Record Mission: January 23, Pureora Forest, Mapara – Hunt for the Kokako day 3

Day 7 of our record trip. We are heading home today, but first…we totally smashed that mountain of Doom. Three days in a row, we have gone up that massive hill, and we are feeling pretty fit now…but also totally bushed. (Sorry about the pun.)
Here are my journal entries from the last Kokako hunting hike.

Location 1

6:55am – We woke up early this time and hiked straight to the location where we saw Kokako yesterday and it’s gold once more. Probably started rolling about 15 mins ago and got a whole lot of close range Kokako. Little bit of BG traffic and some other birds were crowding the show, but no magpie and no crop duster. Very exciting. Now they have moved on and we’re getting a bit of distance stuff before we head to the other side of the valley.

*I did not take this photo, though I wish I had.


Location 2

7:40am – We’re in our favourite pretty sounding glade, elevated in the canopy with a nice drop off each side to deep forest. Several kokako are swooping through the canopy singing and just generally being amazing. So now we have close and open air recoding and a good chunk of under canopy calls. They are so amazing. They look like bandits with their little masks and they move like ninja’s. Their song is amazing. It’s like how I’d imagine a ghost monkey to sound. So haunting and beautiful. Its like sine-waves with a perfect fade in and out. It even sounds like they have some sort of built in reverb to make them sound just more awesome!
8am now and first cicada chirp of the day. Oh and a blackbird. At least the magpies have backed off today. We hear the occasional Maggie call, but the Kokakos have held their ground. The sun here is beautiful and I am elated.
Funny, I think the closer one can come to understanding and experiencing chaos, the closer they can also come to understanding peace. To be able to put yourself into an experience that is horrible, painful, uncomfortable, cruel… whether from memory or from imagination, then you can better understand the value of the moments of serenity. Right now, I’m here in this lovely forest, but at other times, I’ve wished with all my soul to be somewhere like this. Being able to recall a place like this helps in those darker times. Conversely, remembering days that were harder or more stressful, makes days like this feel all the more satisfying.

On the way back down the hill we found what had made that catastrophic crash the evening before. A tree had fallen in the forest. Naturally, we decided to smash it a bit and record it. 🙂

Well, it turned out to be a long day. We cleaned up our gear, checked out of the lodge and drove back to Wellington, stopping only to have a half hour nap on the long 5 hour drive home.
A very successful and fruitful trip…though I know it will mean many many hours in the studio to chop it all up.
Till next time,
This is Shell from team White Noise, signing off.


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