Bird calls in the morning
On those days I am feeling a little lazy and sleep in a while I enjoy lying in bed listening to the morning chorus of birds in our garden. When we stay with our daughter in Clare (mid-north South Australia), or with our son in Sydney or with friends or family in other parts of the country, the bird calls in the morning have variations we don’t get at home. When we are holidaying in our caravan or camping in our tent there is a different set of calls to identify. Call me a lazy birder but it is very enjoyable.
A while ago we were in Clare. At dawn I identified the usual birds in my daughter’s garden or nearby. Laughing Kookaburras could be heard down by the lake. The “chock-carock” of the Red Wattlebird is another easy one to ID. The Common Blackbird skulking in the bushes nearby gives its warning “cluck-cluck” call and a mournful Little Raven flies unhurriedly overhead. The “sweet pretty creature” call of the Willie Wagtail is very familiar and easy to hear. Up the street I hear a small flock of Adelaide Rosellas and their “chink-chink” calls. The screeching Musk Lorikeets rocket their way to another tree nearby for a feed. A pair of Australian Magpie Larks on the back lawn begin their piercing duet calls, “pee-wee” answered immediately by the other with “tee-o-wee”.
But there is one call that intrigued me. On first waking I dismissed it as a Red Wattlebird but then I wasn’t so sure. I wondered if it was a Little Wattlebird. In all my years of birding in the Clare district I’d never recorded the Little Wattlebird there but it was theoretically possible. Its call is what intrigued me the most. Not once but many times over about five minutes it called, mostly from the bush just outside the bedroom window. It distinctly sounded like the bird was saying “Rach-maninoff” with a very brief pause after the first syllable.
I must take more notice of the birds around here.
UPDATE: If you are trying to identify a bird call, a good place to start is the Birds in Backyards website (click here). This site features many Australian birds with plenty of information about each one. Many of the entries have sound files of the calls. Some of our field guides also have excellent apps for phones – I frequently use the Michael Morcombe eGuide to the Birds of Australia. This has all the information contained in the book version plus sound files. It costs around $30 Australian.