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

Baltic Lesser Black-backed Gull; 1st Calender showing scapular moult Skeppsbron; 11th August 2011

 Baltic Gull, 1st Calender. This bird clearly showing new scapulars, something I have not seen before at such an early date. Noticed belatedly in photographs I took of the bird, causing me some concerns that I had misidentified the bird! The small size, rounded head and small bill, structure and tertial/greater covert's patterning confirm that the bird is indeed an early moulting Baltic Gull..

Note the rather cold overall tones on this bird, a light type first calender bird. Several first year Baltic Gulls are now present at the site. These birds have been documented to display replaced scapulars in Finland in the past, so perhaps not unusual in a small percentage of birds.

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