Monday, September 15, 2014

Juvenile Merlin

Juvenile Merlin (Faucon émerillon) Falco columbarius
Waterloo, ON
14 September 2014

     Yesterday, with a real hint of fall in the air, I decided to visit a few local spots where I bird frequently.
     The highlight was this juvenile Merlin, which not only provided great views but treated me to a display of its awesome flying skill and aerial

    It presented a veritable air show as it veered and twisted, plunged and banked back upwards in true mastery of its realm. After each little sortie it returned to perch on the same snag and preened. It seemed to have little interest in hunting at the time.

      In any area of damp ground beneath the trees fungi were to be found aplenty.

     The berry crop is prolific this year and I was surprised not to find hordes of Cedar Waxwings Bombycilla cedrorum  feeding on them. Wild grapes seem to have done especially well as the following pictures attest.

     I know that some varieties make excellent preserves, but there are toxic look alike plants, and I am not proficient enough to tell them apart so I leave them for the birds!
David M. Gascoigne,
David M. Gascoigne,

I'm a life long birder. My interests are birds, nature, reading, books, outdoors, travel, food and wine.


  1. Hello David,
    Beautiful pictures of this Falco columbarius.
    I also always leave the berries for the birds.
    I wish you a wonderful week.
    Best regards Irma

  2. Excellent shots of Falco columbarius! Congratulations :-)
    Best vishes from Poland

  3. Gotgeous photos of the hawk. Amazing !
    Best regards, Synnöve

  4. Oh wow, a Merlin! How wonderful to see and photograph one David!

  5. I must say I am quite of these beautiful pictures of the young raptor falcon impressed. The blueberries are delicious and I like lust:-)

  6. Fabulous Merlin shots David. I find it incredible that a Merlin should allow such close observation. Here in the UK the species is absolutely unapproachable but then it does inhabit the same areas as Hen Harriers and we know what happens to them. I have to say that the Merlin is one my most loved birds and to watch them hunt is one of the great birding experiences.


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We acknowledge that the land on which we are situated are the lands traditionally used by the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral People. We also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws, and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today. We are all treaty people with a responsibility to honour all our relations.