Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Patch Golden-en.

I've not posted since week 6 while my blogging peers are going all out with tremendous content. Gavin Haig, Dylan Wrathall, Steve Gale et al all have me eagerly awaiting the next instalment while I am just floundering.

I better fill the gap...

In my last post I 'nocmigged' a Moorhen. The very next day as I took the dog out late, a Coot was yelling its metallic call loudly over the house! Another garden tick on call...I must say, the nocmiggers recording on Xeno canto of birds calling at night are a great help which has just reminded me I had a funny one the night before last that I need to look up...I have suspicions...

On the same night as the Coot, a torchlight check in the village hall pond found a couple of newts on show. Not the expected Smooth Newts I usually see, but two male Palmate Newts. I didnt have a clue they were here being a more upland species usually. Next spring I will be prepared with an aquarium to get some photos.

On Sunday 3rd I got up early and went out birding! Well I got up and had a walk around our village and to the coast path. The only thing of note in a couple of hours was a single Lesser Whitethroat that only stopped briefly before flying off inland. A Wall Brown was in the garden.

In lovely weather, there was just usual expected stuff for a few days the highlight being an influx of Sedge Warblers, not too common in my patch, but 6 arrived on 8th, there was even one singing in the wood beside our garden, that was odd, clearly a newly arrived bird getting its bearings.

It was on Saturday 9th that the real prize lay in store.

Jane and myself took Peggy for a walk down to the pond on a lovely sunny warm morning. It was quiet but very pleasant.

We were about to wander back for breakfast when a call in the trees stopped me dead. This is the standard recovery position when you hear an call that needs to be heard again.

A few seconds passed and then it came. I don't know how to spell 'phweelloo weeloo' but it was as clear as a bell up in tall lime trees behind us. I said 'No! cant be' , Jane said... 'Golden Oriole?' She has never heard one before only hearing  me on about them in the past but she just knew what the caller was... 'weeleeoo woo' again and again...we turned to follow.

I gave her the dog lead and I went ahead. As we walked along the path the bird called again but further off. We headed to where it was. As we neared, the squawking nasal squeal call came a couple of times, lower down across the burn in thick cover. The first time I have heard this call from a migrant. We took a different route to get a better angle but, after a couple of more cat calls, it went silent. The trail was lost.

Such a shame, not to have seen my 4th Northumberland and 2nd patch Golden Oriole, but it gave a great vocal performance in daylight (not on a hard drive) so I am very pleased to have it. For my first one see HERE . Its 11 yrs since that one!

Photo by Gary Woodburn of a bird John and myself found at Newton Pool a few years back. I wish mine had shown as well as this. 

An older drawing of my first Northumberland Golden Oriole that sat about on bramble bushes right in the open.

I cant believe I've had two on my own patch...


Dylan Wrathall said...

I'm honoured to have been given such praise, thank you! I know exactly where you're coming from with this encounter. I had a very similar experience, many moons ago, with a "cat calling" female which, when it finally appeared, I dismissed as a Green Woodpecker, thus no photos, before it flew away, never to be seen again.
Lockdown certainly does something to the patch watcher?
Take care & keep safe - Dylan

Steve Gale said...

A species that I’d love to find locally Stewart. There have been historical records!

Dylan Wrathall said...

I'm humbled by the very fact that my blog is worthy of mention - I thank you!
Golden O - so many happy recollections of Fenland and the Bryant & May poplar plantation just outside of Eley. What a wondrous sound as the dawns were greeted with that "Weelo -weeelo"song of the magnificently yellow males, yet nowhere as piercing as the "cat like" response of the females. Great memories of such happy times - your blog has hit the nail right on the head.
I've only one record for my patch and I very nearly screwed it up, dismissing it as a Green Woodpecker before it flew off revealing the true id -idiot!
Take care, stay safe, keep blogging - Dylan

Gavin Haig said...

What a peach, Stewart! I would love to find a local Golden O, I think they are cracking birds. I've found two or three on spring trips to Scilly years ago, but to hear that magical sound coming from a bit of coastal cover down the road here would have the same effect on me that it had on you! 😊

Stewart said...

Steve -I would have thought you are better placed than me to get a random migrant. Maybe there are just too many good wooded areas your way...now is the time, keep your ears open...

Dyl - Thanks mate. Golden Oriole is as regular as Green Woodpecker on my patch, 2 of each!

Gav - You must be in with a shout for that surely! The song takes a few seconds to dawn on you then its just amazing!