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Merlin Falco columbarius - at nest. W 60-65cm. Our smallest raptor. Typically seen dashing flight, low over in pursuit of prey such as Meadow Pipit. Also perches on fence posts or rocky outcrops. Sexes are dissimilar. Adult male has blue-grey upperparts and buffish, streaked and spotted underparts. In flight from above, note contrast between blue-grey back, inner wings and tail, and dark wing tips and dark terminal band on tail. Adult female has brown upperparts and pale underparts with large, brown spots. In flight from above, upperparts look rather uniformly brown with numerous bars on wings and tail. Juvenile resembles adult female. Voice Mostly silent but shrill kee-kee-kee… is uttered in alarm near nest. Status Scarce breeding season, found on upland moorland in spring and summer. Outside breeding season, moves S and to lowland areas and numbers boosted by migrants from Iceland.
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121275
Merlin Falco columbarius - at nest. W 60-65cm. Our smallest raptor. Typically seen dashing flight, low over in pursuit of prey such as Meadow Pipit. Also perches on fence posts or rocky outcrops. Sexes are dissimilar. Adult male has blue-grey upperparts and buffish, streaked and spotted underparts. In flight from above, note contrast between blue-grey back, inner wings and tail, and dark wing tips and dark terminal band on tail. Adult female has brown upperparts and pale underparts with large, brown spots. In flight from above, upperparts look rather uniformly brown with numerous bars on wings and tail. Juvenile resembles adult female. Voice Mostly silent but shrill kee-kee-kee… is uttered in alarm near nest. Status Scarce breeding season, found on upland moorland in spring and summer. Outside breeding season, moves S and to lowland areas and numbers boosted by migrants from Iceland.

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Date: 28 Aug 2013
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