Sunday 28 May 2017

Black-naped Orioles

I've heard a few spring migrant Black-naped Orioles on various islands over the years but they are a real pain to see. In fact I've only ever seen one in Japan, the very first I tried to see. Last week I saw two; twice. Then this weekend one or two more!

I was in Kanazawa at the crack of dawn on Saturday and pretty much the first thing I heard was the rasping call of an Oriole. I couldn't believe it, the third bird in a week. Of course it was no easier to see than any other Oriole but I was able to glimpse the bird in flight occasionally and even perched once. I wasn't the only person trying to get a decent view, make that any view, but photographs were probably less high on my list of priorities than some of theirs.

The area isn't vast so I'd often put in a little time waiting for it while doing the birding rounds, it was almost like taking a break. It was truly astonishing how difficult this bird was to see. Several times I, and an attendant group of others, would have it whistling for long periods in the nearest three or four trees and not even see it when flew out... and started calling somewhere else. However on one of my circuits someone told there were definitly two birds present but whether I saw both individuals I still can't say. However I did finally manage to get a couple of photographs of this bird, a 2CY, I was one of a very select band. Unfortunately the bird was against the light for the brief time I had it so this is the best I could manage.

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