Three Swainson’s Thrushes singing in Subalpine Fir forest. 7:20am, 28 June 2017, near Baldy Mountain to the east of Oliver, B.C. in the Okanagon Valley Region.
As most of you know, I gathered soundscapes throughout the American West last spring and summer. Toward the end of my trip, I traveled as far north as British Columbia, homing-in on the Okanagon Valley region. Recording was difficult due to breezy weather, but there was one calm morning and I managed to snag an excellent binaural soundscape featuring Swainson’s Thrushes singing in Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa) in the mountains to the east of Oliver, B.C.
NOTE: Please listen over headphones for the most realistic 3D listening experience.
This delicious soundscape features the songs of three thrushes, set against the rush of a distant brook to the left and the intimate gurgling of a much smaller stream to the right. Toward the end of the recording (6:50), a Mule Deer fawn gives a series of six nasal cries while moving through the forest (at least I think these are the calls of a deer fawn; let me know if you disagree).
The Swainson’s Thrush (perhaps more appropriately referred to as the “Olive-backed Thrush”) has a beautiful, flute-like song that I believe is ever-bit-as-musical as the songs of its cousins, the Hermit Thrush and Wood Thrush. I would describe it as an upward spiral of ethereal, flutey notes … a uplifting and heavenly melody that is accentuated by the soothing sounds of mountain brooks.
What’s nice about this binaural soundscape is it’s spatial fullness … with the three thrushes sounding off from different distances and directions, and the water sounds adding even more width and depth to the sound-stage. This was intentional … I placed my microphone carefully to balance the water sounds and minimize the loudness of the nearby thrush. I’m quite pleased with the resulting balance, though I might be tempted to push I should dampen the loud thrush bit.
Please also let me know what you think of this soundscape. Should I add it to my growing collection of recordings that are suitable for relaxation and meditation? I think I should, but I’d like your approval first.
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Water lover here (especially after living in a semi-arid climate for a decade!)… I too especially loved the visual. More more more !
thanks for doing this.
Oh, Yes, I can remember that “I would describe it as an upward spiral of ethereal, flutey notes … a uplifting and heavenly melody–” radiating under the tall tree canopies of the Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington, a favorite hiking and camping area for Rita and I back in the 70-80s. The sounds echo around those large ancient trees there in the rain forests. The small cascading streams were common there also.
Reminds me of canoe trips with Carl in the Quetico where we would have both Swainson’s and Hermits singing, accompanied by Woodthrush. So nice to hear all 3. And yep, sure sounds like a crybaby fawn to me!
Yup .. that’s what I can hear up in the Adirondacks, although I’ve never gotten a soundscape with all three species at once (but I have gotten Veery, Hermit and Wood singing within earshot of one another.
i LOVED listening to the sweet sounds of the thrushes. LOVED the picture that went with. No expert but i agree with the deer fawn calls. they frequent my backyard.
Yes, I think this recording would be suitable for relaxation and
meditation. I agree that the closer thrush was a wee bit loud.
I liked it when the young fawn entered the area and made some plaintive calls part way through your soundscape. It quickly caught my attention! Nice work.
You’re welcome Carlene.
Yes! Add it!! I have ADHD and this immediately put me in meditation mode!! Amazing! And thank you!!
That’s good news Amy! Thank you for listening and commenting. One question: did you use headphones?
It takes me back to 18 years of Northwest backpacking. Thanks!
Yep … thems your old stompin’ grounds, Ruth.
Nope … those are all Swainson’s Thrushes. But I do have lots of Veery soundscapes and plan to post one soon.
The recording is a real gift especially for the homebound who would never hear such natural beauty unless through a recording. Thank you for all the work involved. Yes, do add it to your collection.
And thank you Sister Elizabeth!
I am one of those people who actually find the water sounds annoying…makes it harder to hear the birds and animals. I have your “Music of the Birds” CD and I listen to it all the time…I really love the places where you slow down the songs so we can hear the individual notes….the virtuosity of some of those songs is amazing!!!! All this being said, I am happy to listen to any recording you are willing to share (I am still going to sleep to your tape from 1994 “The Calls of Frogs And Toads”)… and I do believe… Read more »
Ah … I was wondering when someone would pipe up about that. Of course, I have many recordings without water and I’ll be featuring a number of those in the days that follow, but in recent years I’ve been heavily drawn to streams and other watery areas, not to mention rain and drip, thus the prominence of water-sounds in many of what I consider to be my “best” soundscapes. But, then again, that reflects my bias coupled with my movement away from in-your-face type recordings in favor of ambient recordings with a broad sound-stage.
Another great recording Lang. Thanks for sharing such great material. Have you any trips planned for next year ? Fintan.
Maybe a month in Florida, primarily for ambiences. Plus maybe some work along the East Coast, especially salt marshes. And maybe too visiting some old growth stands in the Appalachians. But definitely no more work out West for awhile.
Sounds great. Hope it goes well for you and safe driving. I see my avatar works. Another thing I have learned about today.
yes … it’s great to see you there, Fintan!
This is wonderful for relaxation and also concentration. Can’t wait for your app to come out!
My big question right now is how do I build a much larger following, so that when the app hits the scene, I’ll get significant sales. I’m not asking you for the answer, just stating the situation. I’m reasonably happy with engagement on my blog right now, but I would love to see it triple or quadruple.
Good job. I appreciate the left-right balance and the mix of sound sources (stream, breeze, birds). I do feel that the near thrush is too loud. To me there was a slight “jar” each time it sang.
Yes, I agree and plan to lower that loud thrush it a bit (actually, a bit “more,” since I already pushed it back somewhat).
Done! I lowered him a few db.
Ah, one of my favorite sounds when we lived and camped out there in western Washington. Great memories. thanks
Hello Lang, Thank you for your beautiful art work in capturing the sounds of nature. I love this Okanagon Thrushscape. I wish it played on a loop. It is very peaceful. Yes, please add to your meditation and relaxation recordings. I really needed to hear this beauty today. Tried to get an avatar. If you see one, then we know it worked. 🙂
I see your gravatar!
I am working on an app that will allow for continuous looping … due out next spring I hope!