Listening Earth - Free nature soundscape player

Listen now - free nature sounds and wild soundscapes recorded by Andrew Skeoch - birdsong, ocean surf, rain, forest, night sounds - ideal for relaxation, sleep, study or to feel the ambience of nature. Mp3 stream or download flac hi-res audio.

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The Dancing Brolgas of Ooroolanie

Against the low rise of a dune in the flat, arid country of outback Australia, waters from recent rains have collected, forming a broad and shallow wetland dotted with sparse vegetation.

Nomadic birdlife has gathered here to breed and feed, taking full advantage of this ephemeral opportunity. Among them, a pair of stately brolgas - Australia's native crane.

In the dark before dawn, black-tailed nativehens cackle and splash in the shallows. Other waterfowl include pink-eared ducks, teal and coots. Lewin's rail patrol the shallows, giving gruff calls, while black swans wheeze tonally from the deeper reaches.

With first light, the songbirds begin. The steady, morse-code tones of little grassbirds are heard prominently, plus the cheerful trills of fairy-wrens. Small flocks of blue-winged parrots tinkle delicately as they wing overhead, and ravens call laconically in the distance.

Suddenly the loud trumpeting of the brolgas rings out across the landscape from the far side of the wetland. With heads back and wings wide, they engage in a light-footed hopping and bobbing dance of courtship, eventually settling down to resume their steady promenade along the foreshore. This is a rich soundscape, full of life, texture and activity.

"We came upon this location in the barren outback of South Australia. It had rained a few weeks previously, and the still waters covered several square kilometres. An inspection by daylight revealed much birdlife, but it wasn't until the following morning that we realise just how rich the location was.

"I was sitting in the dark recording when the brolgas began calling. Their calls were so unexpected as I listened in my headphones, and I could hear the reverberations echoing out across the landscape.

"I've no doubt that a few weeks after we were there, the waters would have evaporated, and the birdlife dispersed. But this special recording allows us all to experience a brief and ephemeral moment in the life of the desert.

"This album comprises one track; a single-take recording, ideal for deep listening to the layers of sound in this vibrant location."

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