Thursday, September 17, 2009

Merlin Magic

I was zooming northward on Rt. 209 in Phippsburg, all the while scanning the utility lines for hawks. I often see them on the wires running along the road by Center Pond and Dromore Bay. When I saw this Merlin, I did a U-ie. Of course, my camera was on the passenger's seat and turned on, ready to rock and roll as usual. I was able to get out of the car, leaving the door open and the motor running, slip around the back of the vehicle using it as camo. and get this shot. The wind took the car door and slammed it shut which sent the little falcon zooming up 209, too. The minute I heard the door shut, I thought "Uh oh............" If the door locked, this could be really bad. I might have used up my luck when the ill thought out U-ie didn't get me killed. But, oh! It was a trifecta of good fortune: no car accident, the door didn't lock and the photos came out great! Maine has three falcons that are seen commonly, the Merlin, the Peregrine and the American Kestrel. Gyrfalcons are seen here, but they are a very rare visitor. No birder would jump into their car to see my Merlin, but they sure would if I had photographed a Gyrfalcon. Merlins eat insects and other birds which they capture on a level sprint in mid air. Though they are small (under 10"), they are all that one would imagine in a falcon without the the Arabian shiek


  1. Next time running up or down Route 209, and see a Blue Suzuki headin my way, I'll be driving right off the self defense.

  2. Nicely done and glad you didn't use up all your good luck. And it is so much nicer that you caught the Merlin on a branch rather than a wire or even a light standard where many of our hawks, etc. down this way take to sitting.

  3. Thanks Ed, yes nice to get one au nateral and in perfect lighting with no hand of man in the shot!