Saturday, 27 March 2010

Close encounter with the wild things.
















One morning this week, as I was coming downstairs I happened to glance out of our landing window and there it was, not moe than a yard from the glass, perched on top of a Berberis bush in the front garden - a Merlin. He saw me at the same instant that I saw him and we were both transfixed.
This is not really Merlin territory - they are birds of prey who revel in the high hills and moors; but this is not the first time I have encountered one here. Two or three years ago a young merlin flew into one of our windows and broke a wing. We rescued him and took him to a vet but he was too badly injured to survive and the vet put him down. So I can only assume that we must be on the flight path between their Summer and Winter habitats. But whatever the reason for his visit, when our eyes met I don't think I have ever seen a more wild look in his. He gave me a couple of moments of pure joy before he took off - and that taking off told me that he was indeed a merlin and not a female sparrowhawk, for he soared up into the air - up, up and away - none of that low, threatening sparrow hawk flight about him.
Spring moves on apace here. Today the Lenten roses are out (Heleborus Orientalis), so are the Primula Wanda, the Pulmonaria (soldiers and sailors) and the first of the little Spring tulips. The tulips were given to us some years ago by our Dutch friends (if you are reading this F and R, I can tell you that all your bulbs are thriving still). Little do they know that the weather forecasters tell us that the wind is coming from the North tomorrow and there may even be flurries of snow.
Lovely to be back in harness. I am visiting one or two of you each day - and so enjoying what I am reading. Have a good weekend and don't miss tomorrow's bus.

16 comments:

Pondside said...

I'm going to have to google merlin - can't quite picture what it looks like.
I love your header - spring has spring!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...
We have merlins here, too, though I don't know if they are the same bird. They are certainly fast and wonderful on the wing, wild, lovely to watch—and quite uncommon. I've only seen a few over the years, and never one at RiverSong.

[Weaver…I deleted the earlier version of this comment to correct a bit of spelling.]

Dick said...

Good to know you're perpendicular again, Pat. There's nothing more disabling than a bad back.

I wish you'd got a picture of your merlin. Am I right in thinking that there are more birds of prey around and about now? Where once we saw only kestrels, there are now as many sparrowhawks. And we have five nesting red kites locally. We now overlook open meadows, hedges and copses and I often see a pair of them side-sliding around just above the ubiquitous crows.

ewix said...

A merlin how very exciting --but more exciting that you are out and about again
daffodils here and forsythia
and the trees thickening and budding
quite exciting!

Heather said...

Your new header and spring flower photos are a delight. What a treat to be able to see a merlin at such close quarters. I don't think I have ever seen one but we get a lot of buzzards and peregrin falcons in our area.

the wild magnolia said...

Beautiful encounter of the rare kind. I loved tagging along.

Leenie said...

Your tours of Wensleydale are so well described with names of plants and animals both common and Latin. I'm guessing a merlin is a small hawk. What a gift for you to see one up close.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Merlin? Magic!

Cloudia said...

Magical post. So happy that you are feeling better...



Aloha from Hawaii my Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Elisabeth said...

Wonderful to see that spring has arrived for you Weaver and with it better health, I trust.

I Googled the Merlin and found it to be a magnificent bird. No wonder you're pleased to have made eye contact with one.

maggi said...

Beautiful photos and how lucky to have seen the merlin. They are wonderful birds.

Jenn Jilks said...

Glad my friend is back. So to speak.
We are gleefully planning a trip to England for the fall.

Lenten Lily! Mine are nearly blooming. They are new things for me, well, new. We've lived in my parent's house for nearly 4 years April 4, 2010. Sigh.
New.
Time flies when you are having fun.
Thank you for visiting My Muskoka !

jeannette said...

I love these flowers -especially the fuchsia-colored ones! The red-and-yellow, wren't they tulips?

BT said...

wow, a Merlin, how amazing. I have only ever seen one at a 'display'. Stunning. I have most of the flowers you have photographed and don't they make the heart soar? The pulmonaria was one of the first out and it looks so pretty. Our 'lenten rose' is the white version, which is doing very well this year, having only been planted last summer. I love love Spring.

Barbara Martin said...

I have always believed that when one sees a wild creature not usually seen then good luck will follow. How fortunate to see a Merlin. We have them in Ontario in the wooded areas. Lovely raptors!