The arrival of Olive-backed Orioles usually marks the appearance of warmer spring weather around Newstead. I heard my first for the season, near South German Track, on Saturday.
The brilliant red iris of the adult oriole is a striking feature, contrasting with the plumage which can make this species hard to see amongst the foliage as it searches for caterpillars and other insect prey. Olive-backed Orioles are an interesting bird. They spend most of the year with us, departing when the last of the autumn fruits are done. I last spotted one in early May, feasting on figs near the Loddon River. I’ve no real idea of where they go over the cooler months – there are a few isolated local reports during June/July but the main influx of birds occurs in September. At this time they are quite vocal and I suspect more birds over-winter than we realise – remaining silent and therefore easily missed.