It was rather cloudy this morning, but I had a good birding hike here in Old Trail. I ended up with 30 avian species, and that did not include five year round residents that I missed: Turkey/Black Vultures, Mourning Dove, Field Sparrow, and Red-shouldered Hawk.
Great Blue Heron
Pileated Woodpecker; Northern Flicker; Red-bellied Woodpecker
The highlight of the morning was a male Merlin perched in a tree between the golf course green #1 and tee box #2.
Interestingly, I have seen a male Merlin at least three previous times in this area: December 2016, March 2018, and March 2019. Two of the previous times were in the same tree as this morning, and the March 2019 sighting was in a tree across from nearby King Family Vineyards, only 1 mile from this tree in Old Trail. I wonder if it is the same Merlin and this is its winter hunting grounds?