Wednesday, 13 June 2012

'God put a smile upon my face'

In the night of 11-12 June, a midnight 'piepje' (message) announced a calling Little Crake (Porzana parva) in the Weerribben in Overijssel. During the afternoon a plan was made to go for the bird in the evening as we never heard it before and because Alwin is quite busy with a big year. In the meantime, another Western Bonelli's Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli) was discovered near Arnhem. It's a rather good species for June. The plans were changed last minute once again. Toy picked me up to go for the warbler and we eventually would meet Alwin and Joep somewhere for carpooling.
The Bonelli's Warbler wasn't that difficult to find and identify. Short strophes and an nice 'v' instead of a '^' (checked beforehand on recordings ;) ). When it started calling it became even more easy. I was quite happy with recording the call, didn't hear the last one calling and during my first one I didn't have a recorder yet (I was so jealous of Sander Bot and decided to buy one myself). So a first recording for me!

And of course a recording of the song. Note the second strophe: it shortly introduces the song by calling.

In the meantime it became clear that Alwin was having a diner, so we would meet him at the Crake. We arrived at 21:45 and when walking to the spot, we already got some 'got him' messages! From quite a distance we heard the bird calling. Apparently, my microphone made an impression and immediately the group became silent when I started recording. According Pieter Doorn, my face was priceless when the bird started calling and continued in singing. A big smile appeared on my face, what an amazing sound! Among nocturnal birdsounds, this is absolutely 1 or 2 of the list, competing with Thrush Nightingale.
Note the change in call type when the bird is proceeding into singing:

I made a short walk along the cycle track and heard Common Pochards (Aythya ferina) calling. Never heard it this clear and consious. However, the calls were really weak, so the recording is not that good.

By the way: thanks for all the nice (personal) comments on recordings, I really appreciate that :)

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