This morning I got a phone call from Rich Guthrie, that a male Bullock’s Oriole was being seen at private feeder in Columbia County, New York. After getting the necessary details, Danika and I decided to go for it. We got Sophia off to school and Lillian on the bus and then we were off. The location is roughly an hour from Albany and well with the boundaries of my Region 8 Big Year.
We arrived at the location around 11:30 am, as we pulled up I saw a streak of orange take off from the feeders and into a nearby evergreen, where we promptly lost it. So we waited. American Goldfinches, Blue Jays, Black-Capped Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers were constant at the feeders while American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows fed on the spilled seed on the ground with a few Northern Cardinals and Mourning Doves. As we watched the feeders some more (Still no Oriole mind you), a small group of Pine Siskins came to the feeders, along with House and a lone Purple Finch. On a tree near the feeders we spotted a Brown Creeper working its way up along with a White-breasted Nuthatch.
After half and hour or so, Danika and took a drive around the neighborhood. Didn’t find much, except a spot where a bunch of Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Black-capped Chickadees and Titmice were making a racket. We searched, but could only assume that they had found an Eastern Screech Owl. Those things can blend right in sometimes!
We returned to the feeders, with time running short (We had to be back by 2pm to get Lillian off the bus). While we waited, some fellow Region 8 Big Year folk showed up to watch as well. Then we finally saw a flash of orange again, and there on the deck was a stunning (especially in the snow) male Bullock’s Oriole (a life, state, regional, county and year bird for me!). The bird was skittish and did not allow for any photo opportunities. However this bird has been hanging around for a few days now and the home owner has gotten some pretty good shots, which you can find here.
So check the page above for the updated total!