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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 22:36   #1
LadyintheWoods
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Unidentified Bird call in Mid Wales. UK Oct 2017.

Dear All,
Every year for the last 6 years in September/October only I've heard a strange bird call.I can only assume it is a migrant? This year I managed to record it and sent it off to the RSPB but they havnt managed to identify it yet and have asked others to help.Does anyone know what it is please? PS The call gets louder after about 50secs-it was flying overhead but I couldn't see it because of the trees.Thank you everyone.I just hope I've managed to attach the recording OK!
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File Type: m4a Voice 016.m4a (1.42 MB, 324 views)
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 00:11   #2
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I think the culprit may be a raven "ours" make some bizarre calls in flight sometimes. They have a very large repertoire of calls.

https://youtu.be/nQgPy79Oxx4
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 07:04   #3
ClarkWGriswold
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Hi LadyintheWoods and welcome to BirdForum. We've got plenty of Ravens around here and I must admit that whilst hearing some weird calls from them, I've not heard anything like that. Torchepot may well be right though.

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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 10:50   #4
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Agree with ClarkWGriswold. I too have heard some very weird sounds from Ravens, but never anything remotely like that.
Annoyingly, this sound 'rings a bell' with me but I can't think what it reminds me of.
Maybe I'll wake up later.
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 13:28   #5
Nutcracker
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I'm in the Raven camp - I have heard that noise once or twice from them.
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 14:25   #6
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Yep, another vote here for Raven. Childhood holidays on a farm near Tregaron, and I can still remember how the Ravens would go from raucous to dove-like. Their repertoire is startling.
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 15:00   #7
LadyintheWoods
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Thank you all so much for your replies and thank you Torchepot for the link to Raven calls.I never knew that they had such outstlanding vocal repetoires! I will have to try to get a visual on it just to confirm.The one thing I do not understand is it only calls in Sept and Oct for a few weeks and then disappears until the next year.Why would a .Raven only call then? As it is not breeding season, unless it moves on to another area? .It has been as regular as 'our' Cuckoo I could set my calendar by it! That is why I thought it was a migrant just passing through. How long do Ravens live for? As if it is a particular Raven with that unique call I've heard him for at least the last 6/7 years possibly more!
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 15:36   #8
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Certainly ravens are (can be) very long-lived. Calls can also be very seasonal - Jays have a window early in the year where they make some lovely noises - sadly it doesn't last
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 15:41   #9
Egrets Ivadafew
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Ladyinthewoods,
50 percent of Ravens never get past their first year, 5 years is starting to push it, and 12 years is maximum lifespan for just about all, so yours is getting on a bit. As for the calls, it's said there are up to 64 different ones, and the ones you're hearing maybe just communicative rather than territorial (given the time of year). Personally I love Ravens, there's something mythological about them. Also, whenever I see one, I'm always in a place of beauty, if that doesn't sound too dramatic (OK I admit it, I once saw one on the roof of an abattoir, but we'll skip that). A really great read (tells you everything you'll ever need to know) is The Raven by Derek Ratcliffe (Poyser).
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 17:28   #10
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Just had a look at Wikipedia and it mentions 21 years as the maximum age in the wild (one at the tower of London lived to 44!)

I vividly remember feeding ravens (next to the "Don't feed the Ravens" sign) in a Mc Donald's carpark in Alaska and I swear they were the size of turkeys!!

Last edited by Torchepot : Wednesday 11th October 2017 at 17:34.
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 17:54   #11
Egrets Ivadafew
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Thanks Torchepot, discrepancies are one of the subtle joys of birding, it makes us ask questions, delve deeper. The figures I quoted come from BTO ringed recoveries.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 21:13   #12
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Egrets I know what you mean - the Wikipedia raven gen took me off on a sidetrack to the longest living passerine recorded from ringing studies - a 26 year old Satin Bowerbird! Then I couldn't resist checking out the lyrebirds - maximum age around 20 years - which then led to those amazing Youtube videos of their extraordinary mimicry.

https://youtu.be/VjE0Kdfos4Y

The wonders of the information age! - Great Fun - until I got a rollicking for not finishing the lawn which I started hours before
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 23:45   #13
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Never cease to be amazed by that lyrebird. I read somewhere that someone actually Nailed an ID on the make of chainsaw, just from the bird call.
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Old Monday 30th October 2017, 22:16   #14
LadyintheWoods
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Hello All. Its me again.I have just had an email back from the RSPB on the recording of the bird call that I had sent to them before I found BirdForum and it has taken them until now to reply.They think it is a black grouse.So everyone what do you think? A Raven or a Black Grouse? The surroundings are perfect for it from what Ive read.There's common/moory type land,deciduous woodland, a bit of coniferous, a couple of small lakes,streams,scrub and grassland.All at 800-1000ft.There is a steep hill that lines along a valley and when the bird calls it echoes off the hill amplifying and giving a metallic ring to the call.I have noticed that it makes the call when its flying.Do Black Grouse do the same? I am not Tablet aware enough to attach the you tube vids I saw or the sounds I found on websites.Sorry! I am now more confused than ever! I would love to have your opinions.Thanks.
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Old Tuesday 31st October 2017, 08:03   #15
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Hi, it doesn't sound like Black Grouse to me. Also if it was flying overhead, that would rule out calling Black Grouse. Also, Sept/Oct is not a good time of year for Black grouse to be making much noise (tho they do make some). Also they are extremely rare & localised now in mid Wales, in fact almost extinct. I'm not sure what the call is though i'm afraid.
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