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MERLINS SIGHTED IN SANTA CLARA COUNTY 2005 - 2006




24 Sep 2005
A MERLIN flew south over Hwy 17 as I drove past downtown Los Gatos.
David Suddjian


Sept. 25, 2005
Alan Baldridge
Moss Landing:
A MERLIN was seen along Jetty Road.


7 Oct 2005
Michael Mammoser
I returned to CCFS at lunch time to continue my search, noting that Dean Manley was still there (he had arrived just as I was leaving in the morning). By the time I hooked up with him on the first net lane south of the trailer, he had just seen the CANADA WARBLER 5 minutes previously and was busy watching a MERLIN perched above us.


October 20, 2005
Brett Trion
Carmel:
A MERLIN was perched on a snag on the south side of the Carmel River downstream from the treatment plant.


October 22, 2005
Mathew Dotter
A RUDDY TURNSTONE and a MERLIN were seen at Jetty Road today.


October 22, 2005
Merlie is first sighted on his tree at 10:24 am
Check out Merlie's Home Page.


24 Oct 2005
Janna Pauser
As I drove over the Coleman bridge I saw a bird fly in and perch atop a Cedar tree at the corner of Almaden Ex. and Coleman Rd. I parked at the Santa Clara Valley Water District and walked through the maintenance yard to get a good look at my first fall MERLIN.


01 Nov 2005
Bill Bousman
A female/immature MERLIN was in the eucalyptus near the banding trailers. Coyote Creek Field Station


From: Rosalie Strait
11 Nov 2005
Subject: [SBB] Merlin
I saw a MERLIN in the ropes course area behind the amphitheater area at Sunnyvale Baylands Park this afternoon at 2:30. I took a few photos and the bird remained on the tall post as long as I was there. This was the first time I've seen the bird here this fall. This is at least the third consecutive year that I've seen a Merlin in this area of the park.


Fri, 11 Nov 2005
From: Bill Bousman
Rosalie's picture appears to be of a nice male _richardsoni_ Merlin, which is probably the same bird she photographed last winter. I tried for this bird once without success last winter and will try again--this pale prairie race is quite striking. To my eye, the breast and belly streaking is a richer and warmer rufous than is normally seen on our usual _columbarius_, and the gray of the back and wings is a shade between a California and a Ring-billed Gull.


Sun, 13 Nov 2005
From: Bill Bousman
Subject: [SBB] Richardson's Merlin--correction and caution
I stated that the Merlin that Rosalie Strait photographed was a male of the race _richardsoni_ last week. Others do not agree as the comments below show. If there is a consensus, it is that this is a pale _columbarius_. Some may conclude that these subspecific identifications are not as easy as may be suggested by pictures in the field guides.


Sat, 12 Nov 2005
From: Jan G. Diemont
To: Bill Bousman
Subject: Re: [SBB] Merlin (_richardsoni_)
Fellow Birders,
This bird is an adult female columbarius (subspecies). This is probably the same female columbarius that was seen over the past few years at this very location. Thanks for the pics Rosalie!


From: m.m.rogers@comcast.net
To: Bill Bousman , Steve Rottenborn
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: [SBB] Merlin (_richardsoni_)
Sun, 13 Nov 2005
Unfortunately those pictures are probably not adequate to ID this one to subspecies with confidence. The streaking below looks pretty heavy, particularly on the flanks, which might suggest a palish columbarius; this seems consistent with the supercilium, which is not overly prominent in these pictures. My interpretation of the back color on my monitor seems a better fit for a male (pretty gray) and it may be light enough to think about richardsonii, but columbarius would fit too. The extent of white spots/barring in the underwing could be helpful here. If Jan sees a female there frequently and thinks this is it, I suppose that's possible too - but that wouldn't be my first guess based on the photos.


Sat, 12 Nov 2005
From: Steve and Heather Rottenborn
Subject: Re: Fwd: Re: [SBB] Merlin (_richardsoni_)
After seeing Bill's message I e-mailed Rosalie for the photos. My initial reaction was that the bird fits neatly in my impressions of a male columbarius. I did a bit of research trying to see if there were any features in these photos that would border on definitive, but I can't say definitively that this bird is columbarius. However, the coarseness (and extensive nature) of the markings on the underparts and the lack of really orangish tones to those markings suggest columbarius over richardsonii to me. Most importantly, the bird just does not seem very pale to me. The few birds I've seen that I've called richardsonii have immediately looked pale overall (upperparts, face, and underparts) to me, just as the few birds I've called suckleyi have immediately looked very dark. Granted, there must be plenty of intermediate/intergrade birds, and my impressions of richardsonii and suckleyi are probably artificially narrow due to my relegation of intermediate-looking birds as "columbarius". However, I couldn't support an ID of this bird as richardsonii.


Wed, 18 Jan 2006
From: Bill Bousman
Earlier in the day I had a male MERLIN over Shoreline Park.


1/23/06, Bill Bousman wrote:
Charleston Road marsh had a female/immature MERLIN.


3 Feb 06
Michael Mammoser
I went out to the EEC in Alviso a female MERLIN was perched on a power tower as I drove out the entrance road.


Fri, 17 Feb 2006
Bob Reiling
This morning as we drove toward Coyote Reservoir, Frank Vanslager and I saw a MERLIN in an Oak on the north side of Roop Road.


Sat. Apr 1, 2006
Matthew Dodder
Charleston Slough where we found the BLACK SKIMMER flock resting on their island and a group of BLACK BELLIED SKIMMERS (many of which actually had black bellies...) and a male MERLIN perched in a conifer at the end of Terminal Road.


Sun, April 9, 2006
Carmel: A MERLIN was hunting over the meadow by Cross Hill today at Carmel River State Beach. [Bill Hill]