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Aberdeenshire, UK - bird call (1 Viewer)

Andy Strachan

Well-known member
Scotland
Hi guys,

While walking through a woodland park yesterday (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) I heard this call that I didn't recognise. I'm in the park most days, and like to think I'm quite familiar with the usual suspects, but this one just stood out to me.

If you listen to the audio that I've attached, it repeated this call again and again. It seemed quite a loud call for the distance between us, and compared to every all call that was going on at the time. As I got quite close to it, I noticed a bird fly out the back of the tree's and seemed to be about the size of a large thrush, or maybe up to around pigeon sized. Was hard to tell, and it may not have even been the same bird, but the call's never came again after that.

Here's hoping it's not something too obvious! I've got that nagging feeling that it's something reeeaally familiar, but can't put my finger on it!
 

Attachments

  • bird call.wav
    1.6 MB · Views: 0

KenM

Well-known member
Perhaps unlikely....but to my ear it has more of a Hobby “ring” to it than say Kestrel, presume they would be pretty scarce in your neck of the woods Andy?
 

Andy Strachan

Well-known member
Scotland
Wow, OK so I had a listen to some sounds on xeno-canto and a lot of the Hobby sounds are very similar! But so are the Kestrel!
I don't know what the chances are of seeing a Hobby up here, because I'm not experienced with these birds at all, and Birdtrack doesn't show their records, but I know it's probably slim to very very slim chance of it being a Hobby.
On listening to the calls... it sounds more like Hobby to me. But Kestrel is very similar, their call seems to be more variable, which could make it even more Hobby-like I suppose, and it's a lot more likely to be a Kestrel, based on the fact that I see the odd Kestrel going about.
All of that is really just guesswork by me based on some xeno-canto sounds.
So I won't be ticking off Hobby just yet... :cry: unless I can be convinced otherwise!

For anyone that's in my area, it would be good to know how common or uncommon Hobby's are around Aberdeenshire?
 

Andrew Whitehouse

Professor of Listening
Staff member
Supporter
Scotland
Wow, OK so I had a listen to some sounds on xeno-canto and a lot of the Hobby sounds are very similar! But so are the Kestrel!
I don't know what the chances are of seeing a Hobby up here, because I'm not experienced with these birds at all, and Birdtrack doesn't show their records, but I know it's probably slim to very very slim chance of it being a Hobby.
On listening to the calls... it sounds more like Hobby to me. But Kestrel is very similar, their call seems to be more variable, which could make it even more Hobby-like I suppose, and it's a lot more likely to be a Kestrel, based on the fact that I see the odd Kestrel going about.
All of that is really just guesswork by me based on some xeno-canto sounds.
So I won't be ticking off Hobby just yet... :cry: unless I can be convinced otherwise!

For anyone that's in my area, it would be good to know how common or uncommon Hobby's are around Aberdeenshire?
If it helps at all, I've lived in Aberdeenshire for 17 years and have only seen one Hobby here in that time (and that was in upper Deeside). There was one record in 2019, which is fairly normal for a year in NE Scotland.
 

Andy Strachan

Well-known member
Scotland
If it helps at all, I've lived in Aberdeenshire for 17 years and have only seen one Hobby here in that time (and that was in upper Deeside). There was one record in 2019, which is fairly normal for a year in NE Scotland.
That's exactly what I'm looking for. I knew they were quite rare, but not that rare! So I don't think it was a Hobby, but I'll be keeping my eyes and ears open in the hope that I can still confirm it visually, cause even if it's just a Kestrel, it's still a learning experience, putting the call to the bird.
Cheer's Andrew
 

Andy Strachan

Well-known member
Scotland
So this one is still on my mind. I've been out looking about for it, and just yesterday, from quite far away, I seen a smallish grey-backed hawk fly into the tree's about 100 yards from where I heard the calls last time. Didn't hear it or see it again though. Of course that could've been a sparrowhawk or something totally unrelated, but it's definitely got me wondering if it really was just a Kestrel on the recording, or was it a Hobby or something else.
Interesting to see Wryneck suggested. Again, that would be a real rarity up here.

I had another listen to calls from the three suspected birds... see what you think of these. I tried to pick similar ones. (I've re-attached my original recording if you want to compare.)

Hobby - XC590948 Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo)
Wryneck - XC647225 Eurasian Wryneck (Jynx torquilla)
Kestrel (Juvenile) - XC426179 Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Kestrel - XC584503 Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

To my ears, the Hobby sounds the best match for the tone. But not the right tempo.
But, I'm thinking it might have been a juvenile Kestrel?. It has the right tempo in that recording, a similar tone (not quite right because of the large difference of proximity of the recordings possibly?), it's the right time of year for a juvenile, and I see the odd Kestrel nearby now and again.

I'm not convinced by the Wryneck recordings. The pitch of their call seems lower. I'm still leaning toward Kestrel. Possible Juvenile?
 

Attachments

  • bird call.wav
    1.6 MB · Views: 0
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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