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, July 27, 2014

Light mantled Lesser-backed Gull; Graelsii/Intermedius; Skeppsbron; 27th July 2014

Note the light iris, largely yellowish bill and reddish gonydeal spot and clean white head. neck and undercarriage. The tail feather are Clean White and newly moulted, with the exception of the outermost two, which are retained 2nd calender feathers, showing and are darkly marked. The general tone of the grey upperparkts contrasts noticably with the blackish markings on P5-P10. P4 has a rudimentary black fleck of the outer web of the primary near the tip. The primaries show distinct moult, P1.P6 are fresh, whilst the outermost P7-P10 are worn, 2nd generation feathers, note the mirror of P10. Moult is also apparent on the covert's, arounf 70% of the innermost greater and median covert's are fresh, new feathers, contrasting with the older, unmoulted outer covert's, which are worn and brownish toned. Quite a few retained lesser coverts are 2nd generation also, as well as the browninish primary covert's. Half of the secondaries appear fresh, and the new feathers contrast with the older, worn remiges.
 Structurally these birds are of heavier build than Baltic Gull, with a more thickset and deeper chested appearance.

Image here of a 3rd calender Lesser black-backed Gull, a light mantled Greaelsii/Intermedius, This bird was picked up this afternoon at Skeppsbron on my daily check of the site. These light mantled birds are scarce in the Baltic Sea, though recent summers and regulat visits to check the gulls onsite have shown they occur with some regularity in July and August. To date, the vast majority of these birds have been immature.

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