Friday, August 07, 2009

Night Chorus....



11pm. The night was cool enough to see my breath in the torch light and stars were twinkling as I looked for moths in the garden. Nothing doing, probably too cool.

Then I became aware of the birds calling. At least 4 Tawny Owls were hooting and kee-wicking all around the village and farmland. The Barn Owls hissed from the back hedgerow.

Then I heard it. 'Whit whit-whit, Whit whit-whit' subliminal at first as if I'd imagined it then clearer, a Quail was calling in the blackness. It sounded quite distant but absolutely unmistakable, the 'wet-my-lips' call is not something we hear too often so to get one calling on the garden list is fantastic!

I must pop back outside to listen again, Good night...

13 comments:

Robyn said...

Lovely sketch....

Robyn x

Skev said...

I know that strange experience. A few years ago whilst out mothing in a dark woodland in Rutland we heard a strangely familiar call - Quail! Took a while to register. This was at c00:30 and only a few hours after we'd seen a Nightjar flying through - a damned rare bird in VC55 at that time.

lapland said...

Hi - had the same experience this week at work in Eaglescliffe Stockton-on -Tees, on nights, went for a walk around at 0115 in the morning and heard a quail on adjacent farmland - brilliant to hear and a first for me

Dean said...

Great sketch, Stewart. And what a bird to have on the garden list. A "canny" one indeed ;-)

oldcrow61 said...

That's a wonderful sketch. I've always admired your art work. It must have been a lovely surprise to hear a quail in the garden.

Newton Stringer said...

Top patch bird !

Gotta try and see it now, there's a challenge...

Ipin said...

It's been a brilliant year for Quail, I've heard four different one's in the County already. I remember lying awake at 4am and hearing one near my house, it turned out to be further away than I thought cos they throw their voice. Never saw it, but Trev Blake did, with the advantage of springer spaniels!

Alan Tilmouth said...

Love the sketch, I imagined you doing it by torchlight until I saw the 08. I stepped out of my fron t door on the way to work one fine morning several years ago to hear the call from nearby farmland, half an hour later, late for work I gave up trying to locate it.

Warren Baker said...

Quail from the garden! Excellent record Stewart, I must try harder at these nocturnal visits!

Stewart said...

No, experience tells me not to bother looking unless I have a combine harvester at the ready....

abbey meadows said...

Good record Stew. The one I heard at Tranwell a few weeks ago was the first for me since 1989.

Emma Anderson said...

Beautiful illustration, Stewart. I have never seen a quail.

Stewart said...

Emma, they are extremely difficult to see. Dogs rarely work even! My only uk sighting was from a friends combine harvester while he cuta wheat field in 2000. We had 15 sightings of 8 individuals. Fantastic. Other than that I have only heard them on quite a few occasions...