Today was an perfect example of how we rely on our ears just as much as our eyes as birders. I found myself at Swithland reservoir listening to the dawn chorus at a horribly early hour this morning - 4.55am to be precise. The reason for such lunacy? The Golden Oriole that had been present for the last two days!
When the news orignally broke of this bird I thought there was little point in running after it as most Leicestershire records involve birds that rarely linger, as a result I was thoroughly unprepared for going to see it yesterday too when the bird bucked the trend and stayed for a second whole day! Surely this was too good to last and eager to avoid another Savi's warbler incident I made sure I was there at the very crack of dawn this morning!
Turns out I should have had an extra hour in bed as although plenty of birds were singing (including a nice Cuckoo, only my 2nd this year), none of them were the Oriole and it only led to increasingly nervous thoughts!
Eventually though the golden flutey notes reached my ears and there was truly no mistaking it for anything else once I'd heard it properly! Lifer! Too bad it joins Quail on the list of stuff I've ticked but haven't actually seen, better than nothing though!
By about 7am the Oriole had quietened down somewhat and hadn't shown itself at all so I called it quits at that point and headed off to see if I could hear me some Quail as it seemed like a perfect day for listening to stuff! The site I visited was the National Forest land near Bagworth where there were several singing Quail last summer but none were heard today unfortunately. So I headed home, pleased with my 3rd lifer in a week! This birding lark is easy so it is.