Rooks winter roost Tottington Woods

Davimon on January 25, 2012 13:50

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    Mid January, 2012. Dry. Still. Temp = 0C. For a long while, as the sun went down, the quiet of this small woodland area to the North of the South Downs, was interrupted only by blackbird, long-tailed tit and pheasants strutting their stuff. But then, usually on the advancing drone of a jet whining into Gatwick, the waves of rooks and jackdaws swirled in. They occupy a tree and then crow about it to each new flock. I guess a few hundred, or even a thousand, birds arrived over the course of 15 minutes. They seem to take up the trees in the centre first of all and then back-fill around it. My mic was perhaps 25m from the epicentre, so the noise increases as the trees I was under were rented as well. Once installed, or while establishing their territory, the metallic cries of flight change to cawwing and crowing - confrontational or chatty. Though this is a long sequence, the cries change over time, so I at least found it interesting. These are not obviously shy birds in numbers. When it was practically dark - 40 minutes or so later, the woods were mostly quiet again, apart from me winding cables and trudging the path out. Tech stuff: recorded using Neumann RSM191, MS into Sonosax SXR4. Mic positioned approx 1.5 metres off the ground. Post: some noise reduction applied to jet engines, though still audible at its higher harmonics. This is a selected chronological sequence from about 40 minutes.


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