Baltimore Oriole


(Photo credit: Tyler Cone)

When my brother Tyler and his wife Andrea stopped by Baltimore for a visit, we decided to take a short hike at Lake Roland. There had been a Baltimore Oriole nest there for a while, and Tyler brought along his camera and lens to try to snap a picture of it. The above shot is one of several he was able to capture.

Until Nathalie and I began getting into birding, we had never seen a Baltimore Oriole, though similar to my Indigo Bunting story, we ‘always kept an eye out’. It wasn’t until one of our first solo birding trips that we finally saw not one, but three Baltimore Orioles way at the top of the trees along Lake Roland (just near the elephant sculpture along the trail). I’ve wondered if those same Orioles were the ones that eventually nested in the park.

Our most recent Oriole sighting was this past weekend when we spotted three juveniles fluttering about in the trees just beside Acorn Hill. They were about three feet away at their closest, which was extremely exciting.

Since we began, I’ve been interested in snapping photos of the birds we see, however the equipment I would need is far too cost-prohibitive right now. Still, I want some way to record at least some of our sightings each time we go out beyond an eBird checklist, so I’ve begun bringing a sketchbook along, and tackling the challenge of sketching birds in nature. Here’s the first one, an Eastern Bluebird from Lake Roland last night.

Eastern Blue Bird Lake Roland 7122016
Eastern Bluebird, Lake Roland, July 12th, 2016

Another interesting note was the large number of Reclusive Pokemon Go Players we saw. This species used to be quite rare, and it was fascinating to see them venture so brazenly into the open in all areas of Lake Roland, right on the boardwalk, inside the pavilions, and even in the dog park. I wonder if they are here to stay, or if they will meander off, never to be seen again.

Recent checklist:

Date: 7/12/2016
Lake Roland Boardwalk/Park
Time: 6:30pm – 8:15pm

Mallard  8
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  1
Chimney Swift  1
Red-headed Woodpecker  1
Acadian Flycatcher  1     Call only
Eastern Phoebe  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
Tree Swallow  2
Barn Swallow  5
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1
Eastern Bluebird  3
American Robin  15
Gray Catbird  4
Northern Cardinal  3
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
American Goldfinch  1

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