Wednesday 16 October 2019


A post-work stroll around Orcombe - 4+ Chiffchaff, 2+ Pied Wagtail, 10 Linnet, c10+ Goldcrest, c100+ Meadow Pipit, c10+ Skylark, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, Firecrest and Coal Tit.
Off Maer Rocks - 2 Turnstone and 5 Sandwich Tern, and off Mudbank - 15 Pale-bellied Brent Geese.

I think this is probably a Merlin. It was distant and flying away from me but I messed up by taking a photograph before properly grilling it. Any thoughts welcome. I might add by first impression through the bins was Hobby, not Peregrine, but I don't think it's that. I've wrongly called distant Peregrine as Merlin before so I'm under no illusion about how cautious you need to be!


  1. Matt, I've done the same as you with Peregrine. It's easy to misjudge how small a male peg can look sometimes. So I'm definitely not going to make a call on your photo! ;—)

  2. Thanks Gavin - glad it's not just me. Remember watching a Peregrine way out in the bay, low over the sea, with Nick and Tim and I was banging on about how it was 'Merlin this and Merlin that' when it suddenly swooped up alongside a Gannet and was suddenly obviously a Peregrine. A valuable lesson. Merlin is a less than annual bird for me here in Exmouth so I've got my fingers crossed for a 'good' one in the coming weeks. Look forward to reading about your local patch exploits this autumn. All the best. Matt