The Merlin by Richard Sale
Self Published by Snowfinch Publishing
ISBN 978 0 9571732 1 7
March 2015, , Hardback Price £40.00, Pages 304
For all birds of prey lovers this book fills a gap for a species which so many birders often miss as this little rocket flies through the uplands in summer and lowlands in winter. The book covers the world distribution and not surprisingly Britain is the main centre for ground nesting with so much of our uplands destroyed for Red Grouse shooting. Not only do you see Merlins nesting in old crow nests but even a bucket in a tree and even an old Fieldfares nest! The recently new urban Merlins of Saskatoon in Canada are well covered and not surprisingly it is the increasing nests of crows and magpies that have encouraged them in to town! The book covers all the sub species with even a black one! Who would believe you if you came home and said you had just seen 867 Merlins in a day! Well that is the record count of migrating Merlins on the east coast of USA! Several works in Britain stand out like Newton, Cresswell, Nattrass, Meek and Rebecca while Brian Little’s idea of the decline of Merlin in Kielder due to lack of crow’s nests due to Goshawk kill has been turned round to the Goshawks actually killing the Merlin. Great pictures and another valuable edition to the book self.