As readers of this blog you will probably already be aware that on the morning of last Sunday (18th March 2012) I observed a really stunning ♂ Merlin, feeding on it's prey, in a ploughed field along Witch Lane.
Last night I received an email from a local birder (Jon Cartwright) who had popped down to Shenstone late afternoon to try and see the male Merlin that I had reported earlier that day. Jon did see a bird perched in a tree in the area and managed to get a photo. On comparing it to my video he was unsure if it was the Merlin, sop he forwarded a copy of the photo to me to see what my thoughts were. On looking at the pic I was gobsmacked, it was indeed a Merlin but this one was a ♀ Merlin! This means that during the same day there were two different Merlins knocking about in the Witch Lane area of the patch.
Jon has very kindly given me permission to use his photo, so I have posted it alongside a video grab of my ♂ Merlin for comparison at the end of this entry.
This the time of year raptors such as Merlins are leaving there lowland wintering grounds and heading back to their upland breeding areas. But to have 2 separate birds pass through the patch on the same day is an exceptional record for Shenstone. So again, I would like to thank Jon for sharing his sighting and photo with me.
Merlin (male) - Shenstone, 18th March 2012
Merlin (female) - Shenstone, 18th March 2012