Today I went to the local Forest Service office to speak to the wildlife biologist, a young man who took a few minutes out of his busy day to do some brainstorming with me about what local animal could be whooping and whistling in the forest near Happy Camp.
[Reference: My first post about the whoops and whistles I heard.]
He suggested an owl, egret, or heron. I listened to sound files and YouTube videos of bird sounds. The only one that comes close so far is this fishing heron that does a bit of whistling. The quality of the whistle wasn’t an exact match, but that’s a possibility. This heron’s whistle has a bit of trilling to it, which I didn’t hear. And it isn’t combined with a whoop… so the jury is still out.
He told me there’s a rookery downriver from Happy Camp. I know there’s one at the end of the human-occupied territory, across from the crushed rock business. I scanned the river at my research location further down and couldn’t see any herons or other birds fishing. I did hear birds twittering in the area today, mostly from a distance, but didn’t see any. I also scanned the trees across from where I sit, looking for nests; nothing found yet.
I enjoyed my talk with the wildlife biologist. He says he doesn’t believe there’s any Bigfoot in our forest. I told him a little about Bigfoot sightings near Happy Camp but got the distinct impression that his woo-woo tolerance level was exceeded by the end of our conversation.
I have now spent eight mornings sitting by the river in this one particular spot and during that time I’ve heard the whoops and whistles only once. Today I was out there again. I had my SanDisk on but it didn’t pick up any sounds except the river. Perhaps I should find another location that isn’t so close to a series of rapids. I also am devising ways to save the money for better recording equipment.
More on this issue if/when there’s anything worth reporting!