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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 12:51   #1
Torchepot
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Nocturnal Mystery call France

This two note reedy thin call from 3 nights ago about 2 a.m.

I've repeated the call to make it a bit easier to listen to.

Nocturnal mystery.mp3



The spectrogram is very distinctive.

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It reminds me of some kind of thrush call - any ideas?
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 14:18   #2
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Has it got filters applied Torchepot? Coz it made the Common Sand somewhat unrecognisable til you posted the call without..
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 16:10   #3
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Thanks Jogresh

Valuable feedback - even if it sounds like I'm making things even harder!

In an ideal world the critter would call right next to the mic and there would be no background noise - but that's never going to happen.

It's a bit of a balancing act - trying to boost the call while reducing the noise.

I usually copy the original beside the work in progress and keep playing them joined together so that I can tell when I'm distorting the original too much.

In future I think I'll post them like that so that nothing is lost.

I'll crank up Audacity later and repost the original mystery call joined to the filtered one.

Might be a good exercise to to it with the Common Sand too while I'm at it.

It doesn't help that I'm flying blind mostly (and that I'm clueless )

Last edited by Torchepot : Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 16:13.
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 16:39   #4
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I agree it sounds thrush-like, maybe Song Thrush ?
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 17:13   #5
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Here's the original - sounds quite different

Nocturnal mystery original.mp3

Think I got carried away with the gain control - I only just discovered it
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 20:06   #6
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Mm, still can't come up with anything more definite I'm afraid.
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 20:16   #7
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Thanks anyway Dave

A lesson learned - I'll be careful not to mess around with the recordings too much in future. Just been out setting up trail camera and then sound gear - should have done it the other way round as I heard tawny owl, barn owl, dormouse and fox all calling at once!
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 17:58   #8
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FWIW I thought Blackbird maybe - but the rythmical nature of the sound is surely an insect?
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 18:26   #9
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Sorry Simon

I should have made it clear - it's just a two-note call - I repeated it to make it easier to listen to.
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 19:33   #10
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In my humble opinion it is always best to leave a recording as natural as possible, don't repeat or apply filters etc. Now that you mentioned it is an artificially repeated call Blackbird is indeed a good fit.
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 20:30   #11
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Thanks Roland

I agree that a good recording should be left alone, but I'm recording some calls which are often faint, with a noisy background and on a budget set-up.

I have a big collection of calls which I think are too poor in quality to be worth posting (but of course I'd still like to know what they are ).

I apologize if I have wasted anyone's time by overdoing the filtering on a couple but I'm on a steep learning curve here and I've been very impressed with people's ability to identify calls.

To me it's a bit like applying post-production software to poor, blurry photos of distant birds - sometimes it can reveal enough detail to clinch IDs. Of course there are plenty of photos posted on BF which are a waste of everyone's time - I'll try not to do the same with my recordings!

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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 22:04   #12
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Originally Posted by Torchepot View Post
Sorry Simon

I should have made it clear - it's just a two-note call - I repeated it to make it easier to listen to.
I thought it sounded more like a cricket of some sort

Then it sounds very good for Blackbird - try this: http://www.xeno-canto.org/92909
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 00:03   #13
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Thanks Simon

Sounds right - and the spectrogram is similar too. I'm thinking that this is a migrating bird as it was just that one two-note call in the middle of the night.

Plus it just sounds like a flight call somehow.

Sorry for the insect impersonation (though in my defence, looking back I did mention I'd repeated it ) still don't think I'll be trying that again!

The barn owl has popped up on several recordings now and sounds quite close so I have high hopes that it's roosting in our village, which would be great news. No repeat of the Night Heron so far though.

Cheers

Phil
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 09:44   #14
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Nocturnal Blackbird calls are actually rather variable. They can consist of one to three syllables and look like yours or like the attached.

For further examples you might check this out: http://birds-in-flight.net/?p=1932
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 10:41   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torchepot View Post
This two note reedy thin call from 3 nights ago about 2 a.m.
I've repeated the call to make it a bit easier to listen to.
It reminds me of some kind of thrush call - any ideas?
Yes, to be fair, you did try to make it clear that the original was repeated.
And your initial guess of "some kind of thrush" seems to have been right.

Personally, I'm not absolutely convinced on Blackbird, to me this is still Turdus sp, but I'm not going to argue about it.
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 20:41   #16
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Hi Roland

I meant to thank you for the link to birds-in-flight before - I've not come across it previously. I made a short cut to it on my desk top and have been browsing it on and off for a while now. Fantastic resource with lots of information that's been new to me.

Your latest link to blackbird is exactly what I needed and I especially liked the comparison to the other species.

Just before the dawn chorus this morning I got another zigzag call (better recording too) this time it was the single call with the harmonic above it which exactly matches one of the nocturnal blackbird spectrograms.

Really nice to be learning something new about such a familiar bird.

Thanks again

Phil
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Old Thursday 12th October 2017, 20:46   #17
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Hi Dave

I think the interval between the repeated calls caused the most confusion - if I'd left a bigger gap it wouldn't have sounded so much like an insect. I've occasionally heard recorded calls which are on a loop - I thought of trying that but actually I find them a bit annoying.

Cheers

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