Andrew Clem home
Andrew Clem banner

Blog post

Monthly archives
(all categories)

May 1, 2005 [LINK]

Oriole at RFK? No way!

I was probably the only one of the 41,000 or so baseball fans at RFK Stadium last night to bring along a birding field guide, and it sure came in handy! In the sixth inning, I spotted a Common nighthawk (first of season) swooping around the stadium lights. Thus distracted, I didn't see Nats first baseman Nick Johnson swing when he hit a home run. A good luck omen, perhaps? Then during the second rain delay of the game, in the eighth inning, well after dark, I was surprised to see a blackish bird flying around the field at the upper deck level. With my binoculars, I could see it was smallish in size, so I figured it was probably a swallow or a swift until I saw that it had definite light-hued patches on its rump and wings, making me think it was a Baltimore oriole. Was this a publicity stunt hatched in Baltimore aimed at taunting Washington fans? Finally, the bird landed in the middle of the outfield as the rain poured down, and I got a clear look at it with no glare from lights in the background. The unmistakeable pale yellow back side of the head left no doubt: It was a Bobolink, no doubt confused and disoriented. They are very uncommon in Virginia, and are usually found in places where cows outnumber human beings.

More seasonal firsts

I was awoken this morning by an odd but delightful song outside the window (in Northern Virginia), and even in my semi-conscious state I recognized it as a White-eyed vireo. Fortunately it stayed there and kept singing throughout the morning, and I finally spotted it in a thicket of tall bushes. Later my niece Cathy and I went for a short walk and saw an Osprey, two loud Red-shouldered hawks (probably courting), plus a Red-bellied woodpecker, some Chipping sparrows, Cowbirds, and a Bluebird, among others. On our way home this afternoon I spotted a male American redstart near the Panorama restaurant and gift shop (closed for the season) in the Shenandoah National Park.

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 01 May 2005, 10: 54 PM

(unformatted URL)

This post is over a week old, so comments are closed.

© Andrew G. Clem. All rights reserved. Your use of this material signifies your acceptance of the Terms of use.

Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:

Category archives:
(all years)

This (or that) year's
blog highlights

Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

  1. Wild birds (LAST)
  2. War
  3. Science & Technology
  4. Politics
  5. Latin America
  6. Culture & Travel
  7. Canaries ("Home birds")
  8. Baseball (FIRST)