Night Flight Calls at Flamborough


by Martin Garner

It is. What birds call at night? Which ones migrate at night undetected- through the middle of the land, over your houses, along the coastline… Close your eyes and LISTEN!


I am trying to do a little more night time recording. maybe once a week or so. Last Friday- Saturday I recorded overnight from my house in Flamborough village. It looked a good evening as the wind swung SW from blocking easterlies and several days foggy conditions. Saturday was a good day. REALLY good As I found a Red-rumped Swallow from our upstairs window with Ray Scally. Also 3 Barn Swallows, 4 Common Buzzards, Fieldfare and Redwing all on view as migrants.


What about the previous night? Well I can identify some but not everything. Indeed I have always struggled with disembodied sounds. Some of you are much better. So here are 12 sounds from that night. I really could do with a little help.  Some are not too tricky. Others fascinating and I really don’t know… Please let me know easy or hard, some or all- what do you think… ?


Each sound recording is followed by its sonagram. Best listened to with headphones plugged in.

1-1.30 Bird two.

1-1.30 Bird two


2.30-3.png Bird three


2.30-3.png Bird four.

2.30-3.png Bird five.

2-2.30.png Bird six.

2-2.30.png Bird seven.

3-3.30.png Bird eight.

4-4.30.png Bird nine.

3-3.30.png Bird ten



11 - 11.30. Bird eleven



12.30-1.png Bird twelve





4 thoughts on “Night Flight Calls at Flamborough

  1. Katie

    Well, I don’t care – I’ll stick my neck out. My guesses:

    1. curlew?
    2. black-headed gull
    3. blackbird
    4. barn owl
    5. golden plover?
    6. blackbird
    7. something’s wings
    8. Med gull?
    9. fox?
    10. ringed plover?
    11. wigeon
    12. moorhen

    caveat: I am not very good at wader calls, which is probably obvious.

  2. Robin Sandham

    Fascinating, i think this kept me awake last night! My guesses
    1. Curlew, 2 BH Gull, 3. Blackbird, 4. LRP or Woodlark?, 5. Goldie, 6. Song T or Blabi, 7. I’ll buy anyone a pint who gets that, 8. Was thinking Diver sp but poss LOwl?, 9. Heron, 10. Goldie, 11. Wigeon multiple, 12.?

  3. James Lidster

    1 Curlew
    2 BH Gull
    3 Blackbird
    4 Barn Owl
    5 Golden Plover
    6 Blackbird? but sounds very odd
    7 Mallard wingbeat?
    8 Common Gull (not sure what that ticking is before)
    9 Fox
    10 Curlew
    11 Wigeon and something else…
    12 Moorhen

  4. Ruud van Beusekom

    Hi Martin,
    I would say:

    1 Curlew
    2 Black-headed Gull
    3 Blackbird
    4 Dotterel
    5 Golden Plover
    6 Blackbird
    7 yes… wing beats
    8 Common Gull
    9 Greylag Goose (Grey Heron?) and Fox
    10 Curlew
    11 Wigeon
    12 Moorhen


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