Stanislaus Audubon Society publishes a guide called "The Birding Sites of Stanislaus and Merced Counties" (available through the website or from the store at the Great Valley Museum). It's a great resource for finding birding locations in our region, and it had one almost cryptic passage about Fox Grove, a fishing access park on the Tuolumne River between Modesto and Waterford. It mentioned only one kind of bird: the Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus). I hadn't seen any yet in my birding adventures, so I stopped by the park for a few minutes this afternoon. I didn't really think I would see anything, but the sun was setting, the birds were chirping, and a hawk was screeching in the trees above. I saw a few other birds, but then I saw what looked like an oddly colored bird very high in the palm trees, and snapped a few shots. They are a bit fuzzy, but I realized a short time later that I had my first Hooded Oriole! I'll be working as I always do to get sharper pictures the next time around.