A kvetcher, a whistler, and an ibis (possibly)

The dawn chorus in this mountain hamlet gets going around four-thirty, five, presaged by a rooster that crows earlier than all the rest. And so much louder too, so he must be somewhere close by. His crow is markedly different. Other roosters greet the day with verve and vigour — ‘Good morning! Good morning! Wake up, wake up, wake uu-uh-up!! Time to be up, people!!! Uuup and at ‘em! Up! Up! Up!’ They crow with glowing good cheer.

Our early rooster, on the other hand, takes to his charge with heartbreaking dolorousness. ‘Do I have to? Wake you all up? Why? What for?’ He asks in such a doleful tone. ‘How much longer do I have to crow? He goes on imploringly. ‘Such a thankless task, don’t you think?” This kvetching goes on throughout the day too — not just early mornings, but towards noon and late afternoons as well. But perhaps I’m misinterpreting that moaning note as the end of his crow. Perhaps he’s only being apologetic, and thus ends on a blue note — ‘Sorry to make all this racket, folks, so early in the morning. So very, very sorry. Cannot help it, you see…?’

Whenever we hear him, “There he goes again,” M and I say. We’ve both become rather fond of this doleful rooster and his unusual kvetching crow and wonder where he lives.

There’s also a bird (possibly two) who whistles throughout the day. It’s quite close to the whistle that cheeky Manila lads make when a fetching lass passes by.  I’m not acquainted with birdcalls, unlike my friend H in Bonn who can tell which bird is singing just by its song. M and I have tried browsing through online sites that match bird photos with their calls, but without much success. In the spring the whistles were extremely loud: they could have been mating calls. Their decibel level has since gone back to normal.

Then there is a mysterious creature, whose call at first terrified me when it woke me from sleep. It sounded more like a foghorn, but it went on intermittently throughout the day. M surmises it could be an ibis. The glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a likely candidate. The Serpis river is nearby and apparently this particular ibis likes to roost quite far from its hunting ground, preferably on very tall trees, of which there are plenty in the neighbourhood. If so, then I’d really love to see this lovely creature with its gorgeous plumage.

Glossy ibis

Glossy ibis in mating colours. Photo sourced from Wikipedia.

In time for sure we’ll get to know which creatures make all these curious sounds, but for now, just a month and a half since we moved in, they remain a rather engaging mystery.


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