A multi-disciplinary journey in music, sound, and field recording.

New Zealand: Portage Bay Birdsong

Posted: February 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, nature recording, sound design
Portage Bay on the Queen Charlotte Sound, South Island, New Zealand.

Portage Bay on the Queen Charlotte Sound, South Island, New Zealand.

This will be the first of several posts that highlight some interesting sounds that I gathered from the South Island of New Zealand, from December 2009 to January 2010. Big thanks to Tim Prebble and others for offering advice!

I walked the 71km Queen Charlotte Track with my photo gear and my beat-up Zoom H2, and gathered quite a bit of sound over the 3.5 days I spent hiking. The last morning I awoke early to this unusual dawn chorus of birds…the more I listen to it, it might just be a handful of birds or even just one loud one, with echos coming off the walls of the surrounding hills. It sounded synthesized to me, like an ambient song. Give it a listen below, with some occasional post-rain water drips falling from the trees. (While this is unprocessed, I applied some spectral processing to it and it sounded like it came out of Avatar…may share that later on…)

[UPDATE: Reader Tom Williams from Devon, UK correctly identified this as the call of the tui. Thanks, Tom!]

Dawn Chorus at Portage Bay by noisejockey
[Zoom H2 recorder]

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4 Comments on “New Zealand: Portage Bay Birdsong”

  1. 1 Michael said at 8:54 pm on February 5th, 2010:

    Sound beautiful. I want to go to New Zealand!

  2. 2 tim said at 12:37 pm on February 11th, 2010:

    like tiny flying analog synths


  3. 3 jgrzinich said at 11:50 pm on February 15th, 2010:

    great how the birds sound in the space. I love when they do call and response over a distance just far enough to set up a slight echo. NZ looks out of this world.

  4. 4 Andrew said at 1:20 pm on March 11th, 2010:

    Amazing… Love the rhythm.

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