Located not far from Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks, the expansive Spring Pond Bog Preserve (owned by the Nature Conservancy) is a popular destination of birders and other nature lovers.
In early June of 2000, I visited the bog several times to record Swainson’s and Hermit Thrushes singing together among the spruce and tamarack. I had great luck with the thrushes, but my prize recording turned out to be a lovely mixed-species dawn chorus, recorded at bog’s edge. The main singers are White-throated Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, and Swainson’s Thrush. A Lincoln’s Sparrow also sings at times and one can hear the staccato chelek! of a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher in the background:
Dawn chorus at Spring Pond Bog, 4:30am, 12 June 2000, near Tupper Lake, New York. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
To my ear, this is an utterly magical mix of sounds. Compared to the Trap Pond soundscape (previous blog entry), which included sounds over a very wide frequency range, all the bird songs in this recording are clustered and overlapping in the 1500-5000 Hz range. The effect is stunning—living bells ringing, fluting, essentially glittering—like stardust falling upon the bog. I close my eyes and see bog sprites dancing among spruces and tamaracks, welcoming the light, welcoming the day.
Does everyone like this recording? I’ve massaged it quite a bit to knock back one very intrusive White-throated Sparrow and a Hermit Thrush that wandered too close to the mike. I’m pretty pleased with the result. Note that the full-length version, which is nearly ten minutes long, will most likely be featured in a collection of northern soundscapes, to be published in a couple of months.