Birdwatch: the merlin – my best ever view of our smallest falcon


I had resigned myself to brief glimpses but he landed, and lingered, nearby

I don’t usually take binoculars on my early-morning bike ride; if I did, I would stop too often to get any benefit. But after a swift circuit around the levels, I picked them up and headed down the lane behind my home to look for a stonechat I’d seen the day before.

The stonechat had moved on; possibly because of the presence of a male merlin – the first I’d seen here in Somerset for a decade. I first noticed the bird as he flew away from me, and resigned myself to the usual brief views. But moments later, he landed on top of a tall hedgerow.

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