Jordan Lake: One never knows what the next bend in the lake’s shoreline will bring to you. This time the bend brought Captain Doug and I into the presence of a merlin! I see a few merlins every winter, but, I have never seen one at Jordan Lake in late April. This small falcon calmly ignored the gawking humans and kept looking for a bird for its next meal.

Jordan Lake Dam, Haw River. The morning was grey and a little chilly. All of a sudden a bright sportster arrived! Our smallest falcon, the American Kestrel. He zipped in, landed for a heartbeat and zipped out over the dam. Whoosh! I worry about the kestrels as their reproductive capacity has dropped in the last 10 years or so, due to herbicides and pesticides. If you should spot one, would you send me notification of date, time, gender and a crossroads? I have been trying to get a sense of how many are still here in NC. I used to see them on the fence lines and power lines on a daily basis … now I am seeing them a couple of times a year.

Having just added new photos to my print gallery (more than a dozen bird species), I want to say my heart-felt thanks to each of you who has bought a print from me in the past.  My thanks to those of you who check out my gallery site and consider making a purchase.  Each purchase helps me to continue my field studies at Jordan Lake and I do enjoy the studying.  However, my biggest joy is in the sharing with all of you what I observe at the lake. Thanks for considering a purchase.
Peace and Grace, Doc Ellen
Special Pricing this week only:
Coupon Code:  Autumn658
Coupon Name: Autumn Sale
10% discount on all relevant items
Limit use 1 time
Dates: Tuesday Nov 19, 2019 – Saturday Nov 23, 2019
PS: Here is a sample from my newest collection Palette … and, yes, it is a photograph that the child-heart of me dreamed into a new vision…
(actual print does not have the watermark)

I was tracking a fish-carrying osprey with my camera when I realized there was a small bird also tracking the osprey. Hmmm. Too late in the season to be an eastern kingbird chasing an intruder away from its nest. Too big for a kingbird anyway. But not as big as an American crow. And, oh, the pointed wings and the facial markings sure said “merlin”. Oops! I have never seen a merlin at Jordan Lake before late fall – some migrate here for the winter. A puzzle, but it was great to see the small falcon. Oh, and I think he was just curious about the osprey, especially since the merlin was smaller than the fish the osprey was carrying.

Falcon!  The Merlin.
 
This small raptor is slightly bigger than our American kestrel.
I am used to seeing a few merlins each winter at Jordan Lake.
But, oh my, this morning at the dam, a merlin came in and made my day shine!!!
Note that in the last picture he was quickly leaving me and my camera behind.
Like all falcons the merlin is a speedy raptor!!
 
 
 

Jordan Lake is always full of surprises and contrasts.
It is home to both the largest and smallest raptors in the US.
Both of the birds below were very proud of their catches this afternoon.
 
American Bald Eagle
 
length: 34-43 inches   weight: 168 oz   wingspan 72-96 inches
 
_ark4457 jl dam 24-01-19 18-12-08 2 eagle fish frame
American Kestrel (also the smallest falcon in the US)
 
length: 9-12 inches    weight: 3.9 oz   wingspan 20-24 inches
 
_ark4124 ranger cove 24-01-19 14-03-31 1 kestrel lizard_ark4127 ranger cove 24-01-19 14-03-46 1 kestrel lizard