Review By Bo Boelens-The Fat Birder www.fatbirder.com
Bird Songs of the Great Lakes by John Neville - CD 775020418226 - Neville Recordings Playing time 73.26
On this disc there are 101 species grouped by habitat; backyard, deciduous hardwoods, mixed woodland, boreal forest, marshes, fields, Alvar and lakes and one of night sounds, making it ideal for field use - go to a marsh in the great lakes region and these are the birds you are likely to hear… terrific. Each record has a commentary so you know when and where the recording was made.
The disc covers all the common songbirds of the region and some more challenging ones too. Many recordings were made at Pelee and other noted hot spots so should invoke fond memories for anyone lucky enough to have birded there - it certainly brought it all back to me. Lots of other locations are used on both sides of the Canada-USA border.
I was surprised to hear the (mostly) English accent of Mr Neville, but found his commentary informative and well produced. His voice lends itself to such enterprise and is clear and easy on the ear and one does not feel lectured to. Overall I found the disc very similar to some of the better-produced videotapes - a sort of audio equivalent.
I see there are also a number of other recordings from this stable and all are based on geographical locations - a novel way of choosing what to include and invaluable if you intend to visit a specific area. Current discs include, Birds of the Kootenays, Bird Songs of the Creston Valley BC, Birds Songs of the Okanagan, Songs & Sounds of the Canadian Rockies and Bird Songs of Canada`s West Coast. I am told that Bird Songs of the Boreal Plains is in production.
This CD was fun to listen to, took me back to my recent visit to Ontario and would be a great way to learn calls and songs were my own ear not tin and my audio memory pathetic. Those of you better equipped to commit calls to memory will enjoy the disc, Mr Neville`s fluid commentary and find it an invaluable tool for bird ID around the Great lakes.