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 http://www.alandalton.net/
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 alandltn@gmail.com

Monday, January 15, 2018

White tailed Eagle; Adult; Stockholm City; 15th January 2018

A marvelous sight over a major European capital city, a superb adult White tailed Eagle.



All retrices on the open wing present with no signs of active moult, a pristine bird in great condition as one might expect in the winter months...



The bird taking it's leave after frightening the life out of the local avifauna!

It was whilst checking through the gull flock at Skeppsbron in Gamla Stan, right in the heart of Stockholm City, when every bird in the area suddenly scattered in panic. I had already noted two young Goshawk in the area an hour previously, though the level of panic among the gulls and wildfowl at that moment seemed somewhat over the top. I immediately looked upwards and around me to see what might of caused such bedlam and it was no surprised when the huge form of an adult White tailed Eagle loomed over the buildings of the old town and began circling overhead. The light was not good, though I reeled off a few photos for posterity, capturing a wonderful moment. It is simply great to see these birds over the city. It has become quite a regular sight in the past few years as these birds increase in population. These birds are doing extremely well here in Sweden and the population is now undergoing a rapid expansion.The species is now regular in the city and most winter days an individual or two will be seen at some point during the day.more often than not, they can be quite distant. This bird today though, a pristine adult, gave simply stunning views...
 The history of this comeback is remarkable. At the beginning of the 20th century, because of severe persecution, the White tailed Eagle faced extinction all around the Baltic Sea. The species dissapeared entirely in Denmark in 1911, as well as in Lithuania around the same period. After protective measures were implemented, the population began to recover slowly during the 1920's, but the positive trend was eventually reversed between the 1950's and early 1980's due to the harmful and well documented effects of chemical pollutants. These chemical pollutants, such as DDT, PCB's and Mercury, had catastrophic effects on fertility, the direct result of which was a rapid ecline in population. The ban of DDT and other chemicals in the early 1970's led to an eventual improvement and the birds slowly began to have more reproductive success as the chemicals were eventually purged from the population. By the mid 1990's, reproduction perameters had returned to normal levels, resulting in an increase in breeding pairs all around the Baltic Sea. From 1991 to 2007, the total Baltic population grew from an estimated 670 breeding pairs to 2,200 breeding pairs, laying the foundation for the booming population growth now being seen. It will be interesting to see how the incresing population will expand from here, hopefully the species will go on to regain territory all over Europe. 

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