While I love this blog, I now pretty much only write on my other two blogs: BirdingBlogs.com and 10,000 Birds - I would love to see you there!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Greatest Warbler song - ever!

I really like getting blog comments and chatting with my blog friends. And so when I posted my last post on "Finding Inspiration and Traveling to Kazakhstan and Po Delta, Italy" I thought that people would write about their experiences with inspiration...

but everyone spoke about Kazakhstan.
Well, that is understandable as searching for inspiration is boring and Kazakhstan has Borat.

Ibisbill, a gorgeous central Asian special. Photo by MohanRK.

And then there was Jochen.
Like an unexpected snake in the grass, he pulled out this incredible centimeter-specific info on where to find one of the most incredible birds on earth (imho). Can you picture this:

Tour guide [Vladimir]: "Hello everyone and welcome Kazakhstan. My name Vladimir. Not Putin. He my cousin. haha, I make joke! You hear? ... I show you birds."

[a while later]

Tour leader: "Vladimir, this is Dale. He is obsessed with birds. and mammals. and bugs"
Dale: "when do we see the Ibisbill?"
Vladimir: "hello Dale, you like bird?"
Dale: "ahh.... yes... So, when do we see the Ibisbill?"
Vladimir: "soon, Dale, first we drink breakfast vodka!"
Dale: "are there any Ibisbill at the vodka?"
Vladimir: grrr

This might be a long week for Vladimir. But at least with Jochen's help, I will have some good amo to annoy Vlad' and make sure we pick up the Ibisbill!

[please excuse my lack of all not completely necessary words in the dialogue. My Russian is ghastly to say the least so I was just reflecting the equivalent of how I ramble in a new foreign language]

So back to Jochen. He has a pretty cool blog "Bell Tower Birding". His latest post is a definite read. All the way through. I mean it, read the entire contents of his latest blog post on indistinguishable warbler songs - a very funny look at the trails of learning bird calls, especially when they all sound the same (as they invariably do).

So Jochen's post was referring to Patrick's question on The Hawk Owl's Nest:
Ok, time for a poll. What's your favorite warbler song? Let's stick with North American wood warblers. It's a tough call, but I think I'm going to go with Blackburnian.

Blackburnian Warbler by Petroglyph. A stunningly beautiful warbler but does not sound like much. Play its call here from the Patuxent Bird population studies site.

To extend that theme to include a few more people in the world (well, we don't all live in North America, you know), here is my reply:
Ok, time for a poll. What is your favourite warbler song? Let's stick to earth warblers. In fact, it doesn't even have to be a warbler. As long as it sings. Or grunts.

Happy birding


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Sorry to do this to you Dale but I prefer the Robins song. :)

Dale Forbes said...

Joan, there are lots of Robins in the world, and you have even seen/heard at least 8 (I would guess, quite possibly more), so I am going to ask you to name a robin: Christopher Robin does not count

oh, and I agree that the south african robin songs are gorgeous. my vote goes to the chorister robin

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I was specifically thinking about the Natal Robin or the White-browed. There are some Larks which I like too but give me the Fish Eagles call above any song. :)

Sharon said...

First of all Dale...great post...LOVED IT!!
Second, I'm not a birder, but I do have ibird plus downloaded on my iphone...so I guess that says there is an interest. So, I just listened to quite a few warbler's songs & my favorite is...
Chestnut-Sided Warbler. They were all beautiful and I couldn't believe how different they all were, but the big deciding factor was that the Phonetic Text was: "please-please-pleased to meetcha". Can't get more likeable than that! Besides, Pickles (the cat), came running when I was playing her song:)

Dale Forbes said...

Sharon, haahaa, pleased to meetcha too.

Phoenetic texts can be funny. Was it the Cape Batis (a south african bird) that went "Three blind mice..."?

Do you have another animal sound that you particularly like? maybe a frog? or a cricket?

Joan, just the mention of the african fish eagle call tugged at my heart strings. I have it playing on my computer right now.
Oh, now the African Skimmer is playing. Not as pretty to listen to, but what a bird to watch!

Sharon said...

An alligator's mating call is a very interesting sound...very scary when you're on a boardwalk alone & you don't know "what that heck" that was!!...and all you have to protect yourself is your camera!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Its not long now Dale, then you will be hearing them for yourself. I will help you wish your days away till your visit. When I travel, it is the one thing I miss more than most - the Fish Eagle. You should go down to St Lucia too. The amount of breeding pairs there has increased dramatically over the years since I started going there in the early 80's.

Most birds are interesting to watch but my first love will always be my wildlife and second my bugs. :) Sorry Dale, birds will have to come in third. :)

P. Ollig said...

I'll dive in. As an avid birder (my license plate on my car is "BRDNRD"), it's almost impossible to pick a single bird song as my favorite. I love them all (except for those damned variable American Redstarts...argh! They drive me crazy sounding like everything else!)...from the haunting yodel of a Common Loon, to the chilling trill of a Hermit Thrush, to the impressively massive power-ballad of the tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

But if I had to choose just one, it wouldn't be a song at all. And you don't so much hear it as you do feel it. Just the other day I was taking my first hike of the season through Glacier National Park here in Montana when I felt something booming softly at the base of my skull. It started with three slow, incredibly deep percussive beats..almost imperceptible to the ears but definitely discernible as a thumping boom as the sound waves traveled down my spine. Then, just after stopping in my tracks to verify that I did actually just "hear" what I thought I heard, the "song" continues. The thumping starts slowly and builds up momentum until it's a thundering roll like a drummer on a deep snare (without the snare, of course). Hearing and especially FEELING that sound is one of the greatest joys I have experienced as a lover of birds, and it's the reason I choose the Ruffed Grouse as having my favorite bird "song".

Ginnymo said...

Sorry. I don't know one Warbler from another and not even sure if I have any here. I like to hear all the birds singing at once..Ha!

Kelly said...

...a Swainson's Thrush's song is beautiful. He's not a warbler, but migrates through with them. When it comes to warblers, I love the Cape May, the Prairie, and the Blackburnian (sorry, I can't pick one...my list will continue to grow if I don't pull my hands from the keyboard!).

Jay said...

Dale, awesome post! Wonderful blog! What a teeny, soft song! I'd say my favorite warbler song would be that of the Prothonotary Warbler, especially this time of year - maybe because seeing all that bright yellow darting around in all the deep green that's consumed the lowlands takes one's mind off the heat and humidity that comes with all the green. My other all-time favorite bird song (one I've had the pleasure of hearing but never seeing) is the Whip-poor-will. Laughing at P.Ollig, I'm reminded of the Brown Thrasher, and Kelly too - yes my list will grow and grow if I don't take hands from keyboard!