[Tweeters] Eastgate Merlins off and away

Pterodroma at aol.com Pterodroma at aol.com
Fri Aug 1 09:10:54 PDT 2014


First of August now and time to move on. After 4 solid months of Merlins,
Merlins, Merlins every single day since mid-March, the neighborhood's
finally gone silent as the fledglings have finally moved off and away to points
north, south, east, and west I presume. Especially cute back in early
July when all five new fledglings were sometimes seen sitting side by side by
side up on a favored Douglas Fir bough 50 yards away and across the street.
And of course noisy noisy noisy most of the time too. One bird would let
out a barrage of "ki-ki-ki...s" which would then set off the whole brood.
Quite hysterical actually. Since that god-send welcome and perfectly
timed 1.5" winter style gentle all day soaking rain last week, the Merlins have
been pretty much gone with not even any 'heard' Merlins around the 'hood
now for nearly a week. It was a great great season and a heck of a lot of
fun! Third year in a row here, but this time never so easy peasy viewing as
this season since the nest and all the evolving activities from courtship,
copulation, nesting, incubation, rearing the young, to fledgling and
adults feeding the new fledglings (small stuff mostly, dragonflies and small
birds) all from the cozy comforts of my deck recliner on the patio often while
sipping a breakfast mimosa. Probably not so easy next year assuming they
give this same little half-block square area in Bellevue-Eastgate a go
again since Merlins don't usually use the same nest or tree, but another one
just as suitable nearby.

On a side note, I had a *new* yard bird yesterday when a PURPLE MARTIN
made a quick flyover chortling like Purple Martins do, then vanished behind
the tree line to the west. This happened during the "Blue Angel's practice
maneuvers yesterday afternoon so am best guessing the Martin was probably
dislodged from it's more likely territorial locale over along Lake Washington
somewhere. This isn't the first time the summer appearance of the "Blue
Angels" hasn't gifted me with a 'new' yard bird; in 1997 during the height
of the "uproar" between the wafting sounds of the hydros and the "Blue
Angel's", a flock of seven unlikely CASPIAN TERNS came over skimming the tree
tops and not much lower than the six planes in tight formation that screamed
by right overhead seconds before. Long live SeaFair, and the hydros, and
the "Blue Angels", and all the noise and racket, if but a very short window
of time every year! I'll take 'new' yard birds any way I can get 'em.

Richard Rowlett
Bellevue (Eastgate), WA


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