Taiga Merlin – new WP record
This becomes the FIRST record in the Western Palearctic
Staffan Rodebrand has been doing some ‘exploring’ in a Museum on the Azores and discovered a Merlin specimen. The bird was taken on 8th November 1971 at Fajã de Baixo, São Miguel. He sent me these photos for comment and has been very nice and let me stick them on this blog.
It is clearly an example of ‘Taiga Merlin’ – see how the there are only 2 pale tail bands clear of the uppertail coverts with a third butting up to the uppertail coverts. It appears to be a juvenile but deciding whether its male or female is a bit trickier: biometrics could resolve it.
This (likely full species) is still a mega-rarity in the Western Palearctic with other individuals recorded from Iceland and Ireland. This one is the third confirmed from the Azores. With others on the Azores on 30th October 2007 and late October – November 2008 (see here: http://www.birdingazores.com/bigpic.php?filename=fal_col1.jpg&id=1784&spid=428 ).
Surely a record from the UK may not be far away? 2 more photos below – Nice one Staffan – thanks to you!