golden light

My Walk this Week 180 – Calling Curlews at Sunset

My walk this week is more of the mind than the body with memories of curlews calling in the evening light and sunsets of south west Scotland back in September.

darkening sky

I was particularly keen and hopeful to capture the sounds of the evening birds across the sandy, muddy bay – in particular the curlews, if they were there. In recent posts I have presented soundscapes recorded on my phone but I had taken my field recorder (Fostex FR2-LE) and shotgun mic (RODE NTG 2) for the purpose. And I was in luck –the curlews were more numerous than I have seen or heard for many years.

Perhaps it was the time of year but whatever it was, I was pleased to hear them so clearly even though catching them on camera was more problematic. They are very shy birds and warn others quickly of the slightest disturbance of their location, so while my sound set up may be adequate (and rewarding), my speed with the camera meant visual evidence was harder to come by.

The images below tell the story of a walk through my memories of the sunsets and sounds we experienced. I realise that photos of sunsets are available by the million and none of them can do justice to the real experience – one we never tire of, but it is a pleasure for me at least, to remember the scene through these images and listen to the sounds recorded at the time and return in my mind to the unique atmosphere of the time and place.

Evening Soundscape


So click the play button or soundscape title above to listen and then the first image below to see the full images in sequence (not available like this on the mobile WordPress Reader in which case click the Visit button via the … menu or open in your mobile’s internet browser – NB you will need to open the sound file and images in separate browser tabs).

Posted in birdsong, Landscape, My Walk this Week, Photography, Soundscape and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. Hello Alastair,
    Stunning sounds and pictures, and what a treat to know a place where you can walk and hear such beautiful sounds. As for sunsets, Fiona’s family had an acronym for them apparently, when the annual holiday photos came back from processing…NABS… Not Another B. Sunset, but as you say no two are ever the same, and when we get to the point of being fed up of marvelling, it’s time to shuffle off, I guess.
    Local topography here means I usually have to resort to nabs shots, taken earlier in the day 🙂

    Best wishes

    • As I said, you have to be there for the real thing to be able to appreciate it – photos, however good, just can’t do the same thing as a real sunset. My NABS serve me best as a reminder of the experience of the place and that’s a good thing for me at least. 🙂

        • No, don’t do that. You need my permission anyway and if you would like to put it on your Youtube channel, I will be happy go give you the original file as long as you credit me and ideally link to my site/blog. How does that sound.

          • No Beloved, I don’t mean your recording, I mean record the kitten and put that upon my YouTube channel. Also the kitten fetching, for it is a kitty who loves to fetch things and bring them back to play. His favourite is a little fluffy toy. Thank you for the offer though.

    • Thank you Barbara – hope you’re well. btw I may be doing another AGWSD Summer school in 2021 – they have asked me anyway though it’s yet to be confirmed.

    • Thank you Cindy. I am always amazed at sunsets and how they change from moment to moment when there are clouds about. I expect you know how many photos were taken for just one of them and a selection then made to post. Glad you enjoyed

    • Thank you thank you. So pleased my selection of images worked for you. I would have shown you all the real thing if I could The soundscape works better in that respect in that you can close your eyes and imagine yourself there without the photos. Cheers

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