I went looking for a Merlin today. It's one of those birds that I have never really seen and for which I have certainly never managed to get a decent record shot. There had been one reported on the west side of Medmerry and with a Dartford Warbler also reported at Park Farm it seemed worth a trip out.
Park Farm proved to be a nice walk but there was no sign of the Dartford so it was on to Medmerry. Initially it looked promising. A bird flew through, low and fast with crows in hot pursuit. It looked a good possibility, so I set off on a slightly slower pursuit. The crows turned back and the bird disappeared from sight. Then I picked up something sitting on a post. A careful approach and I had it - except that it turned out to be a Kestrel. A different bird or the one chased by the crows? I will never know.
So another day of meagre returns. West Sussex still seems a bit slow when compared with the rest of the country.