Dawn at Willow Pond © Lang Elliott Dawn at Willow Pond. 5:30am, 28 April 2013, Finger Lakes National Forest near Trumansburg, New York. © Lang Elliott.

This morning I visited Willow Pond, a favorite spot of mine in the nearby Finger Lakes National Forest. It was cool and foggy. There was not much activity … a few male Red-winged Blackbirds setting up territories, a Song Sparrow or two singing from shrubbery, some woodpeckers drumming in the distance … that’s about it. But in my mind’s eye (or rather “ear”), I could hear the soundscape of the future, the rich variety of sounds that would greet the dawn about a month from now.

Returning to my studio, I dredged up a lively dawn chorus I captured at Willow Pond on the 28th of April in 2013. I’ve decided to feature that recording today, a reminder of things to come, of the rapid expansion of the soundscape that will occur as birds return to their breeding grounds and begin their reproductive cycle. This is not a mellow, put-you-to-sleep recording. It is engaging, with a rich variety of species sounding off. Here is a list of what I hear:

  • Spring Peeper (peeps)
  • Red-winged Blackbird (songs and various calls)
  • Canada Goose (honking)
  • American Crow (cawing)
  • Northern Flicker (drums and occasional calls)
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (distant drums)
  • Black-capped Chickadee (songs)
  • American Toad (soft musical trills)
  • Swamp Sparrow (songs)
  • American Robin (various calls)
  • Common Grackle (songs)
  • Brown-headed Cowbird (songs)
  • Mourning Dove (very soft coos)
  • Well … have I missed any species? And what do you think of this recording? Interesting? Uplifting? Or just ho-hum? I rather like it myself!

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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