Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Merlin Beaversary

Once or twice a Winter, I see a Merlin. A Merlin is a small falcon, a bit bigger than an American Kestrel, but also sleek and fast. Today I saw my first Merlin. It was at Breckinridge Park, where I saw one last year.

It was high in a tree, until it flew down to a little waterflow. Then the American Crows saw it. Crows naturally dislike all raptors, and "mob" raptors. They began to chase the little Merlin away. The Merlin flew away, staying ahead of the crows. I was intrigued that the crows came so close, as I know that falcons are much faster than crows. But then I realized that the little Merlin was just doing what was required to outrun the crows, as no further effort was necessary.


I also saw two Northern Flickers on the ground. Northern Flickers are woodpeckers,they forage on the ground rather than in trees. They stood stock still, hoping to blend in.

Northern Flicker:

I also saw a small flock of American Goldfinches, which I am sure interested the Merlin.

After the park, I went to Cici's Pizza. Cici's is a chain all-one-can-eat buffet place, which is particularly Weight Watchers friendly, as apparently even being unhealthy is too expensive for the buffet pizzas. I made a plate full of raw broccoli, dill pickles and baby carrots. Then I topped this off with two slices of sausage buffet pizza.

Just as I was finished my first run at the line, hundreds of kids from a local middle-school descended upon the buffet, having been delivered to CiCi's doorstep
by two yellow school buses. I know it is the fashion to complain about the hooliganism of youth. But I thought they were remarkably well-behaved, particularly after the newness of the place wore off a bit. But the lines, however well-formed, were not conducive to further refills or another piece of sausage pizza. So I exited.

On a telephone wire outside the pizza place, the Merlin's "cousin", the American Kestrel, shows another approach to being a falcon.

American Kestrel:

Tonight I thought to myself that I wish to take another trip to the Texas Panhandle, a place of doves, falcons and birds of the West.

My wife and I headed for dinner to Mexi-go, where she had lovely-looking fish tacos and I had a really grand tortilla soup. Now Elvis Presley is singing on television (he would be 81 today).

This is also a key date in our family's history. It is the 10th Beaversary. We adopted our pal Beatrice 10 years ago at the McKinney SPCA. We did not save her--she saved us, and in particular, she saved me. We celebrated with something called Chicken Bark and spirited tosses of her Red Lobster stuffed toy.

Today was overcast and less warm than promised. Tonight is cold. Tomorrow is tobe windy and cold. But I am warm and happy.

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