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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Herring Gull, initially thought a candidate for Yellow Legged Gull; 1st Calender; Skeppsbron; 24th July 2011

 A nice shot of the upperside in flight. Note the tail pattern, whitish base with a well demarciated dark tailband, which is thickest in the  centre. However the inner tail is marked..Yellow Legged Gull should show perhaps a more contrasting tail...


 The bird hovering over the water...





 Not a particularily large individual, though well built and rather deep chested in flight. Aggressive towards other gulls at the site. Note the dark marking on the undersides primary covert's.


 Another very useful shot, lots to see here. Again the tail pattern is shown clearly here by the bird, a better view of the inner tail which is well marked.. Also on view here are the greater coverts and inner primaries. The inner primary window is a little too pale for Yellow Legged Gull. Note the slighly bulbous tip to the bill, again a feature of Herring Gull, which this bird is..


 A head on view as the bird quartered past me...the base of the bill can be seen to be marginally paler than the tip, a feature of Herring Gull. Yellow Legged Gull should show a jet black bill...


 Note here the paler tones at the base of the bill, mottled chest and markings on the flanks...The head is not noyicably pale, the tarsi not long looking.


 Again the pale tones at the base of the bill- I initially thought the pale base a sign of an older bird, however Herring of this age often show a slightly paler tone at the bill base.


 Feeding with a second calender Argentatus....


 The underparts, note the dark markings...


 Another useful shot showing the undercarriage in flight...


 Another head on view...


Click to enlarge and the subtle wear can be seen on the scapulars and wing coverts. This coupled with the dark centred tertials put me on to the bird and had me wonder whether it could be a Yellow Legged Gull. The bird does not show a whitish toned head and generally is rather uniformly coffee toned, lacking marked contrast in the plumage often seen on its southern counterpart, Yellow Legged Gull.


Images here of a Herring Gull from Skeppsbron, a bird I thought a candidate for Yellow Legged Gull. . Watched the bird for two hours hours today at the site, the features noted above in the captions under the images.
 Many thanks to Hans Larson for his comments on this bird, an informative individual for me.



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