John Dowson an attendee on the Wednesday morning sessions has been going a little further afield now the classes are enjoying a sabbatical. He came across a small raptor on a drystone wall not too far from Pateley Bridge. As you can see it is a male Merlin. If you look closely at the feathers on the wing you can see white fringes on the wing-tips. I forgot to ask John if he took this through his mobile phone attached to a telescope, or his new bridge camera. The latter seems more likely for the quality involved.
We may see Merlins if we are lucky during the Autumn course starting towards the end of September. It is a possibility at Blacktoft, Patrington Haven or even at some estuary sites. We are more likely to see a flying individual, and we are unlikely to get so close!
(c) 2015 John Dowson