Sunday 6 June 2010

Acting the Goat

Barbecue weather! After a busy day in the sun riddling soil, planting raised beds and weeding we decided to fire up the submarine hatch. Dinner was salmon marinated in mojo then cooked on the barbecue with some red peppers.

After dinner my wife stoked up the fire with some logs and we sat drinking nicely-chilled white wine. I heard a strange bird call that I recognised from my childhood. A weird sound, almost like that of a lamb bleating. I got my wife to listen and she insisted she couldn't hear it. When she did eventually hear it she was convinced that it was a lamb bleating.

When she listened more closely she heard the difference. I described it as sounding like "a goat bleating through a kazoo", because it has extra tonal/harmonic sounds that you don't get with a bleat.

I first heard this call while away on a camping trip (about half a mile over the hill from my house) as a child. I was with two of my brothers and a friend and we heard this weird noise right outside the tent. It scared the hell out of us and we legged it home over the hill. The next day my dad said that we had been hearing the "Goat Bird" (translated from Gaelic), which he reckoned was a Plover. I haven't done the research to find out if the "Goat Bird" and the Plover are indeed the same thing. It sounded like something bigger (and scarier) than a Plover!

It didn't sound so scary last evening. Haunting but rather soothing, as we drank our wine and bathed in the midge-alleviating smoke from our impromptu fire-pit.


  1. I've heard it too. Sort of a groaning moo. Definitely not a plover. They make a very seashore whistling twittering sound.

  2. Check out

    reckon that's the birdie!