In the brief respite before this afternoon's rain I headed over to Shropshire to ring a brood of Merlins with Dave Pearce. We had checked them just over a week ago when they were too small. To be honest I wasn't that hopeful as there had been widely reported heavy rain and flooding in the area on Friday 13th so I was half expecting yet another empty nest. The 'magic' part was that all three were still alive and well! I suspect sorcery!
Even though they are less than 3 weeks old it is possible, by looking at leg thickness, weight and also by listening to the different pitch of their calls, to separate males from females. This brood was one female (middle) and two males.