I’ve taken to carrying a long lens on my back during walks just in case we see an interesting bird which is fairly far off.
This morning at Beechwood / Don Valley we did. We spotted a Merlin high in a dead tree and I worked quickly to remove my normal camera lens and replace it with the long lens. “Is it still there?” I kept asking the group. And it was still there until the moment when I was ready to take its photo. The photography gods were not with me as the bird chose this moment to wing away.
Fortunately I have taken other photos of this uncommon species which feeds almost entirely on small birds but which also takes dragonflies in midair.
Species list: merlin, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, belted kingfisher, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, American robin, gray catbird, warbling vireo, common grackle, northern cardinal, American goldfinch. (12 species)
Some valley scenes:
Thanks to Gary Chang for this photo of today’s Merlin.
I saw a star slide down the sky, Blinding the north as it went by, Too burning and too quick to hold, Too lovely to be bought or sold, Good only to make wishes on And then forever to be gone. – Sara Teasdale (1884–1933)