A selection of sound recordings from Beijing and further afield will be published here. I use a Zoom H5 digital recorder with a Røde shotgun microphone. Recordings are processed (normalised and for noise reduction) using Audacity.
3 March 2018
Conditions were ideal again in the morning of 3 March with little wind. This JAPANESE TIT was calling incessantly, possibly scolding me for my presence.
SILVER-THROATED TITS have traditionally been treated as the central and eastern China form of Long-tailed Tit and were only recently accepted as a separate species. They behave, and sound, very similar to their European siblings. This pair were very close to the road, calling rapidly. A Eurasian Nuthatch calls in the background.
PALLAS’S ROSEFINCHES are beautiful birds of the Siberian mountains. In winter they descend and move south. A few reach Beijing each winter and Lingshan is THE most reliable site to see them. In the winter of 2017/2018 several flocks totalling more than 100 birds have been regularly encountered on the higher slopes, often feeding on the ground in stands of birch. On the morning of 3rd I was fortunate to be able to make a short recording of their distinctive calls. A Beijing Babbler calls a couple of times in the background.
2 March 2018
On 2-3 March 2018 I visited Lingshan, Beijing’s highest mountain, around 100km to the west of the city centre. It’s a wonderful site with alpine meadow habitat at the peak and some good quality birch and mixed forest on the slopes below. Between the two villages on the road to the top is a good place to hear Chinese Tawny Owl in Spring. On the evening of 2 March I was lucky – perfect conditions with almost no wind and no background noise – something of a rarity in Beijing. Between 8pm and 9pm at least 4 CHINESE TAWNY OWLS were calling frequently. Fortunately, one was very close to the road….
The taxonomy of this owl is not well understood. Some authorities consider it a form of Himalayan Owl but the song is distinctly different and much closer to the European Tawny Owl.