Track descriptions and background species
01 SKYLARK Alauda arvensis. 25 May 2003, 5.20 am, Maaninka (Eastern Finland), Haatala. The springtime song of the Skylark is filled with joy. Soaring high above the open medowland during its song flight, this bird is part and parcel of the Finnish countryside. Willow Warbler, Fieldfare, Eurasian Curlew, Common Snipe, Northern Lapwing. 3'19"
02 COMMON WHITETHROAT / SOUNDSCAPE Sylvia communis. 8 June 2003, 3.50 am, Siilinjärvi (Eastern Finland), Vehkasuo. An idyllic summer morning in the meadows. Tufted vetches and daisies are flourishing by the fence and further off there is cattle out in the pasture. Further away towards the horizon, a lake seems to be melting into the blue sky. Corncrake, Wood Pigeon, Yellowhammer, Common Rosefinch, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Eurasian Curlew. 3'50"
03 WOOD PIGEON Columba palumbus. 10 June 2000, 4.45 am, Vehmersalmi (Eastern Finland), Soisalo. Wood Pigeons are typically found on farmland with small patches of forest. The birds usually nest in dense spruce stands not far from the open fields. In this sample you can hear a Wood Pigeon pair cooing by their nest site. Blackcap, Common Chaffinch, Common Rosefinch, Fieldfare, Garden Warbler. 3'38"
04 YELLOWHAMMER Emberiza citrinella. 29 June 1999, 2.20 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), the bay of Kaislastenlahti. The Yellowhammer singing in the forest next to the fields of a nearby farm is easily recognized by its voice. This bird is a common visitor to bird-tables in winter, especially if there are oats on offer. Fieldfare, Woodcock. 1'47"
05 SOUNDSCAPE #1 26 May 2003, 4.00 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), the bay of Haminalahti. The small bushy meadow surrounded by open agricultural land is home to many birds, one of them being the Red-backed Shrike. In this sample the bird is heard uttering harsh alarm calls as well as skilful, soft song. Another prominent sound on the track is the song of the Common Rosefinch. Common Whitethroat, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Great Tit, Redwing, Red-backed Shrike, Common Gull, Fieldfare, Common Chaffinch, Herring Gull. 2'38"
06 GRASSHOPPER Brachystola. 29 August 2002, klo 2.50 pm, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), the bay of Kaislastenlahti. A late summer day on the edge of a meadow. A grasshopper is tuning its instrument in the grass by the road. A warm breath of air is whispering in the grass and the leaves of the aspen nearby. 1'25"
07 SOUNDSCAPE #2 9 June 2001, 3.35 am, Tervo (Eastern Finland), Rakola. A fallow field on an early midsummer morning. The Yellowhammers are already into their second nesting this summer and are singing intensely. The warning calls of the Northern Lapwing reveal the presence of its young nearby. Yellow Wagtail, Common Cuckoo. 2'29"
08 NORTHERN WHEATEAR Oenanthe oenanthe. 28 May 2002, 5.05 am, Varpaisjärvi (Eastern Finland). A Northern Wheatear male singing its scratchy song perched on some ruins on the edge of a dry meadow. The song period of this long-legged bird extends from April to May. Some individuals are particularly good at mimicking other birds. Tree Pipit, Common Cuckoo, Willow Warbler, Common Chaffinch, Song Thrush, Northern Lapwing. 5'10"
09 CORNCRAKE Crex crex. 1 June 2001, 0.50 am, Maaninka (Eastern Finland), the bay of Kurolanlahti. The call of the Corncrake gives a special feel to the summer night. Favouring agricultural land and mostly hiding within the vegetation, the bird is difficult to catch sight of, but is revealed by its characteristic rasping call. Common Blackbird, Woodcock, Robin. 1'58"
10 SOUNDSCAPE #3 27 June 2003, 4.30 am, Tuntsa (Lapland), Salla, Nuolusoiva. A summer morning on a barren, windswept meadow up in the Lappish mountains. The grassy flowering meadow growing in a shallow, marshy depression provides a nesting place for birds, including a colony of Yellow Wagtails. Another bird nesting on the treeless highlands, partly covered with fields of huge rocks, is the Golden Plover. Bar-tailed Godwit. 2'21"
11 ORTOLAN BUNTING Emberiza hortulana. 21 May 2000, 5.30 am, Maaninka (Eastern Finland), Haatala. The Ortolan Bunting nests on open meadowland with scattered trees and bushes. In this sample you can hear the male giving its beautiful, wistful song perched on a bushtop. The newly sown field and the crisp, calm May morning provide an ideal backdrop for the harmony and beauty of the bird. Yellow Wagtail, Skylark, Northern Lapwing, Black Grouse, Wood Pigeon, Tree Pipit, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Whooper Swan, Magpie, Common Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Pied Wagtail. 2'52"
12 SOUDSCAPE #4 3 July 2001, 4.30 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), Riistavesi. By early July, you can already hear bright chirps from here and there in the sheltered bushes surrounding the fields. Young Fieldfares have left the nest and are energetically begging food from their parents. The early midsummer morning in the meadows is filled with bright sounds. Yellowhammer, Common Chaffinch, Garden Warbler, Brambling, Common Rosefinch. 2'03"
13 WHINCHAT Saxicola rubetra. 9 June 2002, 3.15 am, Pelkosenniemi (Lapland). One of the distinctive features of the Whinchat in both sexes is the characteristic soft flicking of the tail. This small bird nests along bushy ditch banks and on marshland. The Whinchat heard in this sample was perched in the bushes beside a meadow, singing in the pale northern night. Common Cuckoo, Yellow Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Wood Sandpiper, Whooper Swan, Meadow Pipit, Willow Warbler, Brambling, Hooded Crow, Whimbrel, Common Crane, Common Snipe. 5'24"
14 YELLOW WAGTAIL Motacilla flava. 27.6.2003 klo 4.10, Salla (Lapland), Tuntsa. The song of the Yellow Wagtail male is rather unimpressive and not very far-carrying. This tail-flicking, sprightly bird nests in colonies on wide agricultural lands and marshes. Willow Warbler, Redwing, Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Cuckoo, Wood Sandpiper. 2'11"
15 SOUNDSCAPE #5 8 June 2002, 4.30 am, Pelkosenniemi (Lapland), Kairala. A variety of birds singing energetically in the meadows up in the North. The night is gradually turning into morning, but the small Lappish village nearby is still sound asleep. House Sparrow, Whimbrel, Common Rosefinch, Common Cuckoo, Black Grouse, Fieldfare, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redpoll. 1'54"
16 NORTHERN LAPWING Vanellus vanellus. 27 May 2001, 3.50 am, Rautalampi (Eastern Finland), Rastunsuo. The display flight of the Northen Lapwing is an impressive sight, soaring above the farmland. Both the male and female birds fly over their territory swooping up and down and giving their distinctive mewing sounds. Also heard on the track is the humming from their wings. Black Grouse, Moor Frog, Redwing, Goldeneye, Common Snipe, Common Teal, Fieldfare, Shoveler, Eurasian Curlew. 2'25"
17 COMMON PHEASANT / SOUNDSCAPE Phasianus colchicus. 28 May 2001, 4.05 am, Pori (Finland's south-western coast), Kyläsaari. A Pheasant cock is performing its display rituals in the shelter of a grove by a meadow. Standing on top of a low mound it delivers its loud crowing call, followed by a rapid series of noisy wingbeats. The summer morning is still dim, but the surrounding grove is already filled with bird song. Thrush Nightingale, Wood Pigeon, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Great Tit, Magpie, Common Chaffinch. 3'26"
18 COMMON WHITETHROAT Sylvia communis. 8 June 2003, 4.55 am, Siilinjärvi (Eastern Finland), Vehkasuo. In the second half of May you can already hear the Common Whitethroat singing merrily on bushy meadowland. From time to time, the bird takes off for a shallow song flight before dropping back into the bushes. Here you can hear a "conversation " between two individuals. Fieldfare, Corncrake, Common Cuckoo, Common Rosefinch, Willow Warbler, Wood Pigeon, Common Chaffinch. 4'28"
19 BUMBLEBEE Bombus. 10 June 2000, 5.20 am, Vehmersalmi (Eastern Finland), Soisalo. The whirling of bumblebees around the flowers and bushes on the meadow is one of the characteristic sounds of summer. Here the busy bees are accompanied by birds singing energetically in the early summer morning. Pied Wagtail, Greenfinch, Wood Pigeon, Great Tit, Eurasian Curlew, Fieldfare, Swallow, Common Chaffinch, Pied Flycatcher. 1'20"
20 COMMON QUAIL Coturnix coturnix. 9 July 2001, 1.40 am, Kuopio (Eastern Finland), the bay of Haminalahti. The Common Quail is rare in Finland, but if you are lucky, you can sometimes hear it calling from within the vegetation on large cultivated fields. The charmingly peculiar voice of this small pheasant, usually heard at night, is unmistakable. Corncrake. 2'04"
21 YELLOW WAGTAIL / SOUNDSCAPE Motacilla flava. 25 May 2003, 4.35 am Maaninka (Eastern Finland), Lake Pieni Maaninkajärvi. A Yellow Wagtail is singing on a ditch bank perched on a dry twig, nearby to newly harrowed fields waiting to be seeded. The bird in this sample has a 'srreep-srreep' call, a rare variant resembling the Citrine Wagtail. Also heard is the song of the Skylark soaring high above the meadows to greet the rising sun. Eurasian Curlew, Willow Warbler, Wood Pigeon, Whooper Swan, Fieldfare. 1'52"
22 MEADOW PIPIT Anthus pratensis. 12 June 2002, 3.35 am, Pelkosenniemi (Lapland), Pyhätunturi, Peurakero. The Meadow Pipit is most at home on the open bogs and mountain meadows of the North. Like other pipits, the bird delivers its song during the song flight. In this sample you can hear a courting male performing its song flight. Between the flights, the bird emits a shorter phrase perched on the ground or a branch. Willow Warbler, Brambling, Whimbrel, Redstart, Common Redpoll. 4'00"
23 FROG Rana temporaria. 2 May 2001, 4.25 am, Kaavi (Eastern Finland), River Vaikkojoki, the ponds of Rakkinelampi. Spawning frogs giving a concert on a riverside flood meadow. The spawning period of the frogs peaks somewhere around the first of May, when a warm and rainy night can trigger off an impressive acoustic performance. Common Snipe, Pintail, Robin. 4'07"
24 EURASIAN CURLEW / SOUNDSCAPE Numenius arquata. 25 May 2003, 5.10 am, Maaninka (Eastern Finland), Haatala. The earthy smell from the bare fields, the murmur of a small stream and the courting Eurasian Curlews give a special feel to the landscape, with the fields peacefully waiting to be seeded. Whinchat, Common Chaffinch, Skylark, Yellowhammer, Wood Pigeon, Tree Pipit, Common Snipe, Common Cuckoo, Fieldfare. 4'40"
Translated by Kirsi Komonen and Ewen Macdonald 2004