It is the tenth of November, at dusk, and I am gazing at a picturesque bend in the Missouri River. The sky is pink and autumn leaves still cling to oaks on the hillside.
Winter is almost upon us here in North America, yet I am immersed in fresh memories of spring from a faraway land. We have returned from our Australian expedition, arriving at Carl’s home-in-the-woods late last night. I slept a solid twelve hours and still feel as if I need more rest.
Today I browsed a number of recordings I made in Australia. I have a LOT of great material to sift through … enough, I believe, to put together at least two titles (70-min digital download CDs).
Below is a really nice recording made at dusk in dry forest in Pilliga Nature Reserve, not far from Coonabarabran, New South Wales. It includes prominent songs (calls?) of the Noisy Friarbird. What I like most about this recording is the way it ends, with the songs of several additional bird species, including White-plumed Honeyeater and White-throated Treecreeper (thanks to Vicki Powys for ID’s). Note too the measured low-pitched coos of a Common Bronzewing (a kind of dove), heard throughout. At the very end you will hear a single metallic squeak of a Galah (a kind of Cockatoo).
Noisy Friarbird and other species sounding off at dusk. 7pm, 13 October 2012, Pilliga Nature Reserve near Coonabarabran, Australia. © Lang Elliott
Below is a sonogram showing the last minute of the recording. It’s a work of art all by itself, at least to my eyes. My friend and bird song expert Vicki Powys of Australia (caperteebirder.com) has graciously labeled the various species that sound off.
Sunday morn, November 11:
During the winter months my mind always wanders forward into spring. With a smile on my face, I tell my friends that “spring is just around the corner,” even when it is months away. This winter is special indeed, with spring so fresh in my mind, both in hindsight and in foresight. Truly, I feel surrounded and embraced by the warmth of spring, even as the cool autumn rains blows against the window and browning leaves flitter across the wintering landscape.