[Tweeters] Edmonds Marsh Merlin Update
billandersonbic at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 4 12:05:36 PDT 2014
Evenings the merlin continues to prowl the marsh in search of dragonflys. It likes to cruise over Willow Creek on the south side of the marsh, which is about 300 yards south of the boardwalk and the #1 (farthest west) and #2 (main) viewing platforms. Bring good binos and/or a spotting scope.
In between cruises, it will perch on the north side of the trees beside the creek in the first hedge line south of those two viewing platforms. The merlin will make occasional excursion north across the marsh and briefly land in the trees next to the boardwalk and walkway between the #2 and #3 (by the outdoor tennis courts) viewing platforms.
Photographers: Bring two cameras if you can. You will need at least a 700mm lens (or a lens + teleconverter equivalent) to get ID shots of the merlin perching in the trees by Willow Creek. Should the merlin make a sudden jaunt north across the marsh, you will need a 300-400mm lens (or a lens + teleconverter equivalent) to follow the flight and take shots if it perches nearby. This happens quite quickly and you will not have time to swap lenses on a single camera.
I have observed the merlin being quite active in the evening about an hour and a half before sunset. Lighting gets very bad as the sun goes down behind the #1 viewing platform. The usual tricks of the trade apply in dealing with tricky lighting situations. Yesterday a couple at the marsh reported that it was active in the early morning as well.
Later this week I may walk the Pt. Edwards public walkway, which is located below the Pt. Edwards condos south of the marsh. The walkway provides a view of the south side of the marsh tree/hedge line which is not visible from the marsh walkway.
There have been several kingfishers at the marsh at the same time as the merlin and are behaving in much the same manner. I hope they all remain at the marsh for next month's Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds.
Bill Anderson; Edmonds, WA. USA
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