of view for less than a minute perhaps, before I lost it behind the trees and returned my attention to the small blue jewel that was now showing sixty metres from the road...

Above; Digiscoped images of female Common Kingfisher...

All in all, a wonderful morning. I spent a couple of hours enjoying the Kingfisher and then spent a bit of time getting some decent footage of the bird in the process.  It was a day of superb light and it was a pleasure to be out after a rather dark, grey winter to date. I had a look around the reedbeds for Bearded Tit, all to no avail, though I did add Reed Bunting and Marsh Tit to my year list. A second calendar Common Buzzard was present close to the road throughout the morning, also providing me with another filming subject, even if it was a little distant. No sign of the Great Grey Shrike, although it did not bother me, I had got exactly what I had hoped for..

And so, here is that Kingfisher in all her technicolour on higher resolution in settings

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