Working for birds in Africa

Namibia Soundscapes

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 11:29 -- abc_admin
Anthony Walker. 1997. 57-minute CD with 24 pp booklet in French and English. Sittelle. Available from Wildsounds, Cross Street, Salthouse, Norfolk NR25 7XH, UK. UK£11.99 (UK and EC), UK£10.20 (non-EC) plus postage & packing.
pages 150 - 151

This CD comprises 13 'concerts' (periods of continuous recording), which span 51 tracks. The recordings were made at five different sites, either at different times of the day, or in different habitat types. It is similar to the other CDs in the Soundscapes series and is not an attempt to produce an identification guide to the vocalisations of Namibian birds. Anyone looking for a sound identification guide should search elsewhere as the number of bird species covered by this CD - 59 - is not comprehensive and would leave too many gaps for anybody seriously interested in learning vocalisations before a trip. However, if you are looking for a CD with atmospheric sounds from Namibia that is coupled with a chance to learn some of the calls/songs you are likely to encounter when you are there then this CD is for you. The recordings are of a high quality and far more realistic in terms of what you will hear when in the field than the, often isolated, species recordings that you hear on identification tapes/CDs. The subdividing of the 'concerts' into tracks allows most calls/songs to be identified and certainly brings back happy memories of a wonderful country.

The booklet describes the 13 'concerts' and also the tracks that comprise each of these. The 'concert' descriptions detail the localities and times at which each recording was made and also include verbal descriptions of some of the birds and other animals contributing to that particular concert. The track descriptions primarily list the species included on that section of the recording. However, it is worth noting that species mentioned earlier in a 'concert' often aren't mentioned in subsequent tracks within that 'concert'. Helpfully, sounds made by mammals, reptiles and insects are also mentioned in the concert descriptions and the more detailed track listings.

In conclusion I would probably buy this CD just to listen to, although if I was planning a trip to Namibia I would also buy a comprehensive set of identification CDs to really familiarise myself with the birdsong.

Roy Hargreaves

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