Gold in the Hills of Picón

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Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

There’s a glint of gold in many of the woods these days, but the woods in Picón are absolutely gleaming with it. No you can’t make jewellery with it, but it sure does decorate the area. I’m talking about Golden Orioles (Oriolus oriolus). Despite their bright colours these birds are quite difficult to see in the trees but their flute-like calls are much easier heard.

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Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

The Golden Oriole spends its summers in the northern hemisphere, here in Europe and also in western Asia, wintering then in south and central Africa. As I mentioned, they have a distinctive flute like fee-uu-fwee-uu song, but can also sound somewhat like a blackbirds. Other sounds they make are a call similar to a Jay, another a falcon like gi-gi-gi-gi-gi. 
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Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

Once you have heard them, the next problem is to find them. The bird above I found sitting on it’s nest and trying to hide. I normally don’t photograph birds at the nest but this one was only a few metres from the side of the road and I just took a few from the car before moving on. They are an extremely attractive bird with their bright golden yellow plumage, however they are extremely shy and surprisingly difficult to see in amongst the leaves. The female bird whose photographs accompany this entry always avoided the sunshine, and would even change branches to stay in the shade. It had two or three perches it would frequent, depending on the sun, and despite keeping an eye on the perches from my hide, you would all of a sudden see that she had arrived unnoticed. In the background every now and again a brief glimpse of gold would streak from one shady tree, through the woods, and dissappear into another shady tree.

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Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

We stayed at our future new house in Picón on Sunday night, as we had a long weekend, and the evening was a feast of birdsong punctuated by a number of orioles in the park across the road. The morning was even better. I simply can’t wait to wake up regularly and have breakfast to sound of these golden flutes playing for me every summers day.

Go for gold, go birding and see Orioles in La Mancha, Spain with Oretani Wildlife.

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