"MERLINS FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED" - Merlin

August 09, 2023  •  1 Comment

"MERLINS FEEL THE NEED FOR SPEED"

Merlins - 9 Photos

 

The following photos were taken over a period of a few days and times, hence the change in lighting.

 

It appears these are three young Merlins hanging out together in a wetland area with the occasional oversight of one or both parents. And yes, they do seem to get along but like all siblings there is a lot of "he's/she's touching me" or no sharing & whining.

 

One thing is for certain. Merlins are incredible flyers even at such a young age. They have the agility, speed & manoeuvrability of jet fighters. On more than one occasion I was hazed by a Merlin, having spotted its target and flying overhead.

 

And what are they targeting? Believe it or not it's dragonflies. They catch them in mid-flight, sometimes inverting, flying upside down and grabbing the insect with their talons, just like a jet fighter doing a roll. Heck, I can't even capture a dragonfly with the camera while it is pausing in flight. Included, as Photo #9, is a close-up of the successful hunter with its prize. I normally don't include photos where a bird is resting on a wire but this young Merlin just seemed to cry out to have a photo with its trophy. That shiny look near its beak is a dragonfly wing. Merlins seem to devour dragonflies like people eat lobsters, pulling off certain appendages first.

 

So young Merlins, good luck in all your endeavours and have a successful southern migration in the next month or so. But if you could, please leave some dragonflies to combat those mosquitoes! :)

 

 

PHOTO #1

PHOTO #2

PHOTO #3

PHOTO #4

PHOTO #5

PHOTO #6

PHOTO #7

PHOTO #8

PHOTO #9

 


Comments

Urszula(non-registered)
Now you really have a problem about the "tree topper" for Christmas tree. Should it be a merlin, a great blue heron or a night heron? :)
It is a nice problem to have...
All the photos are magnificent! On these ones I love the beauty of merlin's wings. Fantastic shots in flight, and occasional beakering scenes.
Congrats!
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