Saturday, 25 April 2020

Stop Press: Wader Identified Without Spectrogram

Any wader on the patch was always revered at Wanstead and this homage would even extend to the lowly Common Sandpiper, by far and away our most numerous wader during spring and autumn passage. However, with the introduction of 'Nocmigging' (for the uninitiated, that's sound recording nocturnal migration) these once locally cherished group of birds have now seen their crown slip a little, as more waders are now being recorded flying over Wanstead airspace at night.

Call me an old fashioned cowboy but I personally like to see my waders as in the image below and not as a series of dashes on a spectrogram, and yes I do get the science part and I do have some interest as to what's flying over at night. There's definitely a place at the table for capturing and recording this information but please don't tell me that listening to a recorded sound (often barely audible), downloaded and run through a software package (Audacity) to produce a visual representation as a couple of black marks on a sound file (just to aid identification for the recorder) is going to come anyway near to the experience of seeing your first passage Common Sandpiper of spring, bobbing up and down on the muddy fringe of a river bank - whatever next...binoculars that can identity the birds for you!

Wader, Wanstead, Spring

Wader, Wanstead, Spring



3 comments:

  1. Agree. Noc-Mig should be in a list all on its own.

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  2. There's definitely an argument for a completely separate list, but it appears the nocmig camp want to have their cake and eat it...

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  3. Many thanks for the comments. It's good to know I'm not alone with my opinion and as i mentioned there's definitely a place for nocmigging, maybe a separate list is the way forward or at worst a nocmig recorded bird should be highlighted as such, so not to dilute any existing patch list with dozens of recordings, especially when the ID is in question and can not be confirmed.

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