Idän ihmeitä - Wonders of the East

(c) Harry J Lehto

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Swinhoe's Snipe - Siperiankurppa

Gallinago megala

Photographs the bird.

This bird was found at Tohmajärvi, North Karelia, Eastern Finland in June 2008.
The rumor says that the bird was first noticed in Early June by the local farmer who
after about two weeks later informed the local birders about a nightjar that sounded strange.
The news was released soon after this. The bird made two very different
types of sounds. In the complicated and high towering fast aerial display, it is common
knowledge that the tail feathers of snipes make a loud sound. This unusual sound readily
identified as such in this bird.

In this sample, there is one weak greenfinch song at about 2.4 to 3 seconds, and
an instrumental line at 12 KHz.

All the other sounds here come from the snipe. In the blue oscillogram one can note
how the beating part of the sound becomes louder and lowder.

In the lower sonogram one can count that there are 60 beats (59 intervals) from
the start at 1.29sec until the next to the last "normal beat" at 5.67 sec. This makes
a beat frequency of 13.5Hz, becoming slightly lower at the end. The fundamental
frequency of the sound is very close to 2000Hz. Within each beat the fundamental
frequency increases to 2200Hz. Note also the grunting sounds at about 3.3 and
3.4 sec and a similar sound at a pitch of 1560 Hz, which shows as a thin separate
horizontal line every time the snipe shows a beat in the sonogram.

At about 6.0 seconds of this sample a down slurr begins. It lasts for nearly half
a second. This is then followed by weaker sounds for about a second. These sounds
are quite similar to the ones in the next sample. Occasionally (in less than 1/10)
cases the downslurr and the end beast were missing.

When very active this aerial display sound was heard every 30-60 seconds.
The bird was most active 1-2 hours after sunrise.

The second type of sound was seen to correlate with the bird opening the bill. This
was obviously a non-mechanical sound. The call could be heard up to 400 meters,
at which distance it sounded somewhat like a Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris), but rythmic.
Although first appearing as as mostly a jumlbe of harsh calls, the rythmic feel was evident.
This can be seen both in the oscillogram (blue) and the sonogram (yellow-red).
I would apprciate any references to this kind of a call.

In this sample, which was quite typical in length and structure, one can note a set of
louder sounds at about 3.20, 4.05 and 4.90 seconds. These are also the loudest parts
in this sample. The four sections from 2.5 to 3, 3.4 to 3.9, 4.2 to 4.7 and 5.2 to 5.7
are also nearly identical with each other. The calls after 5.7 are not from the snipe.
At the start there are four very weak calls at 1.45, 1.75, 2.15 and 2.45 seconds, which
are likely to originate from the snipe.

Note also the similarity of these calls to the sounds at the end of the aerial display sounds.

Great Snipe - Heinäkurppa

Gallinago media

Ths birds were recorded at an undisclosed location in Finland. The birds displayed in a hay
field, and as the hay was high, one could see them only occasionally as the snipes jumped up
and flew short distances.

In this recording a corncrake is heard in the background. Also a 12KHz instrumental line is evident.
The loudest parts of the "song" sounds like a pingpong ball. Note the complicated structure of the "song".

Between the actual display "song", one can hear very weak high pitch twittering and chattering.
I don't know what the function of this sound is, but it seems like the two or three snipes are
having fun and chatting to each other. Note the different scale to the previosu sonogram.

Siberian Chiffchaff - Idäntiltaltti

Phylloscopus collybita tristis

A chiffchaff with a tristis song was reported from Rukatunturi, Kuusamo on June 13. We went after
the bird and managed to make new recordings and photographs the bird.
Comments welcome.

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Last modified: Sat Jun 21 00:35:48 EEST 2008 Last update: Mar 12, 2008

hits since Jun 20, 2008

email: hlehto(atsign)