[CT Birds] Boston Hollow, Westford, 4-28-10, and comments on my "hearing aid"
Mntncougar at aol.com
Mntncougar at aol.com
Wed Apr 28 16:12:24 EDT 2010
>From the volume of sounds, at least, Boston Hollow was alive with a
limited assortment of birds today, though most proved very hard to find. I saw 2
but am certain there were at least 6 Northern Waterthrushes along a half
mile stretch of Road. In the same area, at least 5 Black-throated Green
Warblers, though I saw only 1. I saw one Wren, likely a Winter Wren, but it
never sang, so I'm not sure. possibly a House Wren or even a Marsh Wren I
suppose. At least 3 bird songs I heard clearly but could not ID (still
learning to use my "birders hearing aid" and re-learn many of the songs). I
flushed one very dark, smallish hawk from the roadside, but did not get a
good enough look to ID it. Probably a Coop or a Red-shoulder. No where near
the number of Chipping Sparrows and Pine Warblers heard last week.
Weather was terrible, gray, cold and windy, with constant sprinkles and
some snowflakes melting on my windshield. Car thermometer showed a high
reading of 42. Fortunately Boston Hollow is a place that can easily be birded
almost exclusively from a car, especially if you actually have decent
hearing. The hearing aid is not a gimmick, and a relatively expensive device,
but If you have as limited high-frequency hearing as I, it makes an amazing
difference. I am now wondering how many birds I have walked by or driven
past, never knowing they were there. A bird that I can barely hear normally
can be almost too loud with the headphones, and the vast majority that I
now hear are not audible to me at all without them, not even close.
Obviously, there are trade-offs. The songs sound different because they are
lower in pitch. Occasionally there is some distortion of lower pitched sounds,
though not normally, and they are NOT amplified or lowered in pitch as are
the high ones. Bird songs that I was sometimes able to hear before now
sound different to me because there are components of them that I never
heard before. I suspect that I now hear things that even most people with
normal hearing do not.
The positive aspect of this device is that I am now able to "bird by ear",
and it makes an amazing difference. Minor negatives, aside from just
having to wear it, are the fact that there is no option to amplify
high-pitched sounds at their original frequency, and occasionally there is minor
distortion of other sounds. Also, I have to re-learn most bird songs that I
cannot ID just from cadence or etc. A wish list would be to be able to
amplify sounds at the original frequency, and potential ability to record sounds
that the device picks up.
Overall, I am very glad I made the investment, and sorry I waited so long.
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