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Golden Oriole in Iceland

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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 10:37   #1
Edward
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Golden Oriole in Iceland

A female Golden Oriole flew into a house in the village of Reyarfjrur in eastern Iceland yesterday. It flew into a window, was stunned, photographed and released unharmed. There are nine previous records of Golden Oriole in Iceland.

It's one of my most wanted birds in Europe (didn't see any in Spain in mid-April) and if it's still there at the weekend I'll just have to go for it - even though it's a 600 km drive - ONE WAY. Scenery on route is fantastic though and there's always a good chance of finding something else. We'll see.

Photo of the critter here:
http://www.galdur.is/fuglar/tmp1.php?pid=67

E
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 10:56   #2
Michael Frankis
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Hi Edward,

Hope you get it!

Do you know the webmaster of the galdur.is site? - if you do, can you let them know that it doesn't load properly in Netscape, please?

Thanks,

Michael
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 11:00   #3
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Hi Edward,
Best of luck with the oriole:they don't tend to stay that long here,but the combination of the greater distance travelled from the breeding range and(I imagine)less dense cover should help keep it in the area.As with the one that I found on 4th May,birds all too readily disappear into the foliage here,never to be seen again;they can probably reorientate quite readily as well,given the relative proximity of the breeding areas on the Continent and the UK(though I doubt that UK breeders account for many of the Irish records).
Re the 600km drive:I though we had it bad here when a bird turns up in Donegal!;-)
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 16:01   #4
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Hi Edward, I remember looking through my Observers book of birds as a kid and thinking that apart from the usual "big birds" in it, that the Golden Oriole was something really special (which it is of course). Good luck on your mission.
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 16:08   #5
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Steve, I agree it must be a very special bird, even though this one's a female and therefore not that stunning yellow of the male. I gather they're pretty common in mainland Europe (just difficult to see) but no-one we spoke to in Spain had seen any yet. It'll come one day......

Harry, thanks for the words of encouragement. I don't really expect it will stay around until Saturday but you never know. I'll probably head out in that general direction anyway. Where there's one there could be another, or even that Fair Isle Thick-billed Warbler!

Michael, I'll let the webmaster of the Icelandic site know (he's actually a BF member!)

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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 16:29   #6
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Edward, as irrelivant as it probably is, here a picture of my battered book at the said page.
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 16:41   #7
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Hi Edward,
You'd never know:I raced down to Cape Clear last year to see a Golden Oriole that had been found the previous day:it stayed for at least 4 more days afterwards!
With regard to "or even that Fair Isle Thick-billed Warbler!";was rather hoping that it would end up here!Next to no chance of that,especially as that would involve a movement southwest of where it was,which is unlikely in spring.
I'd settle for ANY tick here:have been a few potential ticks this spring but very few stayed around for more than a few minutes!Have "missed"(didn't even get a chance to travel for!)2 Tawny Pipits,2 Red-rumped Swallows,4+ Tree Pipits,Glossy Ibis and Water Pipit,and unless the winds go back to a favourable direction I doubt that there will be much else seen until the autumn:spring is an altogether quieter affair here than in Britain with respect to rarities,on the whole!
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Old Tuesday 20th May 2003, 16:58   #8
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Steve, my grandparents had that book and it brought the memories flooding back!

Don't give up on the spring Harry, I had a quietish May and June last year and then saw Rose-coloured Starling and White-winged Tern in July in Iceland. However, I could get a couple of new birds for my Iceland list if I decide to go east, Wood Pigeon (a common vagrant and one which I refuse to travel far to see, and the usually untwitchable and fairly common Swift). I'll be very happy with a Pomarine Skua.....
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Old Wednesday 21st May 2003, 21:22   #9
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Hi Edward,
Don't worry about me,ticked White-crowned Sparrow today(1st Irish record)!;-)
Best of luck with the oriole.Your comments re Woodpigeon remind me of my position on Tree Pipit:the species is a scarce migrant,and I'm sure to stumble across one sooner or later!
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 08:31   #10
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Excellent news about the White-crowned Sparrow. It's almost a year to the day since we had one here in the harbour in Reykjavik. It was definitely ship-assisted and the captain said there were several more (!) which left the ship in sight of land but they were never found.

The Golden Oriole was found dead in somebody's garden yesterday, a fate which waits nearly all vagrants I suppose, including the White-crowned Sparrow.
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 09:02   #11
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Hi Edward,

Sad about the Oriole, and I guess inevitable.

But I'd think your White-crowned Sparrows should be able to survive well at least for the summer in Iceland, as they breed way up onto the Canadian arctic tundra. I'd guess their problems might come if they tried to re-orient west across Greenland

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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 09:18   #12
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That's true Michael that a bird such as a White-crowned Sparrow could survive the summer here but you've hit the nail on the head about what happens next. Let's face it, all American passerine vagrants in Europe are doomed to die far from their natural breeding/wintering grounds. I am as excited as the next man by rarities from distant shores turning up. Think how thrilled we'd be by an American Robin, for example, turning up but it's ironic that people who are concerned with conservation (as I'm sure most of us birders are) get huge kicks out of seeing birds who will never fulfil their biological role of breeding - not that the death of a few vagrant passerines matters at all in the grand scheme of things, of course. But when that Veery turns up I'll be delighted!

E

P.S. I looked on the map and it was 700 km ONE WAY to the Oriole spot anyway.........
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 09:39   #13
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On a slightly related note, I have heard / read somewhere that "wrong-way" migrants, that don't exhaust themselves to death and do survive the season, often return whence they came. Not sure if they remain wrongwayers or whether they reorient themselves in subsequent years.

Anyone know?
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 10:05   #14
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Reverse Migration is OK for birds migrating short distances over water,such as european birds arriving in Britain and Ireland, but it is highly unlikely that any N.American passerines ever get back to thier native country. For each bird that turns up here after the journey over the atlantic, it is thought hundreds more will have perished at sea, so if that bird tries to migrate home again it is likely to fail (shame that it is).

Of course with things like sparrows it is more likely to have come over on board a ship than through sheer determination and flight.

Sorry to hear about the Oriole, stunning birds either sex.
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 10:05   #15
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Yes, there's quite a few that do survive, like the Lesser Crested Tern which returned to the Farne Islands every summer for 13 years.

And ringing evidence of birds like e.g. Barred Warbler, ringed in Britain, and managing to re-orient and return to their normal breeding grounds.

But for American passerines, it is probably true, no long-term survivors on this side of the Atlantic.

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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 10:12   #16
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Yes, of course it's different for birds that can live at sea such as terns, gulls and those that can land on the sea, wildfowl etc. but as you say trans-Atlantic passerines have had it, unless they find a ship to take them back, as it's likely that a great number of small American passerines that are seen in Scilly, Brittany, SW Ireland and Iceland each autumn are ship-assisted anyway. Isn't it?
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 10:24   #17
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Innocent untill proven guilty??
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 10:26   #18
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Absolutely! Couldn't agree more.
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Old Thursday 22nd May 2003, 14:03   #19
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Hitching lifts on board ship isn't a crime any more . . unless deliberately fed & watered.

So presumably the BOURC & other national bird recording authorities have to go down on the quayside and interrogate the captain & crew . . .

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Old Friday 23rd May 2003, 11:59   #20
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Hope isn't lost!!

Another Golden Oriole just located, only (!) 400 km away. Going this evening. Sunset at 23.10 tonight so there's plenty of daylight to search in!!

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Old Friday 23rd May 2003, 12:36   #21
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Good luck
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Old Friday 23rd May 2003, 16:37   #22
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Hi Edward,
Good luck!Oddly enough,Iceland has had more Golden Orioles than Ireland this spring,despite being much further from the normal migration route!"My" bird is still the only one here!
Let us know how you get on.
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