We’re off to New England … New England National Park that is … where we will be participating in a survey for breeding frogs (see below for map showing park’s whereabouts in relation to Newcastle). My personal goal while there is to record the deep croaking of the rare Sphagnum Frog (Philoria sphagnicolus) that lives in high altitude beech forest.
We leave early tomorrow morning (the park is a six hour drive north) and I doubt if I’ll be able to blog during our trip because we won’t have internet up there. So, until my return late next week, feast your ears on the following long recording that I made last night in the Watagan Mountains south of Newcastle, a pleasing zen-infused mix of sounds:
From dusk to darkness at a small stream in the Watagan Mountains near Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Features Kookaburras, two species of frogs, and the Southern Boobook Owl. 24 October 2012. Recording © Lang Elliott.
The recording features Kookaburras sounding off as darkness descends, set against the sounds of two frogs. The high-pitched crackling notes are made by the Green Stream Frog (Litoria phyllochroa). The low-pitched croaks are made by one of Australia’s largest frogs, the Giant Barred Frog (Mixophyes iteratas).
About halfway through this 9-minute recording, a Southern Boobook Owl (Ninox novaeseelandiae) begins calling. Also referred to as Mopoke, both common names refer to its distinctive two-parted calls. The Boobook is Australias smallest owl and is common in the Watagan Mountains just south of Newcastle. It would be difficult to find a spot in the forest where they will not be heard.
Maybe I’ll pick up a new owl or two in New England National Park, though I’ll be quite happy indeed to snag the croaks of the Sphagnum Frog, which has surely captured my imagination.