Last friday's evening, I was leaving my apartment in Panamá City to take care of some duties when suddenly a small-sized falcon perched high at a TV antenna. I returned and grabbed my camera and started to shoot. My ID was a Merlin, because I saw one individual at least two different times last month in the surroundings, surely taking advantage of the abundant Rock Doves living in the city.
It was already pretty dark, and the moon was high enough to appear in my photos, looking like a big, silver disc. I compensated the darkness with the camera's incorporated flash and increasing the exposition. Without these changes, my first photos looked to dark, and the bird in question recalled a Bat Falcon. But my last photos came out better, and you can notice the pale face of this bird (nothing to do with the black face and cheeks of the Bat Falcon) and its more bluish-gray back (not black).
Still, the bird was quite distant for my camera, but this cropped photo shows again the same details. Anyways, for a Merlin, this individual is quite dark, probably indicating is of one of the northwestern subspecies (for example, suckleyi).
Well, I think I need another chance to get better photos of this little beast!