This is now the 5th or 6th winter in a row that Merlins have returned to Green Lawn. They're generally a snap to find; just patrol the area immediately south of the bridge towards the cemetery's southwest corner, and you should spot one or more of the birds teed up on the most prominent dead snags.
I find the personalities of Merlins interesting and charismatic. The adult female will sit like a queen atop her snag, seemingly looking with great disdain at all that is beneath her. You can walk right under the tree, and she'll scarcely even bother to cast a glance your way. Mere ground-bound humans are not worth the bother of of even a sideways look. At one point, one of the males returned from a foray, and couldn't resist roaring in low over the perched female, nearly whacking her in the head. She didn't even flinch, or even acknowledge his presence. Total cool.
Bernie and I were quite pleased to find this stunning male American Kestrel, Falco sparverius, mousing in a large open field near the new police impoundment lot on the south side. These little falcons are increasingly hard to find, especially in the Columbus area, where development has eaten up much of the kestrel-friendly countryside.
In short order, the male's mate appeared and joined him in hunting. Hopefully this is a local pair and is nesting nearby. We found another Merlin not far from where these kestrels were hunting, for a total of four. And only two American Kestrels. Until very recently, I would never have predicted that the day would come when it would be easier to find Merlins than it would American Kestrels on this CBC.