Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Merlin at Deopham, Norfolk

During my break from work I visited the vast expanses of arable land on which the former WW11 USAF airfield of Deopham Green stood.  Although nearly 70 years have passed since the end of the war, evidence still exists of an airfield formerly here with several concrete hardstands and pieces of runway running alongside the roads which connect the various parishes.
Merlin (juvenile) Deopham, Norfolk 30/09/14 
I was overviewing the land with thoughts of a Harrier species passing through, and indeed, earlier in the day I was thinking of raptors I have already seen at this site.
At 1430, I saw a number of Wood Pigeons departing very hurriedly, I immediately though a Sparrowhawk was approaching, however, within seconds, a Merlin approached from the right very fast and low, and despite its small size, this Falcon did not hesitate to chase Wood Pigeons and Corvid species.  The Merlin was seen to twist and plummet to the ground, however, it soon emerged again without prey.  This dashing Falcon then passed low over farmland passing a small group of Golden Plovers which had been put up.
Merlins are scarce migrants and winter visitors to my Breckland patch.  An excellent record.

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