Four consecutive images showing the Merlin preparing for the attack. First: The Merlin from its perch in a thicket, spots its prey, one of several Mourning Doves. (Shot 1 of 4)
Keeping its eye on the dove, the Merlin starts to turn towards its prey. (Shot 2 of 4)
Preparing for take-off, at all time keeping its eye on the intended victim. (Shot 3 of 4)
Up and away, never taking its eye off the selected dove.
Note: I did not see the Merlin catch the dove. It appears that it selects one dove out of a group and continues to harass it until the dove tires. Initially, the dove appears to be able to outfly the Merlin. In the end, the Merlin's persistance often pays off. It may take numerous chases. During its chase, the Merlin seems to totally concentrate on the job at hand and pays very little heed to close-by photographers.