Saturday 16 May 2020

In which nocmig continues to amaze

I have not put out my recorder recently - a lot more traffic and seemingly endless cat action has rather put me off. Seeing as however it was an overcast night I thought I would give it a try, the batteries are rechargeable and what is the worst that can happen other than another six hours of miaowing?

Well I am very glad I did, or rather my garden and the greater Wanstead list are very glad I did. In addition to a cacophony of Moorhen and Coot, at 1.06am the recorder picked up this:


That dear readers is a mega around here, a Quail. I very nearly clicked right through it, vertical lines on the songram are usually just things like fences banging, doors closing etc, but those typically extend through the entire frequency range and so I stopped and listened. 

"Whip whip!".

I knew what it was immediately, but was still compelled to play it again. And again and again, increasingly disbelieving. But there is no doubt, and my garden has gripped me off with an outrageous record. In London people twitch Quails, and I reckon it is a quality record anywhere - think where it has travelled from! I was of course sound asleep, so the garden can have it but I cannot. And as I live on within the patch boundaries, it can go on that list too. In fact any list as long as it is not mine. That is the way of nocmigging. But it has given me fresh impetus to perhaps sit outside and have a bit of a listen in the coming nights, even though we are completely out of snacks. I confess that my enthusiasm had been waning after nights and nights of nothing interesting at all, so this is just what I needed.

It has been pointed out, of course, that I could sit in the garden for another 20 years and not hear another Quail. I accept this even though I find it deeply irritating. But that is just nocmig for you, the agony of finding something good on your recording that you then can't count. If you are into lists you cannot help but feel hard done by. But I am still sat here smiling.


  1. If that is a bird, sometimes a problem with noc mig as you know, then it does sound like two notes of the typical call of a Quail. Will you ever be sure? :-)

  2. Finally got a bird on mine 2 nights ago - a crow! Btw, you know on Ravenlite there's a setting that just scrolls through the pages whilst you watch? No clicking!