Merlin theory


Date of our outing was Sunday, 11/2220 (trying to get the hang of new “groups” email)

My husband and I birded Oso Flaco yesterday 9A-11:30A. As we started our drive home (on Oso Flaco road) we passed by the ‘hoop’ houses - strawberry plants grown under white plastic (is this a new growing technique or long-established?). We wanted to check out this strawberry technique and saw a Merlin come in for a kill. The small bird tried to escape through the hoop house but the ‘halls’ are closed off with black netting. I think the very savvy Merlin knows this and is a successful hunter at this location. He/she easily nabbed the small passerine and to our amazement and delight flew across the road to an agricultural field where there was commotion and wing-flapping. It dawned on me he was feeding/offering to a mate/offspring. We enjoyed the Merlin sighting for several minutes and as we headed home we saw the second Merlin again, perched on a telephone pole 200 yards east. What a treat to see one, ecstatic to see two! We remember seeing the Merlin on this road (not sure of exact location - hoop houses were not here).
Forgive the iPhone pics.

We live at Lake Tahoe and get very few Merlin sightings and even then they’re about mach 90 mph. I grew up in Santa Maria, still have family here and have enjoyed the Morro Bay Bird festival over the years. I’m more of a lurker on this page but I enjoy reading you’re posts - especially the hilarious Tom Slater.

Any thoughts?

Sent from my iPhone

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