Travelled out to Bull Island in north Dublin yesterday afternoon hoping to get good views and do some sketching of some of the good birds on offer. Atleast 4 short eared owls, merlin, peregrine have been around for a while now, with the blue winged teal there for its 6th or 7th winter now. The tide was way out when I arrived and a few scans produced nothing. I walked the saltmarsh to the northern tip and saw very little. No short eared owls and only a brief view of a hunting Peregrine in the distance. Half way back to the causeway a female merlin buzzed over and north towards the tip, I followed it in the bins for a while but lost it and thought that was the end of it. A few minutes later, I spotted it or another on a post in the middle of the saltmarsh. I was able to walk to within 50 metres of it and got the spend plenty of time sketching it. The only problem being I had nothing to sit on and a wet arse was the price of the best views I have ever had of a merlin.