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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Greater Black-backed Gull; 1st Calendar; 23rd September 2015; Skeppsbron

 At rest on the wharf. A deep chested, heavy gull with a short deep bill. Legs thickset and there is a general impression of bulk and power. Quite pale around the head, which is small structurally. Well streaked neck and upper breast typical of the species in this plumage. Finer plumage details highlighted below...

 Tail pattern here, very typical of local GBBG. Note the rather reduced dark subterminal band towards the outer tail, with some clear barring on inner tail. The rump is quite clean with some diffuse coffee coloured crescents.

 Detail of the wing. Despite the bad light the inner primaries can be seen to be rather pale, with slightly darker, smoky grey outer webs. The pale inner webs continue to P8-P9, much paler than in Argentatus here.
 Detail of the tertials and covert's here. Rather typical of the species, though there is much variability here. Note the creamy white tips to the tertials with no obvious notching. Greater coverts creamy based with sparse, bold bars. 

 Scapulars showing moult, the new feathers and their pattern can be clearly seen here. The anchor shaped pattern on the new scapulars is textbook.

Here, the deep bill is very obvious. A real brute of a bird this one.

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