Light rain falls upon an overgrown meadow shortly after sunrise. Rivulets wind across the clearing, draining excess water from the receding storm. The sun, peeping through the clouds, throws a broad beam of light across the clearing as birds burst into song in excited anticipation of the coming day.
Set in upstate New York in late May, this is one of my favorite binaural soundscapes. It is unusually immersive (please use headphones!), with the pitter-patter of light rain and the gurgling of streamlets providing a soothing backdrop against which the bird music spreads out in all directions. I could listen to this for minutes on end, imagining that I am standing at the edge of the meadow, protected under the canopy of a large tree.
Many species can be heard, some from the surrounding forest. Listen in particular for the quickening down-slurred whistles of Field Sparrows, the staccato fitz-bew of a Willow Flycatcher, the lively witchety-witchey of a Common Yellowthroat, the cheery warbles of an Eastern Bluebird (at times), the mournful coos of a Mourning Dove, the thumping drums of at least two Ruffed Grouse, the musical song of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, the soft trilling of crickets, and finally the throaty caws of crows way off in the distance.
Ah … how sweet are the myriad voices of nature! I am so grateful to have witnessed and documented this amazing symphony of sound.
NOTE: I just discovered that I posted another recording from about the same location, but made earlier in the season. It is called Meadow After Rain. I posted it in early May of 2016. I don’t like it quite as well as the one featured above, but it’s nonetheless quite nice and features a somewhat different set of birds. Please check it out if you’re so inclined.
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