Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Merlin 1 Mipit 0

Just had some great Merlin action from the house.

I was in the garden and heard a Meadow Pipit alarming and turned to see a fem/imm fem Merlin skimming across the adjacent stubble field, singling out a single Mipit from a small flock and then twisting and turning as it pursued and eventually hunted it down. Great stuff! The eventual kill was only about 70 yards away, and unusually I could hear the Mipit calling when the Merlin was stood on it (I've seen many kills and have never before heard a caught bird calling when caught). It didn't call for long though as the Merlin seemed pretty keen to get on with its snack!

It looked happy where it was so I dashed indoors for my scope and camera but she had gone by the time I returned. Oh hum. Can't have everything!

This bird is unusually dark on the upperparts and I presume it is the same bird I had on 11 Sept on Blackbush when from back on sat on a hay bale (the bird, not me) I initially mistook it for a young Hobby.

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