Mystery bird call

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Ken George
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Mystery bird call

Postby Ken George » Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:27 pm

We've had an unidentified bird calling for a couple of hours each morning and then the same thing again each evening, close to where we live in Coastlands, Whakatane. It calls from a fixed position in a copse of trees over some farmland, about half a kilometre away. The trees are mainly eucalptus, but include a lone Norfolk Pine. The main highway runs beside the farm. I have driven around to the other side of the farm paddock and heard the same call from the other side, confirming that it's from a fixed position. There are no caged birds in the area. The call is a 4 or 5 beat monosyllabic sequence, repeated about every 20 seconds, continuing for a couple of hours. The bird has been calling for the last couple of weeks. My guess is a tui, they are present in very small numbers locally. There are no bellbird around where we live, though they are present in the general Whakatane/Ohope area. The recording is with a Sennheiser K6/ME66 shotgun mic into a Sony digital field sound recorder, so the fidelity of the call is accurate. There is a little bit of low frequency filtering to lessen the background traffic rumble. The link below is to the eBird/Macauley checklist, the four different tracks are made at different times to show the consistency of the call. Any ideas?

https://ebird.org/atlasnz/checklist/S101064079
Last edited by Ken George on Thu Jan 20, 2022 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Raewyn
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Re: Mystery bird call

Postby Raewyn » Thu Jan 20, 2022 5:39 pm

Hi Ken. My guess would be tui but I'm not great on bird calls. I've mainly come in to let you know that the link didn't work for me. I had to remove the /media at the end and then it was fine.

Cheers
Raewyn
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Ken George
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Re: Mystery bird call

Postby Ken George » Thu Jan 20, 2022 5:59 pm

Thanks Raewyn, I'll remove the media tag, I tested the link and it worked but it might be because it's my own Macauley account.
Davidthomas
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Re: Mystery bird call

Postby Davidthomas » Thu Jan 20, 2022 8:17 pm

I'd say tui as well.
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Ken George
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Re: Mystery bird call

Postby Ken George » Fri Jan 21, 2022 5:04 pm

Thank you. I'm collecting recordings of the different tui regional dialects. This one is an oddity. Just a single monotonous call and from a fixed position for hours each time. Normally they don't sit still for more than a couple of minutes, let alone a couple of hours.
Bev Alexander
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Re: Mystery bird call

Postby Bev Alexander » Sat Jan 22, 2022 9:50 pm

Jill West has asked me to post that she had heard the exact same call regularly in Twizel all through spring. Similar behaviour too. It has stopped now. She actually spotted the culprit & it was Bellbird. She has never seen Tui at Twizel.
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Ken George
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Re: Mystery bird call

Postby Ken George » Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:24 am

Thanks for that info. Bellbird is a real possibility, albeit 5 or 6 kms out of range and in the middle of essentially farmland. There are plenty of bellbird in bush on the big hill above Whakatane, sometimes around town. Same over the hill in Ohope. I haven't seen one this far west but I'll keep an eye out. Cheers.

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