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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yellow legged Gull; 1st Calender; Skeppsbron; 25th July 2011

 First impression of the bird today was a fairly white headed 1st calender in comparison to the argentatus about it with a dark mask, a fairly heavy dark bill with deep base and dark, white tipped tertials. This bird seemed to tick all the required boxes...

 Note the fairly heavily mark underwing and axillaries in this shot of the bird taking off...

 On the water the bill shape again apparent, appearing deep based and rather heavy with a more parallel sided impression than that of Herring Gull. Though subtle in its differing proportions the effect is to give the bird a much beefier overall impression. One the mantle reddish tones are evident..

 Another shot. The tertials showed as dark brown, with pale fringes on the tips extending just a little way along the sides of the feathers. The dark mask was more obvious from certain angles as this shot shows...

 In flight. A solid tail band cleanly fringed at the tips of the tail feathers with a narrow whitish border. The uppertail spotted with some darker markings, though not barred in a graduated manner like Herring Gull of the same age.

 A better view of the upperwing- Note the inner primary window. Present but much reduced in comparison to Herring Gull. A nice view of the greater covert's in this shot also..

Another shot in flight, this one showing the reddish tones on the mantle. Again a useful shot. The inner primary window at it's most pronounced in the image on the fully outstretched wing.

Back at Skeppsbron today and spent two and a half hours checking through the gulls present. Plenty of Herring Gulls present as well as Baltic Gulls, and I enjoyed good views of three 1st calender birds of this species close to me on the deck. I spent an hour at the Birger Jarl docking yard before moving back along the water front before again moving back to the docking yard. At this point I met Björn Phragmen and we wathched as a first calender gull arrived at the dock. The bird immediatly gave a pale headed, masked appearance, though it landed amongst other gulls head on and was difficult to see clearly at first. The bill appeared very good for Yellow-legged Gull at this point. The dock was now closed off as the Birger Jarl was docking...
 The bird eventually moved to the side the dock, the tertials were immediatly obvious. At this point I got a few photos before the bird moved onto the water. It sat for just a couple of minutes before the incoming boat put it to flight, at which point I managed a few shots and some flight views. In all a brief, but very complete view. The bird seemed to fit a wide suite of features very well, which are discussed in the photos above.

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