Mashatu Wetland Soundscape


In the height of the rains in Mashatu, Botswana this amazing dawn chorus of many waterbirds and others is a continuous joyful and busy time.

Duration: 57 mins 29 sec

Listen to a Sample

It is the height of the rainy season in Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana and a recent downpour has filled a massive temporary wetland (or vlei as it is known locally) and has attracted a huge variety of waterbirds. This amazing dawn chorus of many waterbirds and others is continuous making it difficult to separate the many species, while in the treeline on the edge of the vlei Mourning Collared Doves give their bubbling call at regular intervals.

Way in the background members of the local lion pride start roaring (1.46) while Lesser Moorhens, an unusual visitor to this part of Botswana give various clucking sounds as they feed in amongst the reeds. A Blacksmith Lapwing gives its “tik tik tik” and then rasping notes call as it flies overhead on various occasions. Several African Jacanas add to the chorus with their shrill trilling cries.

Other waterbirds include Red-billed Teal, Egyptian Goose and Wood Sandpiper with many skulking Black Crakes giving their weird combination of growling and clucking sounds. A Common Buttonquail can occasionally be heard giving its deep hooting call from the other side of the wetland.

On various occasions a Diederik Cuckoo circles overhead, its call sounding just like its common name.

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