July 2018- Golden Orioles

The golden oriole is the bird which took the most effort for me to find. And even a pair living right next to me in Russia didn't help at all.
I first became aware of it when at around 4 in the morning I was awoken by the male calling right outside my window. I was unable to see it because it was perched on the other side of the apple tree, and then a neighbour flushed it, causing it to fly west, but I could still hear its calls. I followed them. When cycling around on my bike shortly after and hearing its calls coming from nearby, I looked back to see a yellow-black bird fly quickly across the road from mixed forest into broad-leaved woodland. This was right on the edge of the village where I stayed in.
I kept returning to the same spot multiple times, and saw it in flight at one point after a thunderstorm. I saw it fly quickly from a lone birch tree into the same broad-leaved grove, where it continued to call in its rather shrill cat-like scream. I couldn't see it from the road. That particular grove has some of the tallest grass I've seen, and seemed perfect for the pair to live inside there. However, I was only ever able to see the male. I don't think I saw the female at any point.
On the 5th July was my first sighting, heaving its song right outside my window. Ten days later, I was still looking for it, everyday, without a trace of a sighting. One time I had seen where it flew to and was trying to get a view of that lone tree, when a tremendous downpour put an end to those plans.
It used the entire area of our village, but mainly was in the forests just outside, particularly in that broad-leaved grove.
One evening I was sure I would manage to take a picture after I saw where the calls were coming from. My camera lost charge at that point.
So when, the next day, on the 22nd July, I woke up to hear its cat-like scream somewhere on the outskirts of the image at around 5 in the morning, I simply left the house. Previously I had talked to someone who managed to take a picture of them on a smartphone from their house and found out that these birds may be using favourite perch spots rather than just haphazardly sitting anywhere.
But I wasn't thinking about that. I was just following the calls and screams. Eventually I was standing outside the village and looking at a birch tree in someone's garden. The calls were coming from that tree. I zoomed in, and thought there was a magpie. I had nearly turned away to look elsewhere, when something about that 'magpie' caught my interest.
It didn't take me long to realise that this was the golden oriole I had been looking for! I was stunned, and just kept taking pictures as it, completely oblivious to my presence, continued calling, until it suddenly flew off into the village.
A few days later, the last I ever heard of it was its beautiful song, coming from the direction of that birch.

Posted by gberloff gberloff, July 21, 2021 09:12


Photos / Sounds


Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus




July 22, 2018 03:44 AM BST


Have been chasing it for 2 weeks before I got this beautiful observation early in the morning!


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