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

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Common Gull with pale iris; Norra Mallarstrand; Stockholm; 21st January 2017

After three winters of checking through Common Gulls in Stockholm, finally I registered a bird with some potential today. I had been onsite for around an hour when I picked up this individual and was immediately struck by its pale iris, blight legs and bill. The bird was initially seen on the water and readily came to bread. After rattling off some photos I coaxed it into the air with bread an was again struck by the extensive dark on the primaries. I watched the bird closely for two more hours, getting some excellent photos and making notes. The more I watched. some doubts started to creep in. The streaking on the crown was a worry, and I felt that the dark on P8 didn't reach all the way to the primary covert's. A mirror on P8 was also a niggling doubt. More research is need on this bird and I will return to comment further when I am more informed..

Common Gull; Adult Plumage; Stockholm; 21st January 2017

A selection of images of adult Common Gulls from Stockholm today. I spent the day grilling these birds and was struck by their variability. As always with gulls, as soon as you start to look carefully, much variation soon raises it's head. Wonderful to observe good numbers of these birds today after combing the city yesterday looking for gulls, when I came across these birds near dusk. I returned today in order to look through them...

Common Gull; 3rd Calender Year; Stockholm; 21st January 2017

A couple of images of a second cycle Common Gull, now in it's third calender year. This was the only bird in this agegroup present at the site today...

Common Gulls; 2nd Calender Year; Stockholm; 20th January 2017

A selection of images here of Common Gulls in their second calender year. These birds were all born in 2016 and are now going through their first winter. I was delighted to locate good numners of these birds yesterday and returned today in good light in order to look through these birds. The site was Norra Malarstrand, at the west end, were a few hundred gulls were gathered on the ice and regularily being fed at the park there by visiting people. Mutes Swans were keeping a small area clear of ice and this seems to have led to a build up in numbers. It was difficult to say how many Common Gulls were onsite, but there was a minimum of 25 birds present. Around 100 Herring Gull and 300 black headed Gull were also present at the site...