July 27th   Leave a comment

It’s merlin season. August is the best time to see merlins around Crail. We have a few around all winter but they are quiet and sit for 90% of the time before their explosive, rapid hunts. Blink and you miss them. But late summer they pass through and are much more obvious, zooming along the coast and hunting at mid-height (winter merlins often hunt very low or very high). And, of course, we have swallows at this time of year that spot every hawk, low or high and make a loud, mobbing calls, drawing attention to them. I have had three merlins in the last week: today it was a female at Wormiston. I got on to it because the corn bunting I was watching started making its aerial predator call (I had only learned this a couple of territories before as two corn buntings made this call to a buzzard). Then the swallows started up and the merlin flew over. Yesterday it was an adult male, with its powder blue back, at sunset over the fields at Barnsmuir. Again, followed by a retinue of angry swallows, a flying flag just in case I hadn’t already seen it.

Merlin (John Anderson)

Posted July 27, 2021 by wildcrail in Sightings

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