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Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

25 April 2010

Two south London dawn choruses

AS THE SUN rises ever earlier the dawn chorus grows richer and more intense, and it’ll reach its peak in May.

This recording was made a few weeks ago in Hilly Fields, an area of mainly open parkland in Lewisham:


Blackbirds and Great Tits comprise most of the players in that orchestra, and the hilltop location means traffic noise is fairly noticeable, even at half-past-five.

The next recording was made early this morning in the middle of the Sydenham Hill Wood nature reserve, and there’s a greater array of species to be heard:


The peacock’s screeching wasn’t expected and thanks to the trove of fascinating knowledge that’s Transpontine there’s a good story behind it. In brief, a wealthy eccentric turned her huge home nearby into a fetid ark with horses, peacocks, and over sixty alsatians. The dogs attacked and mauled passersby, in response the authorities acted, and she fled the country.

The dogs and horses were removed, but it sounds as if the peacocks were simply left to go free-range. How they survived being among dozens of dogs is a mystery; maybe they’re not as dumb as they seem.

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