Dawn chorus at Hickory Mound Meadow, featuring the gurgle of a temporary brook after rain. Recorded around 7am on 10 May 2016 in Finger Lakes National Forest near Trumansburg, New York. © Lang Elliott.
Spring is just around the corner! Here in upstate New York, Jefferson’s Salamanders migrated less than a week ago, the woodpeckers are drumming like crazy and I heard a cardinal singing in my yard this very morning. How exciting this is! Just to prime my spring-centric pump, I spent an hour this morning rummaging through some of my favorite springtime soundscapes from previous years and I soon uncovered a true delight, a delicious taste of things soon to come …
I’ve named my recording “Hickory Mound Meadow” and it documents an early May dawn chorus at a favorite location in nearby Finger Lakes National Forest. The photographs says it all … a small, temporary stream is draining water after a rain the night before. Just beyond the willow patch is a wetland and to the right (not visible) is a prominent mound, perhaps an old root cellar, at the site of an long-vanished homestead. A huge hickory rises from the top of the mound.
I think you’ll agree this is a lovely soundscape. The constant gurgle of the freshet, slightly to the left of center, acts as nature’s drone. Birds sound off in all directions. Listen for the songs of House Wren, Northern Cardinal, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird, Mourning Dove, and more. There’s even a Pileated Woodpecker drumming in the distance toward the end.
Please drink in the beauty and rest assured that soundscapes like this will soon enliven wild nature, cleansing one’s spirit and soothing one’s mind. The voice of nature is a tonic, a primal elixir that has the power to purify and transform one’s outlook on the world. How can one remain negative in the presence of such beauty?
Friends … if you find that my blog has a positive impact on your life, please help support my effort by making a modest donation.
Curious if there’s away that you can set this up as a continuous loop . . . ?
I love this recording! It’s so rich with delightful sounds. It made me feel like I was outside in a beautiful place, enjoying nature in spring! Wonderful!
This is my favorite, so far…
Have you posted anywhere a discussion on your preferred equipment brands?
Beautiful! We are on the Bay of Quinte (Ontario) and it was lovely to hear and anticape all the bird song that is still a few weeks away here. Thank you! Also working on identifying birds by song, so thank you for identifying species that I could practice picking out of the chorus. Great practice opportunity. We are enjoying the spring migration of waterfowl right now. All kinds of ducks we only get to see spring and fall, like merganzers, hooded merganzers, scaups, redhead, ring necked and yesterday I saw American wigeons, which I haven’t seen before! Most of the… Read more »
Gillian: It’s great to hear you have all those waterfowl. We get a number of species on Cayuga Lake. Maybe I should take a drive around the lake to see what I can find.
While i find enjoyment with every season, Spring is my favorite. To me, it represents life and this soundscape,Lang justifies it. Just beautiful and i know there’s so much more awaiting. Thank you.
There’s a lot already going on. I recorded a bluebird singing this morning and posted a recording of it on my Facebook page.
Delightful!!! <3 The red-winged blackbirds just returned to my world a couple of days ago. Your photograph looks just like a place a few miles from here. I love spring!!! It is creeping closer and i have noticed the birds singing a bit more lately. Wrens are another of my favorites. Thanks for sending spring smiles to my mail box!!
I keep listening for Carolina Wrens in my yard (they’ve been commonplace for years), but I’m not hearing any. I fear the extreme cold at the turn of the year has killed them off. Hope I’m wrong.
our wrens usually return in May. Some years they nest in our yard. I love to hear their bubbly voices. They put every ounce of themselves into their song. I hope yours return soon…
I think you’re referring to House Wrens, which are migratory. In contrast, Carolina Wrens stay on territory year round.
Yes, I think ours are House Wrens. Are the songs pretty similiar?
well, I finally started listening to these recordings with a good pair of headphones and of course you were correct. The immersion with eyes closed into the environment is wonderful. Thanks for an early spring!
John: glad to hear that you checked out headphone listening. I own a pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 noise cancelling headphones and I’m totally in love with them. I can immerse myself in nature soundscapes even at Starbucks; they lower the ambient noise level so much that I can be immersed in light rain and barely hear all the commotion around me. Of course, if someone yellow “FIRE” … I would be unaware of the danger.
How lovely! Thank you.
Lovely promise of Spring! The birds are definitely sounding differently with the lengthening days; it’s so wonderful to hear. The cardinals have started singing in the morning, and the red-wing blackbirds and grackles have returned and are gobbling up the sunflower seeds. It seems early for them. Thank you for this, it does lift the spirit!
I think it’s time for me to start rising early enough to hear the dawn chorus. I must admit that I’ve been sleeping-in over the winter, not getting outdoors until well after sunrise.
Soon to come!!!
: >) yes indeed!
I am new to your recordings and love them so much. I am an artist, with a focus on birds most of the time and if it’s too cold to have the window open or go outside, your recordings will get get me through winter in one piece! Thank you so very much for taking the time to do this and for sharing your love and talents with the rest of us!
And thank you Kimberly for chiming-in!
Oh what a lovely taste of things to come! The sounds of spring are one of life’s greatest treasures. I love identifying every bird sound I hear, so I have a few to add to your list (which I know wasn’t meant to be comprehensive): Field and Song Sparrows, Least Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, the slow trill of a Swamp Sparrow or maybe a Chippie, and the chatter of probably a Gray Catbird (faintly). If anyone heard anything else, I’d love to know! (with the timestamp)
How exciting … the list is growing!! And I think that would be a Swamp Sparrow singing from a marshy spot across a road just behind the mic.
On a late February day it is almost hard to imagine really hearing this kind of rich, melodious morning concert. Thank you Lang for this reminder. What a treat and yes, it is coming. I heard red wings at a nearby beaver pond this afternoon.
No redwings here yet, but soon I’m sure.
Heard my first one this morning, on the 28th.