Merlins look something like pigeons in flight and used to be called Pigeon Hawks. They are very speedy fliers and can easily overtake any small bird that they desire.
I saw one in a dead elm tree this morning in the Don Valley.
The period between about the middle of March and early June is the best time of the year for birdsong. Song Sparrows are among the most prolific singers and many were singing today.
We have seen little sun recently but it was shining brightly today. Bright sun and little wind create the best conditions for closeup photography:
This was recently posted on the Cornell Lab Web cam site. A Great Horned Owl returns to the next with a Barred Owl as dinner for the chick.
The little white clouds are racing over the sky,
And the fields are strewn with the gold of the flower of March,
The daffodil breaks under foot, and the tasseled larch
Sways and swings as the thrush goes hurrying by. – Oscar Wilde (1854–1900)