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

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Steppe Great Grey Shrike; Lanius excubitor homyeri; Hjälstaviken; 15th October 2015

The bird I travelled for, a sub species of the Great Grey Shrike is very rare in Western Europe. Sweden has a great record with this sub species though and this was around the eight record to date. Still a very rare bird nationally. I was interested to see it on hearing about it and arrived 08.40am and decided to check Kokullen first and was rewarded straight away! The bird gave good scope views, though was too decent for and really close up photos, so the best record shot I took is here. In the shot you can make out some of the features, a strong whitish supercilious, much white on the scapulars, a hint of the white rump and large white windows on the secondary and primary bases. In the field the bird was remarkable in flight and recalled a huge Masked Shrike, suck was the visual impact when it took to the wing. The bird fed along a ditch, hovering several times at one point, when it was plain that the outer two tail feathers were completely whit and there were large white corners to the tail.
Awonderfl, wonderful bird. More to come on this soon...

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