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This injured merlin was discovered in someone’s driveway in Medford.
This injured merlin was discovered in someone’s driveway in Medford.Medford Animal Control

Every day, police officers respond to reports of all sorts of events and nonevents, most of which never make the news. Here is a sampling of lesser-known — but no less noteworthy — incidents from police log books (a.k.a. blotters) in our suburbs.


Hear the word “merlin,” and you may think of the mythical wizard from the legend of King Arthur. But a merlin is also the name of an actual, real-life bird. On Nov. 8 Medford Animal Control shared a photo on Facebook of a merlin — which is a type of small falcon — that got stranded after hurting its wing. “This merlin with an injured wing was found by a resident in their driveway,” the Facebook post said. “It was transported to Tufts Wildlife Clinic for treatment. Merlins, formerly known as pigeon hawks, are the second smallest falcons in Massachusetts.” Merlins hunt small birds that they can capture in midair in surprise, high-speed attacks. They’re also known to eat rodents, bats, reptiles, and large insects, such as dragonflies. Some other fun facts: according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the name “merlin” originated from the old French word for the species, “esmerillon,” and noblewomen like Catherine the Great and Mary Queen of Scots used them to hunt skylarks for sport.



At 9:11 p.m. Nov. 14, Melrose police received a call from someone complaining about coyotes howling near the intersection of Russell Street and Clinton Road.


At 9:58 a.m. Sept. 6, a woman in Peabody informed police that somebody spread mustard and a can of beans on her car and garage on Griffin Road. The officer who responded to the call advised the woman to wash off the debris. In the log entry, police noted that there was no damage to the vehicle, and “random kids may be to blame.”


At approximately 5:30 p.m. Sept. 27, Somerville police responded to Assembly Row and spoke with a man who said a motorist threw food and a drink at him.

At 12:31 p.m. Oct. 24, Burlington police got a call from a woman who said her vehicle was struck by an egg when she was driving home from work. She said it happened at the intersection of Route 62 and the Middlesex Turnpike Extension, and she wasn’t sure if it came from a passing vehicle or from an individual on the side of the street.

On Nov. 3, mustard mischief-making returned to Peabody. At 9:42 p.m. that night, police received a call from a resident of Kings Hill Road who said her property was “vandalized with yellow mustard.” According to the log entry, an officer was going to be sent out to document the vandalism.


At 3:15 p.m. Nov. 4, Bridgewater police received a 911 call from someone on Plymouth Street who reported seeing a white SUV “driving slowly next to young girl and beeping horn.” Police located the vehicle and learned that the driver turned out to be the child’s grandmother who was “trying to get her to get inside vehicle.”


At 5:04 p.m. Oct. 17, Burlington police received a noise complaint about a resident on Joanne Road who was watching the New England Patriots play the Dallas Cowboys. The caller told police that the resident was “setting off fireworks every time the Patriots score.” Police were dispatched to the residence and spoke to the Pats fan, who agreed to refrain from making so much noise.



At 5:33 p.m. Nov. 8, a concerned citizen called Wakefield police and asked for an officer to check on a person at a bus stop on Main Street who appeared to be “yelling at traffic.” According to the log entry, police showed up and found the individual in question, who turned out to be fine and just “listening to music and dancing.”


At 7:48 a.m. Oct. 23, Wilmington police received a call from someone reporting a disagreement between a resident and a customer at a yard sale on Middlesex Avenue. Police responded and learned that there had been some haggling going on. “Peace restored,” the log entry stated, “the dispute was over the price of trash cans.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.