[Tweeters] Merlin in Shoreline

fremontinn at aol.com fremontinn at aol.com
Tue Jun 10 20:02:01 PDT 2008


I glanced out the window this afternoon and had a glimpse of a bird I
thought might be a Black Swift.? The giss imprint on my brain was a dark bird with long, curved wings and fluttery flight too big to be A Vaux' Swift.? With all the reports recently and the
heavy overcast today, I thought it was quite possible.? I grabbed my
bins and ran outside to try to get a better look.? After a few minutes
a raptor flew into the top of a tree several hundred yards away.? At
first I thought it was a Sharp-shinned Hawk but it didn't seem right as
it "fluttered" into the top of the tree.

I kept an eye on it for several minutes but it was too far away to get
any detail with my bins.? Since it was staying perched I decided to run
for the scope.? Of course by the time I got back and set it up the bird
was gone.? I stayed outside surveying the treetops in the neighborhood and
it eventually returned.? It was still a long ways away but with the
scope I could make out its facial pattern with a fairly well defined
"mustache" and the narrow white bands on the dark tail.? That's no Sharpie!? The light was
poor but it looked like a Taiga.? Then it flew toward me and landed on
a 60 foot fir tree in our yard.? I had a better view when it was
hundreds of yards away!? :-(? But in flight it showed its pointed wings and
aggressive wing beat.

I continued to wait until it flew out calling loudly as it left.? Even I could hear it calling.? It
seemed to be making circuitous flights through the neighborhood, still
calling, before landing, again, atop a distant evergreen.? I watched it
for several minutes before another flew in for copulation atop the
tree.? They then both flew off.? I think I was hearing them calling back and forth.

Just passing through, I assume.? Another new yard bird.? :-)

Bruce Jones


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