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

Monday, July 31, 2017

Yellow legged Gull in Juvenile Plumage; Bulgaria; July 2017


A trip to Burgas in Bulgaria in late July was in fact not with birding in mind, but rather to unwind with my wife and some friends. Whilst there, on the Black Sea coast, it was impossible for me to ignore the local population of Yellow legged Gulls. Being late July, there were many juveniles present and I was grateful to have the opportunity to study this plumage and take some photographs. There were several interesting individual seen and I was struck by the immense variation on plumage in this population, to the east of their range. The birds were fairly cooperative and I managed some nice images, I will discuss those birds I found interesting in the captions below...



 First up, the most striking juvenile I saw in the area. This bird was remarkably like a Herring Gull at rest, so much so in fact, that I am sure it would most likely overlooked at first glance out of range. Notice the pale appearance, lack of moult in the mantle and scapulars, the remarkable tertial pattern. There are of course hints, even here to the birds true identity, the long primary projection, pale head, dark mask. In flight the bird was more distinct and showed the classic dark underwing, dark upper primaries and a perfect Yellow legged Gull tail pattern...


 A rather typical Yellow legged Gull here, feeding on a piece of lime. Here the tertial pattern is quite typical, along with the full suite of features. Note the typical pale head and dark mask around the eye and the deep based, heavy bill.


 In flight, a bird displaying a classic tailpattern. Very much a typical bird here...


 Here a bird that drew my attention due to the atypical tertial pattern, certainly not what one might expect of a Yellow legged Gull...


 In flight from below, showing the rather dark underwing markings...


 This bird kindly raised it's wings, allowing an excellent view of the underwing and the upper primaries. Agins, a fairly classic bird...


 The same bird discussed above, with atypical tertials...


 A nice view here of this bird tail in flight...


 Another classic juvenile here, a striking bird...


 Again a typical juvenile Yellow legged Gull....


 Anothe typical juvenile, note the long primary projection and heavy chested appearance....


Above and below; A huge, bulky juvenile, a real meatwagon and almost certainly a male...




 A classic juvenile at rest...


 In flight showing the heavy build, deep bill and dark primaries...

Another shot of an obliging bird from the balcony of the hotel....