Is it possible I have spotted a Baltimore Oriol?

I live in Wiltshire and our house is situated on an escarpment.  On Sunday, I spotted a bird I have never seen before.  Conditions were clear and the bird was perched on a hedge about 15m away from where I was sitting.

The colouring was as follows:  Bright orange chest and underbody with a black head, black back and wings.  White flecks on the wings.  There were also bluetits on the hedge and this bird was bigger than them.

Any ideas?


  • Hello Ella,      unless this bird is an escapee from a collection I can't think it would be a Baltimore Oriol and the only other bird I can think of would be a Common Redstart which once again wouldn't usually be seen at this time of year (as far as I know) as I believe they usually migrate back to Africa by end of October. I'd wait for one of our experts to try give you more clues as to what bird it could have been.


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • A Baltimore Oriol would be most unlikely. However, when I looked it up to see what it was, the British bird that immediately sprang to my mind was a male Brambling and that would also fit your description pretty well.


    Nige   Flickr

  • Bramblings aren't in breeding plumage at this time of year and not sure white flecks on wings would be an observation when trying to i.d. them. I.D. description matches stonechat in typical pose on top of a bush or bit of hedgerow on an escarpment. Obviously, bramblings in breeding season are a better fit for baltimore oriole, so poster may think it was that.....
  • I'm afraid I have to disagree there. You are right that Stonechat is a definite possibility, but I don't think you can rule out Bramblings as a possibility so simply either. I saw plenty of them last week and while they aren't as orange as the Oriol, the males are still orange enough for that to be the stand out colour and to be a potential match for the other parts of the description.


    Nige   Flickr

  • No probs, Nige. Not sure where the white wing patches fit in, and stonechat matches the description as well as is far more common in Wilts in November, esp at escarpment sites and perched on top of bushes and small hedges.