I started my quest at Beacon Lane, where the bird – a first summer male – had been regularly seen. The Oriole’s nature is to seek dense cover or linger in the tops of trees. Those of you who know the area will know that there are very few tall trees at Spurn. So I was expecting fleeting glimpses if I was going to see anything at all.
After a couple of circuits, including a walk up one of the denser hedge boundaries, there was no sign of anything except Blackbirds, Dunnocks, an obliging Sedge Warbler, and a very hungry Whitethroat picking off the Brown-Tailed Moth caterpillars that were breaking out of their silky cocoons in their hundreds.
|Emerging Brown-Tailed Moth caterpillars|
|One hungry Whitethroat|
So I decided to walk the ‘Triangle’ to see what else was around. The wind was keeping most things close to the ground, but I did find an obliging Skylark, a Wheatear, and a couple of Whinchats.
|Meadow Pipit with a hungry brood|
I had only been out of the car for a few minutes when a couple of horse riders came past. Suddenly there was a thrush-sized greenish bird flying towards me, diving into a dense bush of hawthorn near the car park. Could it have been the Oriole? I waited for a reappearance for what seemed like ages, but to no avail. Then, as a lady with three noisy dogs walked along the back of the horse pasture, there it was again. This time the Oriole offered some better, but still brief views as it moved from one hawthorn tree to another, before heading north towards Easington. Frustratingly I didn’t have the chance of a photo, but my view through the bins was good enough for a positive identification. The reputed likeness of immature birds to Green Woodpecker was not as strong as I expected. The back was green but paler; the breast a much paler yellow; and the rump also a much less vivid yellow. But a Golden Oriole it was, and means another tick on my list.Hopefully this has now broken the ‘Jonah’ tag and I might enjoy more such good fortune over the rest of the summer.