A Merlin and a Hummingbird


Yesterday Ann and I made a return trip to the blind at San Angelo State Park.  We wanted to see if the Ruby-throated Hummingbird was still around.  It was starting to get quite warm when we headed out.  We didn’t know that the heat would be another record breaker.  The record for the day was 102 set in 1908.  It turned out to reach 105 for a new record.  Today is expected to be the same story, with a new record of 106.  That’s pretty warm for a September day.  Relief is on the way, they say, with the highs only getting into the 80s this weekend.  Hooray for that.

But getting back to our little foray yesterday, on the way out we spotted a very small hawk, about ten inches tall, on some phone wires.  Thinking it may be a young hawk I stopped to get photographs, carefully pulling to the side of the road and turning on my blinkers.  I took the photo with my Canon 7D and 100-400mm lens.  After getting home later and examining the image closer, I believe it to be a Merlin, (Falco columbarius).  Unfortunately, I only have the frontal view for ID purposes.

Merlin

Continuing on our way, we arrived at the park.  I set up my tripod and the 7D with my 500mm lens.  I was hoping for another shot at the Ruby-throated but it was nowhere to be seen.  However, a female Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), made an appearance, allowing me to make several images.

Black-chinned Hummingbird – female

So, with the weather changing very soon, and with the beginning of the fall migration, things may be looking up for the near future.  I can’t wait to see what might happen to “fall” in.

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20 thoughts on “A Merlin and a Hummingbird

    • Yes, we broke several heat records this month. Fortunately, this week they are getting back to normal, down to the mid 90s. Thanks for the comment, and I am almost 100% again. :-)

  1. So glad you’re feeding the hummers. Yes, the migration begins and with the droughts the little fellows will be glad for the help. It’s great you have such a variety of hawks and falcons so you can just come across a bird like this. I suppose you know the area so well by now you know where to go to expect these encounters. Perhaps it will fly in again some day and you can get a different angle to make a positive ID.

  2. Delighted to see that you’re “out and about” again Bob, even in that heat. I still call’em “blinkers” too – in fact I had to get one of mine fixed yesterday and used the term with the service manager.

  3. Send us some spare sunshine, Bob! And a couple of hummingbirds too if you like! Great to see you’re getting out birdwatching again. The hummingbird pic is just exquisite.

  4. So glad you are feeling better..I love the term blinkers..that what we still call them too. The Merlin is a wonderful looking bird…and of course the hummers are the jewels of nature. We have been graced with several chickadees, storing up food for winter, Stellar Jays and Robins everywhere. Our weather is changing so fast, warm days, but nights are cooling down. Today we saw two wild turkeys and a Sharp-shinned hawk while out cutting our last load of fire wood. I really need to take a day and just go bird watching. Love the photos and usual, you brought a smile to my husband and myself..

  5. You must be feeling lots better ’cause you are “punny”! Despite the groans now and then, you always manage to show me something new. The Merlin is a very interesting bird and I hope to spot one. Enjoy the cooler weather – I know I will!

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