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

Friday, March 30, 2018

Intermedius/Graellsii Lesser Black backed Gull; Skeppsbron; 30th March 2018

 A light mantled Lesser Black backed Gull, most likely an intermedius type. Note the mirrors on both P9 and P10, not a diagnostic feature by and means, but useful for picking this individual bird out at the site today.

 At rest on the water. At times, the mantle tone was obviously lighter than nearby Baltic Gulls, though this feature was rather difficult to assess at time in bright sunshine. It is remarkable haw the light and angle of view can affect the judgement of mantle tone. Note the brownish tones present through the upperparts..

A view of the uderside in flight...

 Difficult to age this bird with any certainty, though I would suspect tji may be a sub adult...

 A nice shot of the upperparts in flight here. A small dark mark present on P4. At times the bird could look rather compact and shorter winged that the nearby Baltic Gulls.

 A comparison of the mantle tone next to a pair of Baltic Gull. Obviously lighter on the mantle...

One last flight shot here...

A visit to Skeppsbron to look for a light mantled Lesser Black backed Gull was duly rewarded with excellent views of the bird in question. The bird was picked up yesterday afternoon by Dirk Van Gansberghe and I decided it was worth a visit. It was a lovely moning with bright sunshine, the light was in fact a little strong. Nevertheless, good views were had of the bird, which it most likely an intermedius type. The Baltic Gulls are now returning to and at least five were present for comparison, which was useful. Later in the morning I found another 4 Baltic Gull resting on the ice at Riddarfjärden with another two rather light mantled Lesser Black backed Gulls, also probably intermedius type. Att his time of the year it is reasonable to assume that intermedius is a regular passage species as it move north to the breeding grounds.
 In general, with a little care, the bird could easily be picked out from among the Baltic Gulls today. Given a good view in direct comparison, the bird was obviously paler toned than Baltic Gull. Athough it could look rather compact on occassion, it looke quite long winged at rest and the general impression inpressed that this was most likely an intermedius type. 

Batic Gull; Skeppsbron; 30th March 2018

A few images here of newly returned Baltic Gull at Skeppsbron in Stockholm's Old Town. These birds have just returned to the area in the past few days and there were 5 birds present at the site. In addition a further 4 birds were resting on the ice at Riddarfjärden. Nice to have these birds back...

Argentataus Herring Gulls; Skeppsbron; 30th April 2018

 2nd Calender Year
 2nd Calender Year

 2nd Calender Year

4th Calender Year

A few images of Herring Gulls from Skeppsbron this morning, where numbers have fallen as birds disperse in order to breed. Around 35 Herring Gull present at the site...