Falco columbarius in pole position

Nathaniel has keen vision; we often see mourning doves on the power and telephone lines that pass by the front of our house and he is happy to point them out. And occasionally, a raucous crow will perch in one of the nearby trees or atop a pole shouldering the local lines. But a couple of weekends ago, he was quite insistent about the novelty of the bird upon the pole’s top:

Merlin upon pole

A good catch: this was the first Merlin I had seen in any of the neighbourhoods we’ve lived in. (I once watched a red-tailed hawk eat a dead pigeon on a corner ledge of MPK17 a few years back, while I waited for a printout one Saturday.)

The little raptor was good enough to stay in place long enough for us to take pictures from a couple of points with a couple of cameras. The above, the best of the lot, was taken with our camcorder (Canon Optura 200) in photo mode—the 10 × optical zoom was essential, and it’s still not a great shot.