Date: 3/6/18 5:48 pm
From: Stephen Johnson via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] excitement at Sully Woodlands (Fairfax)

Did not find the Shrike today. But a flock of Waxwings in a tree, was reduced from 25 to 24 birds, by a Merlin.

They all flushed and flew, and I noticed two birds flying suspiciously close in tandem, and one was slightly larger. The attacker was dark, and as I followed it flying away there was no red or blue tints, and it was obviously a small falcon. It did not seem to have any difficulty flying straight off several hundred yards and over a tree line, out of sight.

Apparently the Merlin wanted to take its time with this meal, well out of sight from the attack location. Not surprising, because this was at the NW corner of the main meadow area at Sully Woodlands, and as usual there was a Red-shoulder perched surveying the area.

I was looking at the flock in the tree, and never saw the approach. I guess that's how you catch birds - it was like magic, if that's not being too cute.

Steve Johnson
Fairfax, Virginia

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