In 1969, I mapped Murruin Creek, Little Wombeyan Creek (western Blue
Mountains) and 36 square miles of adjacent rugged wilderness. In a year I
saw nobody in those creeks, and not much has changed since. Its hands-on
country, with deep gorges and hanging valleys, casurina on the creeks and
dry eucalipt forest on the ridges. Lots of bird song, beautiful, but
irrelevant to the geology.
I recorded a transect in the above two creeks, some
10 miles of dead quietness but for waterfall interludes, using a
cheap portable cassette recorder of the push-button type.
The tapes were transcribed by a lady from whom I expected complaints
of sore fingers, apart from geological jargon, and with some trepidation
fronted up on the appointed day...
No complaints. Just a rapturous "The birds, the birds..."
I hadn't realised the birds dominated the recording.
I was used the beauty of their totally undiluted song.
She kept the tapes!
Ever since I have intended to return with a portable digital recorder,
and make another tape, free this time of voice-over interference.
No birder has trod those creks, I suspect, yet for thriling fidelity
of singing, I have heard nothing like it ever.