"As darkness prevails, every sound, magnified by our instinctual distrust of the night, hints at predators concealed in shadow.”
A choir of bird calls signals the setting sun a family of helmeted guineafowl noisily rattles, a Diederik cuckoo adds its shrill whistle, doves coo monotonically from the surrounding tree tops and a Crested Francolin squeals monotonously.Suddenly an alarm bark of an impala, followed by a vervet monkey alarm bark, there must be a leopard prowling by!
As the sun sets, a host of insects start chirping, creating a gentle chorus that ebbs and flows. Over it, nocturnal birds create hypnotic rhythms, nightjars churr, and pearl-spotted owlets whistle; A Zebra stallion barks, signalling its disquiet, calling the harem's attention.
Seeking to learn who are the characters that make up the nightly choir and recognizing their calls takes away a little of the fear and the mystery but allows us to fully appreciate the multitude of critters and larger animals that are active all around us.
As the darkness deepens, nocturnal mammals add their voices to the cacophony. The shrill screams of tree hyrax merge with the baleful weeping of bush babies.
A Lion's loud roar sounds deceptively close, causing a moment of quiet before the activity resumes. Hyenas utter their whooping calls and gleeful laughter, and elephants pass silently by, their passing betrayed only by their low rumbling communication.
Next time you are in the African Bush, let's sit together around the fire, listen to the nightly choir, and learn to listen deeply.