The first Baltimore Oriole that I saw this season was spotted along the East Coast Trail at Cape Spear on September 11, 2011. Typically, this is a stand-out bird and would be noted as a highlight of a day, but on that particular day it took a back seat to the hunt for the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that had been sighted in the area. During the several hours that another birder and I were searching for the Gnatcatcher, one Baltimore Oriole flew in, perched for a minute and flew off not to be seen again. It was actually quite a distance away and I didn't identify it on the spot. When I reviewed my pictures, I realized what it was.
of Baltimore Orioles show up on Blackhead Road near and in the community of Blackhead. On October 6th I spotted a brilliant immature male sitting in a tree quite a distance from the road. I was amazed at how vibrant its color was and how it really stood out even though it was so far away. On that particular day while I was looking at this great little bird, two other birders had their binoculars on an adult male Baltimore Oriole near the Blackhead museum. I couldn't tear myself away from this one in time to go see the other on. On one particular day, undocumented, I came across a group of five Baltimore Orioles some distance from the road. They flew into a tree and out again very quickly. On October 13th, I saw two in the Blackhead Playground and they stayed around long enough for me to get a few shots.
My best opportunity to get a descent picture of the B. Oriole came on October 21, 2011, once again at Blackhead Playground. However, I didn't seem to be up to the challenge of the dark day, fog and back light. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to really watch the behaviour of this dull colored little bird.
No feat was too challenging. This bird is agile and because of this I was able to get really good looks at the underside as well as the topside of this bird.
I don't know about other new birders but when I imprint a memory of a bird in my mind, it represents the vision exactly as I saw it. If a bird appears anew in another time and place and it is not in the exact position, I may not recognize it right away. That sends me running to my guide books once again to come up with an ID.
I took a quick trip to Cape Spear yesterday and looked all around Blackhead but didn't see any sign of the Oriole. Have they left? Will some find their way to feeders? What happened to that adult male that I missed in early October? If only the birds could be date-stamped with where and when it would be so interesting to know where they have been and where they are going.