Nature does not recognize national boundaries. For this reason, one could possibly hear these recorded soundscapes not only in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries but also in Russia.
The eight recordings on this CD contain rare and difficult-to-capture soundscapes such as a flooded meadow filled with the songs of the great snipe or the shore around shallow ponds where the sandpiper and wood sandpiper are at home.
The most spectacular birdsong concerts are heard at the end of May. However, the weather can have a major impact on the birds’ desire to sing. When the cold north wind brings a reminder of winter back to the forest, then the birds do not feel inclined to burst into song. However, when the warm breezes from the south or southwest are in the air, then this informs our feathered friends that they should set about building a nest. Those birds which have established their territories are joined by migrants from the south for example, insect-hunting birds; species which start to sing as soon as they arrive. Often these are some of the most melodic choristers, like the thrush nightingale.
The species of birds and occasional mammals, insects and frogs are designated on the tracks except in those cases where the sound is so distant that one can only guess at the species.
I would like to express my warm thanks to all who helped in the creation of this album. I would like to thank colleagues who have also published recordings of Mother Nature. These recordings have given me new perspectives and motivation to release this album. Heartfelt thanks to my wife, Maarit, for her important comments and positive feedback about my choices.
Kuopio, 17th August 2011
Producer / Recording engineer
Track descriptions and background species
01 The forest home of the common chiffchaff, the common chaffinch and the goldcrest. May 10th 2008 at 5.30. Kemeri Nature Reserve, Latvia. The grey hues of the dead trunk of an old birch tree merge into the dark green shadows of pine forest. A woodpecker is searching for food by pecking against the trunk and listening intently. The light and shadows of the dawn slowly spread through the branches of the trees. The peace of the early morning with the crimson-filled heavens against the background of yellows and green are the tapestry inspiring this dawn chorus. Species heard on this track: Blue Tit, Common Cuckoo, Common Raven, Common Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Stock Dove, Eurasian Nutcracker, Eurasian Black Grouse, Woodpigeon, Eurasian Bittern, Black Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Roe Deer, Chaffinch, Common Crane, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit.
02 The lakeside on an early morning filled with the songs of the Great Bittern and Savi’s warbler. May 15th 2008 at 3.20. Kemeri, Latvia. The chill of the night has created a band of mist which hangs above the calm waters of the lake. The reeds by the bank are reflected in the water by the first sunbeams of the dawn. The mysterious sounds of night on the lake dissolve into the overture of this morning’s dawn chorus. Species heard on this track: Reed Bunting, Savi's Warbler, Eurasian Bittern, Eurasian Blackbird, Common Cuckoo, Common Coot, Great Crested Grebe, European tree frog, Herring Gull, Red-necked Grebe, Eurasian Treecreeper, Water Rail, European Robin.
03 The songs of the black redstart and the common linnet echo through an old farmstead. May 3rd 2008 at 5.30. Matsalu Penijoki. Estonia The old stone walls of a barn are engulfed by raspberry bushes, willowherb and other small shrubs. Further away on a pasture bordered by a stone ruin, a flock of sheep are grazing in the light of the dawn. By the fence, this spring’s first dandelions are glimmering with the sheen of morning dew. Species heard on this track: Common Linnet, Bee, Black Redstart, Great Tit, Eurasian Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Northern Lapwing, Yellowhammer, Fieldfare, Eurasian Skylark, European Greenfinch, Sheep.
04 The white stork in the meadows by a small village. May 7th 2008 at 7.15. Daukstes, East Latvia By the banks of a small ditch beside a grass-covered track, there is a low growth of bushes coloured with a hundred shades of green. Behind the bushes lies a meadow and at the edge of the meadow is a dilapidated grey-coloured thatched barn. Next to the barn, on top of a telephone pole, one can spy a pair of white storks standing in their nest. Species heard on this track: Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Skylark, European White Stork, Yellowhammer Thrush Nightingale, Northern Lapwing, Common Crane, Whinchat, Cock, Carrion Crow, Northern Wheater.
05 A shoreline for waders in the early hours. May 11th 2010 at 3.30. Musti Siilinjärvi, East Finland The water’s edge is covered by mud and silt. The pine trees cast long shadows over the willow bushes and marsh tea growing on the banks. By the water’s edge, one can find the remnants of last summer’s grass. Species heard on this track:White Wagtail, Eurasian Black Grouse, Common Greenshank, Yellowhammer, Common Teal, Northern Lapwing, Mew Gull, Green Sandpiper, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Black-headed Gull, Northern Pintail, Common Crane, Mallard, Little Gull, Greylag Goose, Wood Sandpiper, Chaffinch, Northern Shoveler
06 The forest home of the common wood pigeon and the blackcap. May 10th 2008 at 5.30. Kemeri, Latvia Wood pigeons are nesting in the depths of a dense spruce forest. One of the delicate, smallish pigeon’s nests is supported by only a few branches of one of the reddish-hued spruce trees. Nearby, behind the branches of the conifers, you can glimpse the white bark of a birch tree and beside it you can gaze through an opening like a natural window of branches down into a pasture. In the shelter of the conifers, the wood pigeons coo their owl-like hoots. In the adjacent birch tree, the beautiful melodies from the blackcap echo through the branches. Species heard on this track: Woodpigeon, Common Cuckoo, Blackcap, Eurasian Nuthatch, Spotted Flycatcher, Coal Tit, Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Chiffchaff, Common Crane, Eurasian Bittern, Wood Warbler, Song Thrush.
07 The courtship displays of the great snipe by a flooded meadow. May 6th 2008 at 5.00. Litene, East Latvia. A small, hidden area in the shelter of a large and exposed flooded meadow serves as the arena for the mysterious courtship trials of strength of the great snipe. The wet reedy landscape is dotted with small ponds but in places there are muddy patches out of which grow tufts of grass. This is the spot where the great snipes hold their ritual courtship trials of strength. These start in the dusk of the evening but reach their climax as the sun rays herald the coming morning. At this time, the meadow resounds with the songs of many different species of birds. Species heard on this track: Common Snipe, Great Snipe, Redwing, Thrush Nightingale, Common Cuckoo, Reed Bunting, Eurasian Black Grouse.
08 A concert from Eurasian skylarks over an exposed pasture. May 3rd 2008 at 6.30. Matsalu, Estonia It is the end of a peaceful and sunny morning. Above the pasture, in the deep blue sky, the Eurasian skylarks are soaring and competing to see which has the most impressive song. A curved beaked Eurasian curlew flies out from the small ditch running by the side of the field and its refrain sweeps across the scenic field below. Species heard on this track: Eurasian Blackbird, Eurasian Skylark, Carrion Crow, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Snipe, Woodpigeon, Eurasian Curlew, Common Cuckoo, Common Magpie, Northern Lapwing, Common Crane.
Translated by Airi MacDonald and Ewen MacDonald 2011