Sunday, 29 April 2012

Bird of the day: Grasshopper Warbler

Today was a calm day, almost no wind, no sun but still warm. As Wageningen is quite religious and it was cloudy, there weren't many people around the Nevengeul: almost perfect conditions for sound recording. So I did!
There were a lot of Common Whitethroats, but almost everywhere other birds were screaming through their song. Too bad, no (good) recordings of this species today. While listening to the Whitethroats, I heard a Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia). So I tried this one, and it was more cooperative! It even started singing totally in the open and showed really well. A Blackbird was desperately trying to overrule the bird, but as their song has a lower pitch, we are able to shut their beak (figuratively of course)..

This reminded me of recordings I made of this species last autumn on the island of Vlieland. I think I've recorded almost all types of sound that Grasshopper Warblers can produce, except for the begging call. But birds can always surprise you!

On the 22 of August 2011, I was birdwatching with Marijn van Oss and Jorrit Vlot on Vlieland. I found a Grasshopper Warbler in some scrub, but it started to sing very softly and a little bit hastily. As the shutters of Marijn and Jorrit's cameras were clicking and the bird flew away eventually, I only made a short recording. It was recorded without pistol microphone:

The same day, more in the afternoon. I heard a loud and sharp 'tsak' comming out of the scrubs. These scrubs are closed from above, but you can watch through them when kneeled. So I tried to lure the bird into my direction by imitating the sound and the response was curiously comming more nearby. Eventually I got a view on the producer: a beautifull 1cy Grasshopper Warbler. I made a recording, again with the recorder only, but this bird was so close!

Admit it: it is a sound that certainly draws your attention when bashing some bushes in autumn!

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