Mystery bird call - Murray Sunset National Park (Vic)

To: "Birding-aus (E-mail)" <>
Subject: Mystery bird call - Murray Sunset National Park (Vic)
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2012 21:17:55 +1100
I made an early morning recording on Pheenys Track in Murray Sunset National 
Park, Mallee habitat in NW Victoria, on 23/9/12. Just after 7am I can hear a 
very faint moaning call, generally one note every 15 seconds, around 400Hz, 
falling then rising over 1.5 seconds. I've uploaded a 20 second clip containing 
two of the calls here:

I've marked the position of the calls, and there's also a spectrogram to the 
left of the track title (click to enlarge).

I've listened to recordings of quails, buttonquails, Tawny Frogmouth, Spotted 
Nightjar, Owlet-nightjar, Mallefowl and bronzewings from the BOCA CDs, but 
nothing really matches. Red-chested Buttonquail looks sort of similar on the 
spectrogram, but their notes are too short and much closer together, plus I 
think it's unlikely in this area?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what it might be?

Note the soft "boom" during the second call. I think this is a distant gunshot 
you can hear more of these here:

I've got dozens and dozens of these very soft booms throughout the three hour 
recording. Any idea what these could be, 20km inside a national park? It's been 
suggested to me that they might be scare guns, although I don't know where 
these might be, and sonic booms from military aircraft, which can apparently 
carry for 100km or more. It could be the latter, but if it is then they must 
have been flying in circles for three hours. Maybe just someone shooting 

We didn't notice these booms while we were there, and it took me a while to 
notice them at home with headphones on.

Peter Shute

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