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, October 25, 2011

Argentatus Herring Gull, Skeppsbron; 25th October 2011

 Above and below; Two typical 1st Calender Agentatus Herring Gulls on the deck at Skeppsron. Note the newly moulted mantle and scapulars, marked head, breast and flanks. dark bill, coarsely notched greater coverts, dark brown centred tertials with notching on fringes. short legs and structure of the bill..

 Ist Calender Agentatus Herring Gull in flight. Note the pale inner primary window and markings on the innertail...

 A 2nd Calender Argentatus here. Note the whiter head. breast and flanks. There is some pale areas at the base of the bill. Note the second generation coverts and tertials, very different to those of first year birds. Note the third generation mantle and scapulars, much grey now visible on these feathers..

 Another 2nd Calender bird. Variation is the rule rather than the exception among birds of this age. Note this birds more subtle patterning on the mantle and scapulars and finely marked greater covert's, as well as the more extensively pale bill..

Three birds squabbling over food in the air overhead, two second year birds to the right and a single 1st calender to the left. Most useful in separating these in flight are the differing tail and greater covert detail.

 A bird probably in its third calender year. Note the adult type primaries already showing the typical pattern of Argentatus Herring Gull. Note the dark primary coverts and rowning juvenile markings on the coverts which help age this individual..

 A fully adult plumaged bird on the deck. Note the heavy structural build, deep chest and large head..

 A sub adult bird in flight from below. Note the dark on the tail as well as the dark band on the bill..

A adult bird in flight displaying the classic upperwing pattern of Argentatus Herring Gull. Note that P10 is not quite fully grown, though is close. Note the head markings. 

An afternoon spent looking at Argentatus Herring Gull at Skeppsbron. A Yellow-legged Gull was reported here yesterday, though I have not seen the bird here in quite some time. About 80 Argentatus about though today...

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