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, September 09, 2012

Great Black-backed Gull; 1st Calender; Skeppsbron; 9th September 2012

 Both of the two 1st calender Great Black-backed Gulls at the site today caught in the same frame, the dominant birds on the scene just now. Note the massive, deep bills, thickset build and short primarary projection. Plumage wise not unlike a 1st calender Herring Gull at a glance, though there are obvious differences. Note in particular the rather sparsely patterned greater coverts and the markings on the tertials.

One of the gulls managed to oil it's head slightly some time ago and is readily identifiable. It has been around for some weeks now, a brute of a bird. A nice view of the scapulars here. I find these gulls easier to pick out on structure, before then looking at the details of plumage...

A couple of Great Black-backed Gulls still present at Skeppsbron today, these birds arequite settled there now and dominate the other gulls when feeding. Both birds were very cooperative as usual today.

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