An Exotic Visitor

I heard him before I saw him, and before I finally found him, sitting high up in a fir tree at the edge of my property, I knew what kind of bird it would be. He visited here two years ago with such an unusual song and bright colours that he was quite unforgettable. The Bullock’s oriole is not a bird you often see in our area on northern Vancouver Island.

He is the reason I got no work done this morning. Instead, I prowled around the deck, camera in hand, searching the trees for movement and sound. When the oriole landed in the treetop about 100 feet away, I hoped no early morning walkers would look up and see the old lady in her housecoat, and zoomed in on the bird. I took a little video too and spent the rest of the morning trying to figure out how to isolate the part where he sings to us. So far all I’ve got is a headache, but no short sound clip. Maybe another time I’ll be able to post it.

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I phoned my neighbour, who loves birds too, to tell her to watch for the oriole as it had gone over to the trees on her place. I almost threw the phone down when I saw that it had come back to check out my red hot pokers. I didn’t dare run out onto the deck this time and scare it away, so unfortunately this photo is taken through the smudgy glass pane of the railing.

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Oh! He’s nervous. A second later, he was gone.

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But now that Big Bird was gone, the tiny ones returned to their favourite snack.

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I tried to get him to slow down as I didn’t have the camera set up for super-high speed for hummingbird wingbeats (does the camera setting even go that high?), but he wasn’t to be held back.

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With the Spanish lavender so prolific right behind him, you would think he’d go for that, but he prefers the pokers.031aI know the bees love the lavender so maybe that has something to do with it.

I didn’t get much work done this morning. The time spent was “for the birds.”032a

52 thoughts on “An Exotic Visitor

  1. Dawn

    There are days when “dusting the dining room table” can wait…and wait! This was certainly one of them. Lovely photos and your flowers are vibrant. What’s the trick for that ?

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I’ve been very lucky lately to have all these visitors to the yard. And speaking of which, this afternoon, the raccoons came back!! My dogs are in the house because I have to get some work done now and can’t be watching out the window all the time.

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  2. Sonja Forrester

    Such beautiful photos of both the fire pokers and the birds!! Work will always be waiting for you tomorrow, but who knows if this exotic bird would be hanging around until later. I’d have done the same. Life is too short to miss out on these things. Thanks for sharing your day with us!

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    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      The last time I had these guys visit, they were only here for a day or two. I don’t expect to see them again until maybe next year. Big maybe. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it.

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  3. Rebekah M

    What a beautiful bird! I so totally appreciate how you were feeling. You were lucky to get these lovely photos.

    We have Cardinal birds here. We’ve lived here for eight years, and I still haven’t really seen one, let alone capture one with the camera. The other day, one flew by, almost right in front of my nose … like a red line zooming by, into the woods.

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  4. reocochran

    I really enjoyed the Bullock’s oriole, very similar to our Baltimore oriole, Anneli. I enjoyed the pictures and the story with concern for those who may spy you in the casual wear clothing. 🙂 I have no idea how to capture hummingbirds, but you did splendidly!

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      1. reocochran

        I’m glad you caught this amazing bird. The link to this older post made me wonder have you seen the Bullock’s Oriole. Birds are one of my favorite parts of nature. Winged messengers which brighten our days with songs.

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        1. wordsfromanneli Post author

          I saw a flash of bright yellow this spring, but I’m not sure what it was. I couldn’t say for sure that I’ve seen the Bullock’s Oriole again this year. But they sure are bright and flashy and have a nice song.

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        1. wordsfromanneli Post author

          I’m surprised how much is out there. We live kind of on the edge of town on one-acre lots, so there’s still room for a few trees. We happen to have a lot of trees in and around our yard and I think that makes a huge difference. Birds and small animals have to hide somewhere. Trees are everything to them.

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  5. Ursula Kurz

    You should spend every day with the birds instead of doing the boring household things. Your photos are something else, I am so happy to be able to see such beautiful birds and flowers. Thanks so much for sharing them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Wouldn’t that be a life?! Just taking bird pictures and letting the housework go. LOL. I would love it but soon I wouldn’t want to live in my house anymore. I’d join the birds and fly away. 😉

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  6. bernecho

    Work is always there, I love wasting time with them. We have four humming bird feeders that have to be refilled sometimes twice a day, such hard work, but someone has to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

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