Merlin at Schenley Park

Merlin at Schenley Park, 12 Dec 2023 (photo by Charity Kheshgi)

16 December 2023

Nearly every winter since the late 1990’s when Bill Hintze(*) first reported them, you can usually find a merlin or two at Schenley Park golf course at dusk. Charity Kheshgi and I went looking on 12 December and right on time a large merlin, probably female, arrived 20 minutes before sunset.

The temperature was relatively warm but it was very windy and felt quite cold. The merlin didn’t care. As the sun set she flew to the top of a pine tree across the road. (She’s in this photo as a dot.)

Sunset at Schenley Park’s golf course, 12 Dec 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

Charity photographed her as a silhouette.

Merlin in Schenley Park after sunset, 12 Dec 2023

Interestingly she didn’t roost at the golf course. When it got darker she flew away to the south-southeast.

If you’d like to see a merlin, stop by the golf course about 40 minutes before sunset and walk around looking at the treetops. Parking is available at the First Tee parking lot.

(*) Bill Hintze and the merlins: I think Bill was the one who first found the merlins but I might be misremembering. If I’m wrong please leave a comment so I can correct the text.

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