Of the many soundscape impressions I’ve gathered in Shindagin Hollow, this morning’s dawn chorus ranks among the best. For me, it was magical indeed, as I sat in the still darkness at the top of an overlook, immersed in listening as the twittering of the birds gradually expanded with the light.
Though late in the season for bird song, there is still a captivating performance in the twilight of dawn. This morning (July 10), the first bird (a Scarlet Tanager) began singing around 4:45 am. The chorus peaked within fifteen minutes, ran full tilt for another fifteen minutes, and then gradually tapered off. By 5:45 it was only a pale reminder of its prior self.
Below is a sample of the chorus at its peak. A Scarlet Tanager sings it’s burry dawn song throughout while Hermit Thrushes and Wood Thrushes chime in. Most notably, a Barred Owl hoots periodically from the hollow below. Do not turn the volume up too high … this is intended to be a gentle, subtle listening experience:
Dawn chorus at Shindagin Hollow Overlook. 5am, July 10, 2012. Lang Elliott
I was so moved by this chorus that I began thinking about the magic of the natural soundscape and how we perceive it … how it differs so markedly from our visual experience and how amazingly intimate the sound experience is. Here are my musings, recorded on location, just before I gathered up my gear and headed back into town:
Lang talking about the experience of listening to nature soundscapes, 6am, July 10, 2012.