Golden Oriole

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Golden Oriole

  • Today 27th June 2012 my husband came to a screeching halt when he saw a very yellow bird (as he put it) that was not a canary!!.  After a number of searches it looks like a Golden Oriole. We live on the Edge of Dartmoor. Is this a little way over than it should be?

  • Hi Nikki

    One has to be fairly careful about discounting sightings like this but it would be pretty unusual I would have thought. There is a small breeding population near Lakenheath in Suffolk. However, they do pop up in unexpected places from time to time.

    I think it would be helpful if you could give a few more details. What sort of habitat was it in? Did it have black wings? What sort of size was it compared with common birds? eg Sparrow, Starling, Thrush.

    Here's one I photographed in Spain last month. Not a great view but you can just about make out the black on the wings.

    Anything like what your husband saw?

    Another bright yellow bird which is much more common is the Yellowhammer.

    Hope this helps.

  • I would agree TJ dartmoor is not the habitat you would expect to see a golden oriol, thats a cracking picture of one. tony

  • It may not be the normal accepted habitat but of course birds have to pass through non prefered areas to get to the others.Size could be a good pointer in this case,quite a difference in size between Oriel and Yellowhammer.

  • Grey or even Yellow Wagtail are two other possibilities that spring to mind. I would expect those in the vicinity of Dartmoor streams

  • Thank you for your comments, We do indeed see alot of Wagtails in this part of the world and I did consider a yellow wagtail however my husband is adamant that it is an Oriole after showing him the pictures. The bird was on the edge of a copse on the edge of Dartmoor (not actually in the bleak part of it). It was the size of a thrush and had a very bright yellow body and black wings. It was on it's own. I know nature plays tricks sometimes and doesn't always follow the book, we have had very high winds here recently so maybe it has been blown off course somewhat, either way it is a welcome visitor

  • Hi Nikki

    Pity your husband couldn't have got a photo, it may even be an escapee from someones collection

  • Your husband sounds very confident and the description and habitat does sound good. I'm pleased for you.  As I said they can sometimes be seen in unexpected places often on passage.

    I would have thought the sighting was unusual enough to report it to the local County bird recorder. Here's a list of the recorders if you feel inclined to do so.

    www.bto.org/.../county-bird-recorders

  • I'll go with TJ on this pass the info on to the local recorder,they appreciate records like this.

  • And to show you can't rule anything out..from birdguides.

    Last but not least, a male Golden Oriole was at Ibornden Park near Biddenden in Kent on 23rd and another male was reported singing near Burton Mere RSPB (Cheshire) on 24th.

  • Never say never as far as birds are concerned. It would be good if their breeding range in the UK extended to other areas apart from Lakenheath.