Merlin
Falco columbarius


Photographer

Dick Newell

Date

29th March 02

Location

Nene Washes, Cambs.

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This confiding bird allowed a fairly close approach. Perhaps it is a tired migrant.

Postscript 1: Apparently this bird has been around for a little while, so being tired does not explain its confiding behaviour. I originally thought it was a female, but have since discovered that Merlins are not easy to sex at this age. So if anybody visiting the Nene recognizes the post or the fencing, perhaps they could measure it and we could estimate a wing-length.

Postscript 2: I have since been back to measure the post on 27th April. Based on a diameter of 87mm, the minimum possible wing-length works out as 194mm. The smallest female Merlin has a wing-length of 217mm (BWP). The difference of 23mm is rather more than can be explained by straightening wings and photographic foreshortening I would have thought. So I reckon this bird is a (smallish) male. Indeed, if you look hard enough, there are some new greyish feathers.


P01342

P01343

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