Monday, 9 March 2009

Raptors at last

*does the Merlin dance*

It was small, it was female, and it was MOST DEFINITELY NOT ESCAPED FROM SOME KIND OF TOWER OF LONDON FALCONRY DISPLAY HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST IT.

Compacts once again proved what a stunningly clever investment they really were when a small brown thing flew through the air and, with surprising agility, alighted in the recess of a small bricked up window. This was obviously not a pigeon. Far too dark inside to see anything with the naked eye so out came the bins. The bird obviously then decided that, since it had already been clocked, it may as well be nice about it and came and sat right out in the open, on top of the large castle wall overlooking the moat, about 30 yards away. For those in the area, it's the wall opposite the subway leading from Tower Bridge tube station to the tower. I had plenty of time to burn its image into my brain before it flew off again.

Once again I was left bemused by the power of Londonders to walk past cool things without even the slightest expression of interest. I was standing there for a good 5 minutes with bins glued to my eyes, muttering things like 'pale feathers under the eye stripe' and scribbling frantically in a little black book - sufficiently odd I would have thought for at least one person to turn and try to see what I was looking at. It's not like it was hidden away at this point. But not a sausage.

Anyway, the first thing I've done after getting home, aside from confirming my suspicions about its species, is to google for falconry displays at the Tower of London and as far as I can see, there's nothing there. So bollocks to it, I'm having my Merlin. Granted it's not an everyday find, but neither is it far enough out of the ordinary to make me suspicious.

Site tick, year tick, thank you very much :-)

Site list - 24
Year List - 72

4 comments:

  1. The zoo look after the Tower of London birds, and we only ever do health checks on ravens. Plus a merlin isn't really a typical falconry bird. It sounds like a real one- in lieu of a photo can we have a scan of sketch please? :)

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  2. I shall get to work on the ASCII version immediately.

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  3. Many falconers fly Merlins, I see then quite often witht hem down here in deepest Kent. Not that I saying this bird was, only commenting on a previous post.

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  4. Well it's moot now, given the latest post - the bird was a Kestrel. However, it's gratifying and somewhat scary that people I don't know are actually reading this thing. Welcome to the blog!

    (The Grey Wagtail is very cool by the way - I've only seen 2 myself and both have caught me by surprise).

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