Song Of The North Woods
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Recording Location: Mount Carleton, New Brunswick,
Album Length: 32:10 mins
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Song Of The North Woods was recorded in Northern New Brunswick on Canada’s east coast. Mark spent several days in a pristine protected park called Mount Carleton. The area is a prime example of the native forests of the region, the Acadian Forest and the Boreal Forest including numerous large lakes, rivers, swamps and streams. The timing of Marks visit to Mount Carleton coincided with the arrival of many of the tropical migrants who breed here. They establish their territories and sing their hearts out! In ‘Song Of The North Woods’ we listen to the morning chorus in many different habitats, the recordings evoke something timeless as we hear these ancient sounds.
1. Toad Chorus 1.34
We begin before daylight on a warm May night. The Spring peepers meet our ears first followed by the trill of the American Toad as it breeds in a large wetland near Nictaux Lake.
2. Boreal Forest At First Light 2.23
Night moves into predawn and the early singers begin. We first hear the Boreal Chickadee, followed by Swainsons Thrush, Red Breasted Nuthatch and Yellow Rumped Warbler, it’s still too cold for the more tropical migrants to sing. This was recorded not far from Williams Falls, if you listen you can hear it off in the distance.
3. Mount Carleton Morning Song 3.51
The temperature is rising and Mark has moved his microphones to a small wetland near the foot of Mount Carleton. It is heavily forested here but a White Throated Sparrow has found a place to sing. This sparrow prefers open areas. We also hear a pair of Purple Grackles and a Robin, both songs echoing across this space back to us. We can now hear the first warblers sing, the Black Throated Blue Warbler who loves this type of habitat. The stream of the wetland can be heard curving through the recording.
4. In The Birch Woods 2.06
We head into the Birch Woods now nestled in a deep valley, the sky brightens, a woodpecker works a nearby snag and a Black And White Warbler sings. Not far from us a Robin lands in the gloomy undergrowth and a Hermit Thrush begins to call. There is a breeze above us coming off of Mount Carleton just before sunrise.
5. Wind In The Pine Forest 2.00
The wind has risen and we are in a perfect place to experience these amazing subtle sounds. There was a fire here decades ago, Pines moved in and now a trail runs out to a peninsula. For Mark this sound evokes real wilderness, those pines stretching towards the sky. If you listen you can hear small wavelets rubbing the shoreline as the breeze increases and we get a sense of this huge lake and the exposed shore.
6. Sheltered Ravine 2.59
We move down into the shelter of a ravine not far from the campground on the Williams Brook side of the lake. The wind is different here, we are in the undergrowth, above us towers the forest and a Swainsons Thrush begins to call and then breaks into song.
7. Shoreline At Indian Bay 1.14
Along along the lake shore there are old snags of Cedar in some of the bays, here Mark has captured the gentle waves at Indian Bay lapping on the sunken trees. You can hear them squeek as they move against each other, across the bay, Canada Geese call.
8. A Forest Stream 1.42
9. Woods Of The Winter Wren 2.57
Any recording of the North Woods wouldn’t be complete without the incredible song of the Winter Wren. They seem to be wary and move constantly, although they are a loud and complicated singer I find it hard to get a good recording of one in full voice sometimes. There is a lovely richness to this recording with subtle sounds of the receding forest in the background contrasting with the bubbling Winter Wren nearby.
10. Under Old Maples 3.23
The temperature is rising and the sun has been up for nearly two hours. We are in an old Maple Forest, the realm of the Least Flycatcher. Can you hear their short che-bek calls in all directions? An Ovenbird also sings, ‘teacher teacher teacher’. These tropical migrants make their nest on the ground in the shape of an oven. The old Maples almost have their leaves but light penetrates the under story where some of the early wildflowers like Dutchman’s Breeches and Trillium bloom.
11. Birdsong Of The Acadian Forest 4.29
Here we get to experience the true wonder of the northern morning chorus with the calls and songs of many birds. Our main singer is the Purple Finch in full song above us, listen to his voice! In the distance a Pileated Woodpecker drums and out on the lake a Loon calls, it gives your imagination another clue as to where we are.
12. Nightfall 1.40
In nightfall it is almost dark, we are stood on the edge of stillness. Fish feed near shore and out over the lake we can hear a million flies, food for the bats, trout and night feeding birds.