Friday, January 9, 2015
Merlin and Pipits by Ochsner
Today as I sat at the light at Deckbar x Jefferson Highway, facing the River, a Merlin came hurtling past at around tree top level, left to right. All I saw was silhouette, but the pointed wings and small size pinned it as a Merlin or Kestrel and the behavior- flying fast and hard throughout the observation- are diagnostic of the former. This is one identification where plumage markings are usually unnecessary- the behavior of small falcons will reveal the species. Kestrels are much less forceful in flight.
Merlins are winter residents here, and are uncommon in the urban landscape but present every year.
Yesterday, a flock of thirty or so American Pipits was along the levee in the same general area (a bit closer to Jefferson Playground), seen from River Road.