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

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Adult Baltic Gull in August

 A typical adult Baltic Gull at rest. No obvious signs of moult are visible. The folded primaries are evenly spaced with very small white tips...

An adult landing, diisplaying the open wing. Note the missing innermost primary, P1. Moult in this species takes place on the wintering grounds and is retarded during the breedin season whilst the birds are breeding. Note the large mirror on P10, this bird shows no mirror on P9.

 An adult displaying it's dominance to others. The primaries here rather uniformly dark, a hint of pale white tips aound P5.

 Again very plain on the primaries due to wear...

 In flight showing fairly full wing, P1 perhaps replaced with P2 dropped? Usually just the innermost primaries show ant signs of moult..

 P1 and P2 dropped in this bird forming a small break in the trailing edge of the wing around the innermost primaries...

P10 resting over the shorter primaries, note the mirror..

Above and below, a typical adult, very small white tips to dark primaries...

 Some detail of folded primaries. Largely rather simular on all birds seen to date, a sample of perhaps 30 adult birds..

 This bird for comparison showing active moult, the second such bird at the site in a week. Here a bird showing, on the left wing,  obvious moult in P1-P4. with P1-2 regrown and P3-4 growing out and seemingly fresh, this bird in active moult? A Baltic Gull breaking with the normal moult process or, as the light looking upperparts suggest a possible light mantled fuscus? 

The same bird as above, looking in fact a little pale mantled for a Baltic Gull. A light mantled fuscus, showing much more extensive moult than adult Baltic Gulls show at this time of year. Note on the right wing moult is more advanced than the left, P6-P10 being the only old generation primaries remaining. In addition this bird is showing a very worn tail, moult on the inner wing covert's also apparent on this bird, which may well be Contenental Lesser black-backed Gull(Larus fuscus intermedius)

Some photos here taken over the past week or so of adult Baltic Gull. I have been looking at the birds looking for any signs of moult, the early impreesions posted here.

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