Night Birds

Back in June 2023 I went on a road trip down South & rented a tiny house for a couple of nights in the Marlborough Sounds, which is a beautiful area at the top of the South Island with complex ‘sounds’ – sounds as in small fjords, the Marlborough Sounds comprises one-fifth of the total length of New Zealand’s coast!

The view into the sounds is stunning – this is an arm known as Kenepuru Sound:

The tiny house I rented was up on a hill with a view over the tidal estuary, and I noticed the diverse birdlife as I drove around…

The first night after I cooked dinner I set up a pair of Sennheiser MHK70 microphones on the deck, and enjoyed listening to the ambience…. The location is remote enough that as evening progressed the occasional car passes stopped and it was very quiet & peaceful…. Listening I’d hear some frogs, and then some weka screeching into the night:

Weka pitched down 3 octaves makes me think of dinosaurs!?

But after half an hour of drinking bourbon & listening I noticed there was a slow change in the ambience…
And within 2 minutes the peaceful ambience had turned into some kind of late night rave for birds!

The night bird party seemed to build & peak to a crescendo… And then suddenly it was all over & back to just a few weka & insects… So strange! But it made me laugh, as here I was as a city dweller enjoying the peace & quiet… And a party broke out at the avian neighbours lol.




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