Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baltimore Orioles!

I spent about 4 hours birding the neighborhood this morning, hoping to find some fall migrants and maybe even some coastal birds temporarily displaced by Hurricane Ike. I had no luck finding coastal birds, and south-bound migrants were pretty sparse. Except for Baltimore Orioles. I counted 41 while I was out! Most of the orioles I found were in 4 different groups, 3 of the groups along the Lake Creek Trail and 1 near Meadowheath and Haversham. According to eBird's data, right now is the peak of this bird's fall migration through Travis and Williamson Counties. It sure was fun seeing them all. While I was walking through the T&C playing fields, 2 or 3 times I put my binoculars on a medium-sized flying bird and was dazzled by a bright black and orange male Baltimore Oriole in the mid-morning sun.

But they were hard to see, and even harder to photograph. The orioles were very good at staying inconspicuous. They didn't make much noise, and never let me get very close. They were also usually behind 1 or 2 layers of leaves in the tree canopy. Even when I estimated 1 tree had about 10 birds in it, good direct looks were hard to come by. So I have yet to get a really good picture of a Baltimore Oriole in the neighborhood. But here's what I came up with today. The first is a female, the rest are males.


Michael Ziegler said...

Glad you are so observant! Whenever Jan and I walk around there, pretty much all we see are grackles...
I would love to walk around with you sometime and see what you see.
Best regards,
Mike Z

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Mikael,
It would be great to see Baltimore orioles!

My son was able to catch a photo of the bird I think is an Orchard Oriole and I took what might be the female, both at the fountain outside our breakfast room window.

Could you please look at my latest bird post and tell me what you think?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose