When it comes to soundscapes, the night choruses interest me most, and especially the remarkable array of sounds heard in marshes and swamps. Wherever I go, I seek out wetlands and the magic they hold.
I made the following recording in the spring of 1995 at a favorite swampy area in Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. It was nearly midnight. Whip-poor-wills, Spring Peepers, and distant Chorus Frogs provided a satisfying backdrop for a big surprise: the alarm calls of a two White-tailed Deers, whose airy snorts echo across the marsh in the dark of the night:
Alarm snorts of a White-tailed deer with Whip-poor-wills and frogs calling, 11:00 pm, 15 April 1995, Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
I have a number of night recordings that feature deer snorts, but this one is perhaps my best. The deers weren’t close, which worked to my advantage, producing a reverberant and unobtrusive soundscape. I like hearing the distant deer about halfway through, followed by another that is much closer.
I’m curious if you guys are familiar with this surprising sound. Have you ever heard a deer snort up close? When that happens, it can be extremely startling and make your heart skip a beat (or two, or three).