Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The glorious Golden Oriole

14 May 2014

Out for a couple of hours this morning to take jenny for a treatment in, relatively, nearby Solarno between Comares and Colmenar.  No sooner had we driven down the mountain to Los Romanes and we were seeing many Thekla Larks, Serins and Goldfinches with Collared Doves as we passed through the village.

Approaching our destination through the olive groves we had first Rock Doves then a solitary Hoopoe to be followed by a Woodchat Shrike keeping an eye on the passing wildlife traffic in search of an easy meal.  Then, no sooner had we arrived, and we could hear the constant calling of the Golden Orioles from the steep, narrow valley below.  But trying to actually see the bird was an entirely different matter!

Male Golden Oriole Oropendola Oriolus oriolus
In the meantime, whilst jenny was receiving here treatment, I had Nightingales below and a singing Turtle Dove.  The Barn Swallows were feeding over the small stream where it was exposed from under the trees and also collecting mud to build-reinforce their nests.  A number of Wood Pigeons about and then a beautiful Jay flew up into the trees and was later joined by another.  House Sparrows kept themselves bust around the house and we had regular sightings of both Serin and Goldfinch.  A rather lovely Blue Rock Thrush flew across the valley in front of me and then I had that flash of yellow low down in the valley near the Eucalyptus trees.  Watching the bird most carefully I saw it disappear into an almond tree and then reappear on its edge, so giving a potential photo opportunity.  The bird must have been at least 150 metres away but the subsequent shots, when enlarged and cropped, confirmed what a magnificent bird this is.

The obvious question, of course, is how does a bird the size of a staling which is custard yellow in colour with a black wing and bright red beak manage to lose itself in the Eucalyptus trees.  To further add to the picture, we had a pair of Red-rumped Swallows fly in front of the car as we made our way back to Lake Vinuela followed by a handful of Linnets.

Birds seen:
Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Thekla Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Stonechat, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Woodchat Shrike, Golden Oriole, Jay, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch.

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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