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

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Argentatus Herring Gull, a 1st Calender with Michahellis tail pattern; Skeppsbron; July 2012

 On the deck a typical Argentatus Herring Gull, in 1st calender plumage, which is nice and fresh. Note the bill structure spot on for Argentatus, as are the notched greater covert's, notched tertials which are quite extensively dark, though well within range of Argentatus. Upperpart ton, leg length etc al rather good for Argentatus and there is no doubt as to the birds identification...


 In flight the tail pattern is striking. Rather white tail with a well emarciated subterminal band, with broad white tips to the tail feathers. Barring/vermiculations on the inner tail are minimal, in fact this tail pattern is very much that of Yellow-legged Gull! The outer extremities are perhaps a little narrow for YLG, but this would raise few eyebrows if the bird showed a suite of features in line with that species. Alas it does not..there is no diubt this is a Herring Gull...


 Again here, an excellent view of the tail pattern. Note here the extensive pale inner primary window, spot on for Argentatus...


 A close up of the head and bill, structurally perfect for Argentatus Herring Gull. The lower mandible base is begining to lighten. This bird was in fact the earliest 1st calender on the site this year, perhaps a bird from further south?


A quick look at the underparts in flight, in line with Herring Gull. In shade the underwing can appear darker than it is in 1st calender gulls, best to take ones time judging the true value of these tones on birds in the field...

Discussion here as to an interesting Argentatus Herring Gull at Skeppsbron these last few weeks. Birds with a Michahellis trype tail pattern are quite well documented, which this link demonstrates;
 http://www.helsinki.fi/~rauste/juvmic/argtail/


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