There was a Merlin in our garden yesterday. Incredible. They are rare enough anyway let alone in West Newcastle; it was sitting on the wall just as you open the back door to the garden, about 2-meters away. Turned its head to stare with its golden eye then flapped its wings once and was gone. I thought earlier in the week that I had heard a hawk over the adjacent woodland but couldn’t quite spot it and anyway, it isn’t that unusual at this time of year to hear hawks; this must have been it.
They are so rare: on the Red List and are thinly spread in Britain around the Southwest, places like Somerset and Dorset. In spring they migrate home to Iceland to breed, perhaps she stopped-off in our garden for a rest.
Lucky us. Almost certainly a once in a lifetime experience.