The middle of the day is normally the slowest time to see birds. They seem to feed earlier in the morning and then again in early evening. But today, early afternoon this female Downy Woodpecker stopped by for a snack at our suet feeder. Seeing her prompted me to grab my camera and pay a little more attention to my back yard. There were three American Crows, five American Goldfinches, one Morning Dove, a Dark-eyed Junco and a Song Sparrow. But the one we were the happiest to see, with the aid of binoculars, was the Merlin pictured below. This is a winter bird for this area, and the third winter in a row are that we have watched a Merlin, perhaps the same one, from our living room window perched on the very tip-top of the very same tree in a neighbors yard a block away. From that very perch we have witnessed it take a hapless sparrow in mid air. I guess you could assume it was looking for a mid-day snack this afternoon too.