SOUTH BAY BIRDERS UNLIMITED


 


MERLINS SIGHTED IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY 2003 - 2004




Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2003
From: RREILING2 "at" aol.com
The SCVAS field trip on Sunday was fairly slow but thanks to some sharp-eyed birders and some good intel we did manage a MERLIN in Alviso south of the parking lot, a SNOWY PLOVER in the Impoundment located north of the parking lot [lots of DUNLIN here], a PEREGRINE FALCON on a Power Tower near the EEC entrance road, an adult THAYER'S GULL on the first island in Salt Pond A16 [a first of the fall for me with HERRING GULLS nearby for comparison], a WILSON'S SNIPE in New Chicago Marsh and several BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS [GREY PLOVER to our visitor from Australia on the trip] in the Marsh [three flew off at one time showing their black armpits] and in the pond at State and Spreckles. Unfortunately we missed the Stilt Sandpiper that was apparently seen less than an hour later where we had been.


Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003
From: "Matthew O'Brien" - matthewobrien "at" comcast.net
While driving on the flyover from southbound I680 to southbound Highway 101 at 1:30PM I was rewarded with a MERLIN crossing over the freeway in front of me. It appeared to have come from the Emma Prusch Farm Park just east of 101.


Date: Sat, 1 Nov 2003
From: "Kendric C. Smith"
Subject: [SBB] Merlie is Here?
There have been reports of Merlins by other SBBers, but no Merlins (that we have seen) on Merlie's tree until this afternoon. I could see clearly that it was a Merlin, but he flew as I got him into the scope, so I can't be sure that it is the real Merlie, who, if it is him, would be back for the 12th year. He is a little late this year, usually arrives around 10/20, but we have had a lot of warm weather. One year, however, he didn't show up until 11/04/93. Was this a hot fall, I don't remember. Anyway, I heard a lecture at Stanford the other day about global warming and its effect on birds. All the birds are migrating later, except the birds what use day length to know when to migrate.


Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003
From: "Tom Grey" - tgrey "at" law.stanford.edu
Subject: [SBB] Merlins by the Bay
Yesterday with that beautiful light, I went to Shoreline and Baylands looking to take some bird pix, and I found a Merlin at each spot, columbarius both it seems, a female at Shoreline (5) and a male at Baylands (4).
http://www.geocities.com/tgrey41/Merlin4.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/tgrey41/Merlin5.jpg
Tom Grey
http://www.geocities.com/tgrey41/index.html


Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003
From: Barbara Harkleroad - quailmail "at" yahoo.com
This morning about 9:30 I saw a Merlin atop a leafless oak tree on the hill above the rock outcroppings and to the left of the large log staircase. It could be seen from the lower trail and my first thought was that it was a Kestrel until I went up to the intermediate level trail and had a better look through the binoculars. It appeared to be preening. This is my first time to see a Merlin in this park. Janna Pauser believes she saw the bird a week ago at the same site.


Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2003
From: Bill Bousman - barlowi "at" earthlink.net
Subject: [SBB] Golden Eagles, Merlin (Stanford)
While hiking the "dish" today, 12/6/2003, I saw two adult GOLDEN EAGLES soaring over the grassland and one perched on the dish as one point. A nice male columbarius MERLIN was also along the recreational trail.


Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2003
From: "Rosalie Strait" - rlstrait "at" earthlink.net
Subject: [SBB] Merlin at Sunnyvale Baylands Park
Both yesterday afternoon and this afternoon I saw a MERLIN sitting atop a pole in the climbing area just behind the amphitheater area in the northwest end of Sunnyvale Baylands Park. I was not totally sure of my ID yesterday, but today I had a second chance to observe the bird. I could see the folded wing length which was just short of the length of the tail. I believe this bird is a female. It does have the light eyebrow line of the Taiga race as shown in Sibley. Overall, it is not as dark as the Pacific race as shown in Sibley.


Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003
From: Richard Stovel - stovel "at" stanford.edu
I covered the Stanford Campus between El Camino and Junipero Serra including the Santa Clara side of San Francisquito Creek. Highlights were: Merlin - this bird seems to be fairly regular in the early morning these days perched high in a bare tree on Serra Street near the Police station.


Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003
From: "Yatsko, Nick" - nick.yatsko "at" hp.com
Thread-Topic: Continuing Merlin
For a number of years a MERLIN has spent the winter hunting from the same tree (corner of Winchester & Forest Ave). About 5 weeks ago he showed up again and has been regular ever since. He's most reliable between 4-5pm taking hunting missions into the surrounding area but I've seen him in the morning and occasionally other times during the day.


Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2003
From: "Dr. Michael M. Rogers" - mrogers "at" nas.nasa.gov
On the way back home I found a MERLIN eating atop a small tree at 825 East Middlefield Road near Central Expressway.


Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003
From: DSUDDJIAN "at" aol.com
This afternoon I watched one MERLIN hot on the tail of another as they zipped over Middlefield Road near Charleston Road in Palo Alto. The pursuer was calling straight through. I always enjoy listening to Merlins, as I seldom hear them say anything.
David Suddjian


Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004
From: jennifer rycenga - gyrrlfalcon "at" earthlink.net
I had two MERLINS today in the county. One was near San Jose State (where I work): to be precise, at the corner of 11th and San Antonio. It was a male, perched atop a tree, at about 3:15 pm. The second MERLIN was a fly-by, closer to roosting time (around 4:55) near the Stanford dish - seemed like another male, but its not always easy to get these details while driving the 280-Autobahn...
I had a third Merlin, in San Mateo county (on SR92 in Half Moon Bay) - quite the magical day, especially considering that it was only the second day this month (and thus this year) that I didn't do at least an hour's worth of birding! Any day with more Merlins than Kestrels is memorable. Jennifer Rycenga
Half Moon Bay


Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2004
From: "Patti Sutch" - patricia.sutch "at" gte.net
Subject: [SBB] Merlin - Prairie Race
Seen today drying out from today's storms atop a birch tree in the Old Mill Condominiums in Mountain View was an adult female Merlin. I have only seen the dark Pacific race and this bird was very light overall with brown streaking on her breast and upper belly, faint moustache was visible. Observed by Patti 'one -arm' Sutch and Michael Burns.
Patti Sutch, Executive Director
Western States Seismic Policy Council
650-330-1101; fax 650-326-1769


March 28, 2004
Last date for seeing Merlie on his tree.
Kendric Smith


Date: Sat, 03 Apr 2004
Subject: [SBB] "Richardson's" Merlin at McClellan Ranch
I always start my SCVAS birding class field trips from McClellan Ranch. This morning around 8:45 AM we had two different sightings of a very light colored falcon. In both instances this silent, pale little falcon stayed high in the evergreens appearing to be scanning the newly plowed field below. It's back was the pale color of a Mourning Dove with a cream color supercilium and almost no malar mark. From below we could see barring on the tail. Clearly a falcon, most likely female or immature. I had never seen this race before.
Lisa Myers


Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004
This morning Frank Vanslager and I had a distant MERLIN north of the lower saddle of Loma Prieta Rd (where the pavement used to end).
Bob Reiling