A Morning in Kutini-Payamu

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Natural sounds from the rainforests of Cape York Peninsula.

Album Details

Recording Location: Iron Range National Park, Australia
Habitat: Tropical rainforest
Duration: 88 minutes (6 tracks)
Audio Formats: CD, mp3 & FLAC (48kHZ/24bit)
Price: $12.95 (Download) / $19.95 (CD)

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Album Description

In September 2018 I spent a few days recording the natural sounds of Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park on Cape York Peninsula. This area is a biodiversity hotspot with a unique combination of New Guinean and Australian fauna and flora. Teeming with wildlife, Kutini-Payamu is a refuge for a number of species of global conservation concern and is one of the largest remaining areas of lowland rainforest in Australia. Birdwatchers usually refer to this area as 'Iron Range' and it is known as one of Australia's prime birding sites.

The sounds of this area are unique - quite different from those further south in the forests of the Daintree region. Eclectus Parrots squawk and screech as they fly overhead. Male Magnificent Riflebirds make loud, rich whistles which resonate through the forest. Trumpet Manucodes display high in the canopy with deep, retching calls. This album captures the rare and iconic sounds of this spectacular region.

Listen to sample

Recording Location

Kutini-Payamu National Park, Australia

Track Listing

1. Dawn in the Rainforest (7:02)

In the dim forest light, Dusky Myzomelas, Tawny-breasted Honeyeaters and Silvereyes sing from the forest canopy. Hornbill Friarbirds call in the distance and the deep, fluty notes of a Black Butcherbird ring out in the still, humid air. From their daytime roost, a pair Marbled Frogmouths make their comical 'gobble and bill snap' call. Towards the end of this first track you can hear some examples of the unusual 'argh' calls of the Trumpet Manucode, a type of bird-of-paradise.

2. Morning Chorus (7:29)

With the daylight brightening, the dawn chorus changes as different species take the stage. The distinctive loud whistles of male Magnificent Riflebirds can be heard from all directions - one of the unique sounds of the rainforest of Kutini Payamu. White-faced Robins call occasionally from the understorey along with Tropical Scrubwrens. Graceful, Tawny-breasted & Yellow-spotted Honeyeaters move about in the mid-storey along with a party of Yellow-breasted Boatbills. In the canopy above Metallic Starlings hurtle past in search small flocks in search of fruiting trees and a Palm Cockatoo calls in the distance. Eclectus Parrots squawk as they fly over the forest, a common sound throughout the album.

3. Magnificent Riflebird (7:32)

Recorded near the display perch of a male Magnificent Riflebird, this track features the loud whistles of this spectacular bird-of-paradise. In the background, Green Orioles call and respond to each other with deep, liquid notes while many other species can be hear moving through the surrounding forest including Little Shrikethrush, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Tropical Scrubwren and Olive-backed Sunbird.

4. Mid-morning Ambience (30:36)

As the day heats up, birdsong diminishes and a light breeze blows through the forest. At 0:32 a wallaby bounces away through the forest while Orange-footed Scrubfowl move around in the undergrowth. Bees hum as they collect pollen from flowering vines. The weird, wailing call of a Black-eared Catbird can be heard at 1:27. At around 7:18, a Yellow-billed Kingfisher makes loud trilling whistles.

5. Eclectus Parrots (19:55)

Throughout this track, a female Eclectus Parrot makes loud, bell-like ringing whistles. She was perched high in a giant rainforest tree which had a large hollow, ideal for nesting. Other species heard on this track include Grey Whistler, Spectacled Monarch, Green Oriole, Fairy Gerygone and Wompoo Fruit Dove.

6. In a Forest Gully (16:03)

Recorded in a rainforest gully by the Claudie River, this track features the calls and song of the Green Oriole, a common and vocal species which is often found near water. During the first part of this track the rising whistle of a male Shining Flycatcher can also be heard.

Bird species heard on this album include:

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, Superb Fruit Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Marbled Frogmouth, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Black-eared Catbird, Dusky Myzomela, Hornbill Friarbird, Graceful Honeyeater, Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Tropical Scrubwren, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Little Shrikethrush, Grey Whistler, Fairy Gerygone, Green Oriole, Rufous Fantail, Varied Triller, Shining Flycatcher, Trumpet Manucode, Magnificent Riflebird, White-faced Robin, Metallic Starling and Black Butcherbird.

Photos from the Recording Location

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