Have been spending alot of time in recent weeks trying to check up on our breeding Merlin. At this time of year most chicks have just left the nest and are at their most visible and vocal which makes the business of pinning them down much easier than searching for plucking posts or doing three hour dawn watches. The birds below had probably left the nest a week beforehand as they had no difficulty flying from one side of the lough to the other while carrying prey brought in by the adults. They are quite inquisitive at this age and largely ignored me after they had a good look at me. The clutch consisted of a single male and two females. One of the females still had a line of white fluff running along the crown while the other had just three single white tufts at the front of the crown.
|Juvenile male on the left with juvenile female no. 1 on the right.|
|Juvenile female no. 1|
|Juvenile male on the left with juvenile female no. 1 on the right. Note the size difference.|
|Juvenile female No. 2|
|Two juvenile female Merlin play chasing.|