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SOUTH BAY BIRDERS UNLIMITED


 

MERLIE the MERLIN 2002-2003

SIGHTINGS 2002-2003
The first Merlin seen on "Merlie's tree" was on 10/17/02 at 5:45 pm. There was only a view of the back. The bird was very dark. I could see no tail bands except for the terminal band. I could not see an eye stripe (supercillium). I don't think that it was Merlie.

The interesting thing is that there were two small very bright yellow (in the sun) dots on the back of its neck, one on each side of the neck. I have never seen this before, and can't find anything in books about it. They were quite striking, and were observed over a period of several minutes as he turned his head. Does anyone have information on this?

Then we were gone for several weeks, so the first sighting of what we believe to be the REAL Merlie was on 11/16/02.

Another Raptor who is a regular in the Winter, at least the last two years, is Jamie, our female Red-tailed Hawk. [Buteo jamaicencis, in case you wondered about her name.] She sits on the MCRW (see below). She spends quite a few hours each day on this tree. On 11/22/02 her husband (?) joined her, and was there for quite some time. I saw no action as I did last year that told me that Jamie was a female.

The following sightings are for Merlie on TOP of the College Terrace Redwood Tree (see main page for street address). Sometimes he sits on the "side branch" (SB), and this is indicated below. Sometimes Merlie sits on a tall Redwood Tree at 935 Mears Court (MCRW), two houses away from our house.

Other birds seen on Merlie's Tree and on MCRW are: ad=adult; im=immature; fm=female; Red-tailed Hawk = RTHA, Cooper's Hawk = COHA; Red-shouldered Hawk = RSHA; Common Raven = CORA; see other 4-Letter Codes. If no other bird is specified, then the time listed is for Merlie. Another tree used by raptors is a tall Redwood Tree just across the street from MCRW that is on Peter Coutts (PCRW). Raptors other than Merlie are not always recorded.

10/17/02 - 5:45 pm (probably not Merlie, see above)
Out of Town Until:
11/16/02 - 9:10 am
11/17/02 - 7:30 am
11/21/02 - 10:20 am (eating)
11/23/02 - 11:15 am (eating)
11/24/02 - 8:15 am
11/25/02 - 7:25 am
11/26/02 - 8:20 am
11/27/02 - 4:45 pm

12/01/02 - 7:55 am; 1:50 pm
12/02/02 - 7:40 am; 10:25 am; 3:50 pm; 4:43 pm
12/03/02 - 7:00 am; 4:50 pm
12/04/02 - 8:00 am; 8:10 am (eating); 9:35 am
12/05/02 - 7:48 am; 9:15 am; 3:00 pm; 3:50 pm
12/07/02 - 7:40 am; 3:50 pm
12/08/02 - 7:05 am
12/09/02 - 7:48 am; 4:20 pm ----- Jamie and Husband on MCRW
12/10/02 - 7:50 am; 9:10 am; 10:30 am
12/11/02 - 7:20 am; 8:50 am
12/12/02 - 11:37 am; 12:20 pm; 4:35 pm
12/14/02 - 7:50 am (Merlie chased a RTHA off of his tree); 10:08 am
Heavy Rain for a Few Days
12/18/02 - 9:00 am (eating); 10:55 am; 12:40 pm; 3:55 pm
No Observations for Several Days
12/30/02 - 1:30 pm

1/1/03 - Gone Birding
1/2/03 - 7:55 am
1/3/03 - 8:00 am
1/4/03 - 2:50 pm
1/6/03 - 8:10 am
1/7/03 - 7:45 am
1/10/03 - 8:15 am (eating); 9:40 am
1/12/03 - 1:42 pm (on side branch; often sits there after eating)
1/14/03 - 7:33 am
1/15/03 - 12:42 pm; 2:03 pm
1/16/03 - 7:55 pm
1/18/03 - No Observation
1/19/03 - 8:55 am; 3:40 pm
1/20/03 - 11:30 am (eating)
1/21/03 - 7:30 am
1/29/03 - 5:15 pm
1/30/03 - 12:05 pm
1/31/03 - 7:30 am; 3:55 pm (on MCRW)

2/3/03 - 3:52 pm
2/7/03 - 10:40 am (seems lighter, eyebrow goes past the eye)
..............11:10 am (darker bird, eyebrow short like Merlie) (eating)
2/9/03 - 9:30 am (eating)
2/10/03 - 5:00 pm
2/12/03 - 3:20 pm
2/14/03 - 5:30 pm
2/15/03 - 4:07 pm; 4:45 pm (eating)
2/16/03 - 12:15 pm
2/17/03 - 5:10 pm
2/19/03 - 5:10 pm; 5:55 pm (eating)
2/20/03 - 6:55 am; 4:30 pm (eating)
2/21/03 - 12:12 pm
2/22/03 - No Observation
2/23/03 - 12:45 pm
2/24/03 - 12:oo pm
2/25/03 - 9:55 am; 4:33 pm; 5:15 pm

3/3/03 - 8:08 am
3/6/03 - 10:20 am (eating, Mockingbird?)
3/7/03 - 7:45 am; 4:55 pm (long eyebrow, probably not Merlie)
3/10/03 - 3:38 pm (Maryanne Diekmann report)
3/11/03 - 9:00 am
3/13/03 - 3:55 pm; 5:05 pm
3/14/03 - 3:45 pm (Could have been Merlie's last day)

4/3/03 - 5:10 pm (eating)
4/14/03 - 7:10 am
4/19 - 5/5/03 - No Observations

Merlie's 6 year leaving range has been 3/18/-3/27 (see main page).
So, because we didn't observe him during this period, and we did not look carefully at the Merlin seen in April, we don't have an "official" leaving date for him this year.


Look for Merlie again on 10/20/03