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

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Caspian Gull; 1st Calender; Skeppsbron; 14th September 2010

My first view of the bird, the pale whitish head instantly drew my attention...



A good shot of the upperparts in flight. Lots to see here. Note the tail pattern, a well demarciated dark tail band as one might find on fuscus of the same age group. Pale inner window on primaries apparent, though not as pronounced as on Herring Gull. Lesser Black Backed shows all dark inner primaries. A classic Caspian Gull. Note the damaged greater covert's on the left wing...


Rather pale on the underwing as can be seen here, another pro Caspian feature on a bird that ticked all the right boxes. The ringed legs can be clearly seen...


Note here the bill shape, long and slender without a pronounced angled at the gonys. A slight dark smudge about the eye on a pale, small head. Some markings are obvious on the breast sides and flanks. The anvanced moult is a key feature, this bird was far ahead of the local gulls in this regard. Note the new mantle and scapular feathers, the arrow head centre marking very different to those of Herring Gull. The dark chocalate brown centres to the tertials, with white fringes are classic Caspian Gull.



Direct comparison with Herring Gull. the bird was surprisingly small to me, at times recalling Lesser Black Backed more than Herring. Most probably a female bird...




The bird coming in the land beside us. Really nice to get such good views of the birds, at close range.




The bird in flight. Again, note the inner primary window. From certain angles there was an obviously marked breastband...




An excellent shot of the bird on the water, note the long wings. The bird structurally more akin to Lesser Black Backed Gull than Herring Gull. The bill is remarkably long and parallel sided. Note here the greater coverts are not heavily notched, but rather finely marked...




PUCZ, the code on the colour ring. On the left side there iare damaged greater covert's. Note the rather long neck in this shot...




A good view of the right hand side...




Another shot of the bird at point blank range...





This shot shows the upperwing pattern. Dark secondaries, inner primary window a panel formed by greater coverts giving a wingbarred effect. Advanced moult apparent...





Caspian Gull! After almost daily checks ince mid July at Skeppsbron this bird today was more than a little satisfying. Arrived on site around noon and was immediatly struck by the amount of gulls onsite, two days ago there were rather few. I spent a while feeding the birds and carefully checking them as I went. Interest was provided by 7 1st calender fuscus, a rather dark Herring Gull in the same age group, and then by the Graellsii/Intermedius Lesser Black Backed Gull, which put in an appearance at 12.30 for twenty minutes before departing. I continued to feed the birds...
At 1.20pm a gull flew in and landed 30 metres to my left. My first view through binoculars was eye opening, I was struck by the pale head at first. then the tertial pattern before I took in the scapulars. Extensive advanced moult told me this was something good! I moved towards the bird, got some photos and then began to feed bread, the bird reacted well and came closer, allowing a range of features to be seen well. Incredibly the bird was bearing rings, the colour ring tellng us the bird originated from the Ukraine! I was delighted when Dirk Van Gainsberg arrived onsite after a while and we were able to share the bird as it performed very well for us, eventually coming to land for food and allowing some great photos to be taken. The bird flew towards Skeppsbron after an hour and was not seen for the rest of the day...

*RINGING DETAILS AS FOLLOWS...

> Rings: Kiev L-009681 + yellow PUCZ
> Species: Larus cachinnans
> Age: pullus
> Date: 05.06.2010
> Place: Cherkasy r., Cherkasy, Kreminchuk reservoir,
> Ukraine, 49.24'N, 32.09'N
> Ringer: Gavriluk/Grishchenko (Kiev)
>
> Time elapsed between ringing and recovery datas: 101 days
> Direction of movement: 320,6 degrees (NNW)
> Distance traveled: 1427 km
>
> So far, that's the only recovery from this individual.

4 comments:

Flavipes said...

Very Nice!

/Zack

Hans Larsson said...

Great find, Alan! Cheers/Hans

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan. These are really great pictures you have taken there! Keep going with the good work! Best wishes. /Dirk Van Gansberghe

Anonymous said...

good points and the details are more precise than elsewhere, thanks.

- Thomas