Spring is coming to the southern pine woods . . . perhaps it has already arrived! With over two feet of snow on the ground here in Ithaca, New York, it is difficult for me to imagine that spring is just around the corner.
Wanting to taste the flavor of the pine woods soundscape, I searched my collection and came up with a pleasing recording from April 29 of 1994. I well remember the experience. I was exploring the Apalachicola National Forest near Tallahassee, Florida, and camped one night near the Sopchoppy River. At the break of dawn, a Great-crested Flycatcher established the rhythm of the chorus with regular slurred notes accompanied by soft throaty garbles (his special dawn song). Bachman Sparrows soon joined in with their musical songs—thin whistles followed by trills. Many other birds sounded off in the distance, including Chuck-will’s-widow, American Crow, and Northern Cardinal. Listen also for the continuous trilling of crickets. What a wonderfully piney medley!
Pine woods dawn chorus featuring Great-crested Flycatcher and Bachman’s Sparrow. 6am, 29 April 1994. Apalachicola National Forest near Tallahassee, Florida. Recorded by Lang Elliott.
My friend Bob McGuire is heading to Florida in a couple of weeks. He will be recording bird songs and calls in the Florida panhandle. It will probably be a tad early for him to get a soundscape as rich as this one, but who knows? Whatever Bob finds, I’m sure he’ll home-in on some exciting sound events. So let’s all wish him well as he rushes toward the leading edge of spring.
Good Luck Bob!