Nature soundscape featuring Black-throated Green Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Winter Wren, Blue Jay, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Ovenbird, and more. 8am, 30 April, 2016, Shindagin Hollow near Brooktondale, New York. © Lang Elliott.
This morning was cloudy but calm. I went to nearby Shindagin Hollow to see if there were any new arrivals … and sure enough there were. I recorded for nearly twenty minutes from a ridge not far up-slope. The stream at the bottom was quite loud because of recent rains, but not overwhelming from my position. The featured soundscape is a condensed version of the original … I’ve removed sections where not much was happening so that you can enjoy the best parts.
Getting out of my car, the first thing I noticed (how could anyone miss it?) was the high-pitched see-see-see-see-soo-zee of a Black-throated Green Warbler, singing from directly overhead. Then I became aware of a distant Rose-breasted Grosbeak, whistling his robin-like notes from the other side of the hollow (actually, there are two of them). Next I was uplifted by the cheerful songs of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, singing from the understory not far down-slope.
Then, a real surprise … a Winter Wren suddenly piped his telltale silvery song from high in a Hemlock tree (he gave an abridged song the first time, followed by more typical versions). Next I was delighted by the raucous calls of two Blue Jays. Then another wonderful surprise, the buzzy, rising zree-zree-zree of a Black-throated Blue Warbler. How exciting can it get?
Birds sounding off faintly in the background include a Dark-eyed Junco trilling near the beginning of the recording, and then an Ovenbird giving his teacher-teacher-teacher-teacher toward the end. There are also a number of call notes near the end, but I’m not certain which species is making them (perhaps they are concern calls of the Black-throated Blue?).
As a bonus, I’ve decided to treat you to a closeup recording of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak that you can hear in the background of the featured recording (I’m pretty certain he’s the same bird). I homed-in on him by driving up a dirt road on the other side of the hollow, and then hiking a short distance into the woods. He was high in a maple tree and his musical whistles are quite reverberant, adding to the beauty of his performance.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak closeup recording (this is the same bird heard in the background in the above recording, I think). Listen also for a (probably Downy) Woodpecker drumming, a Chipping Sparrow (or Junco?) trilling, and the loud call notes of an Eastern Towhee. © Lang Elliott.
Yessirree, the migrants are arriving in spades and soon we’ll have a rollicking dawn chorus. I can’t help but wonder what other fresh arrivals are lurking about, not quite ready to join the morning roll call. Maybe Scarlet Tanager? And where are the Wood Thrushes and Veerys? Be patient Lang, be patient.
Oh my, how I love this magical time of the year!
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I am wondering about a sound at 43 secs that almost sounds like a distant toilet flushing! Love this and have been letting repeat over and over! Thank-you!
Eleanor: Oh my gosh … I think that’s my stomach making noise! I was standing no more than six feet from the mike during the entire recording. I’ll have to remove it ASAP!
Just like being in the Smokies in late April!!! Where we met you for the first time. Totally awesome!
Dick: I well remember meeting you down there, and we struck up a friendship that has lasted many years!
Voy a hacer una composición con esa música y te la mando para que la incluyas en tu blog
Such lovely sounds of spring revive my spirit! Thanks!
Thank you Lang! So beautiful. Just saw a female rose breasted here this morning so I’m looking (and listening) for a male. Always a joy when they arrive!
Very nice Lang!. I walked a broadleaf forest here in Southern Ontario at about the same time. I was struck by how quiet it still is. Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Northern Flickers were around and singing/calling but the forest birds are still holding back – yet we’re barely one degree of latitude north of Brooktondale N.Y. It’ll be pandemonium any day now and your recording is a nice refresher. The Winter Wren song always stops me in my tracks.
Pretty lousy weather here today and the forecast for the next seven days is not that great … lots of rain and unseasonably cool. Tons of birds will be arriving, but the conditions won’t be very good for recording. Except, of course, for recording in the rain, which I’ll most certainly be doing.
Lovely! Thank you!
Thanks for the Rose-breasted Grosbeak sound! We have some here now. I thought it was a mockingbird or insomniac nightingale. Wow! Thanks.
How fortunate we are to live near quiet natural places, including local, state and National Parks, where we can tune our senses to the sounds and sights and smells of the natural world! Thanks Lange for sharing your wonderful audio recordings and journal notes. I want my students to be able to identify 10-15 common bird calls. Many of my students go camping, or “go to camp” in the summer. They have already memorized the amphibian calls. So far my bird call list includes: robins, bluejays, chickadees, red wing blackbirds, red breasted grosbeaks, roughed grouse (drumming), song sparrows, kinglets, loons,… Read more »
T.P. Where do you live? Once, I know where, I’m sure I’ll want to recommend including a few extra species.
Downeast Maine…. Machias area
well, I’m all for learning the sound repertoires (songs and calls) of common species … especially the calls that tell us something about what’s going on in the life of the bird. So, I’d throw in all the common neighborhood species … house wren, baltimore oriole, catbird, cowbird, etc. These would be the birds most likely to be encountered on an everyday basis, without having to go to special habitats. Of course, Machias holds many possibilities in this respect, so you’re in a much better position than I to create the list.
I forgot about catbirds and cowbirds! Thanks for the suggestions!
Another superlative example of a “frabjous day” and I envy your experience of it as I thank you for sharing your gleanings with us. The songs of birds and waters balance sweetly in this and I can imagine being in this wood on the soft day depicted. My region is morphing from rural to less so, and it’s been years since I have seen or heard some of these transient beauties, so I am also grateful for the archival value of your work. Hundreds of stories you say? Marshmallows already skewered on my green stick, ready to listen by the… Read more »
Sharon: Yes, I am very lucky to have ready access to some great natural areas, here in upstate New York.
“Gleanings” – perfect! We do love the gleanings that you share with us, Lang. The Lang Elliott Gleanings!
Very nice! We’re having particularly good migration here in northwest Florida where birds taking off from the Yucatán Peninsula come in to refuel after crossing the Gulf.
Northwest Florida? Are you anywhere close to Blackwater State Park? Or are you closer to Tallahassee and the Appalachicola NF?
Sounds of the birds singing and the water is wonderful.
I am so excited. I have had three red breasted grosbeaks at my feeders. I just saw an indigo bunting. What a treat.
Indigo Bunting, huh? Whereabouts do you live Carolyn?
Would you consider doing a new version of Morning Pro Musica?!! This is so glorious, and they all sound as happy as we feel to have spring return (well, *mostly* return!).
Lisle: I’m actually planning to create a podcast series that will perhaps include a couple of minutes of narration-free soundscape at the end. I have binaural recordings from all over the place, gathered since 1992 … plus hundreds of stories to tell about my recording adventures.
That is such wonderful news! I have enjoyed a few of your older tapes for years, and always comment that I wish you had a podcast.
Yes, that’s in the works, but I need my voice to recover more (from throat cancer treatment) before I dare begin.
Very nice, Lang! Yes, the Warbler waves are beginning!
Watch out John … those waves are big ones, and you don’t want to drown!
Love love love these recordings. Thank you!
You’re welcome Susan. I love them too … they are all binaurally recorded and hence quite “immersive” when listened-to using headphones or earbuds.