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 01, 2009

Atypical Herring Gull; Skeppsbrön; 1st October 2009

Underside in flight; general tone very pale for a first winter Argentatus Herring gull, also note very pale underwing and the tail pattern.

Flight shot; the bird looking rather long billed here, pale inner primary panel clearly visible in this shot.

On the deck, the light a little cold in this shot. Greater covert's rather well marked, not very uniformly notched,, In general the covert's not right for Caspain Gull and not extensively dark centred as one might expect of that species. Again, pale head and breast drew attention to the bird..

Shot of the upperparts in flight, not pin sharp but useful nonetheless. Head, back, rump and innertail all very pale for an Argentatus of this age. Good view of the uppertail here, rather clean innertail quite unusual...

Squabbling for handouts and showing the upperwings...

Another shot of the upperparts in flight...

And again the upperwing, pale inner primary window.

Best shot of the bird at rest on land. Structurally looks fine for Argentatus Herring Gull, though the bill could look alarmingly long at times, when the bird depressed the feathers of the head. Mantle, scapulars and coverts all look fine to my eye for Herring Gull. Tertials rather extensively dark centred for a Herring Gull, though are still rather brownish toned.

Again at Skeppsbrön today in the evening, again another pallid Herring Gull. Initialy I did'nt think this was same individual photographed last week as that bird looked like it was missing tertials on one side. Closer inspection of the earlier photos reveals that bird had indeed a full set of tertials, albeit a little mangled and pushed upward! So the same bird here, tertials sorted out. Again structurally looked like Herring Gull on the deck, but pallid features, longish bill, extensive dark centres to the tertials drew my attention.

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