Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grey Shrike-thrush: Whit-will bird sounds heard on 23 August 2012

Sometimes I take video recordings from my bedroom window using my mobile phone just of the sounds birds make before they go to bed. This particular day the Red Wattlebird in the area was quite noisy. The birds tends to become very noisy just before they go to bed, here in Tenterfield. It's like they all suddenly try to locate each other.

A lot of different bird sounds happen in the first minute, including a small dog barking around the corner from my place. This video is a compliation of bird calls about 10 minutes before they all began going to bed.

At 2:21 into the video a different bird call is heard. It sounds like "Whit will". However, before this sound is heard a Red Wattlebird is clearly heard, then afterward at 3:43 a Pied Currawong is heard. To complicate matters an Eastern Rosella is also heard singing at various times throughout this video (starting at 0:29) but then goes quiet.

I have been studying this video for some time now and I no longer believe an Eastern (or other) Whipbird is travelling through Tenterfield. I believe this unusual sound is being made by one of the local birds. And I believe it is one of 3 birds: the Pied Currawong; the Red Wattlebird; or the Eastern Rosella. I am suspecting it may have been an Eastern Rosella that made the "Whit-will" calls as I have captured audio evidence of an Eastern Rosella making the sounds of a Bell Miner earlier this year. (Boy was I wrong on that assumption!)

Whatever the bird is it is heard moving away. The Red Wattlebird was in a gum tree across the road and to the far right which is out of the camera's view in the video. The Pied Currawong is a bit further away also to the right. And the Eastern Rosella was about in the same location as the Red Wattlebird.


Footnote: 20 October 2012 This is what happens when one studies bird calls but does not know all of the bird species calls. This "Whit-will" sound is actually the sound of a Grey Shrike-thrush. I've heard this call before this video was taken but never knew what made the sound. Grey Shrike-thrushes are not in Tenterfield all year round. They migrate, I believe, after they have bred. I've heard this same bird call for years so it is a frequent annual visitor to Tenterfield. The day I took this video was the day the bird arrived in Tenterfield for the year.

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