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Sounds of Koh Samui


Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui
Sounds of Koh Samui

If you move a little further away from the bustling Chaweng Road and it might even be a better idea to rent a house in a quiet area of Koh Samui, somewhere on Maenam, Taling Ngam, Bang Por ... where besides annoying invitations to visit Muay Thai fights you can actualy hear the true sounds of nature. 

A bird that many tourists usualy call "orgasmic" (we used to call it the same, with slightly different variations of the word). This is actually a male of Asian Cuckoo (Asian Koel).

His singing is a part of courtship games:

Charming little gray bird is what all the fuzz about

Photo taken from Wikepedia.

The attentive naturalists might notice that Asian Koel sings not only the way it is shown on the video, but also like this:

This is a female's response - it sounds a bit different and it does not sound like something that gave it that popular nickname.

This video contains everything together: the first thing you hear is a male singing, then goes a female (in the video she is not singing, it is dubbed with the sound of exactly the same birds), and in the end - again a singing male, but in slow motion, so you can hear all the sound nuances.

If you are not yet bored with the cries of a pretty bird - you can listen to another recording made at 6 am at the window of our bedroom, right out of the house that we rent on Koh Samui in the center of Maenam:

You can hear not only the cuckoo, but also other types of birds- those who are in anticipation of an early dawn cleaning their throats and warming up.
You can also hear tintok – a small gecko (on the 53-54 seconds, and more clearly - on 2:13 - 2:14)

They make three types of sounds:
- Clatter (several successive sounds - the vibration of the tail, you can hear it on the record)
- Smacking loudly
- Whistle, almost like some kind of bird (emit a loud sound).

So far I have failed to record separately each of these sounds, only random specks, among other sounds. However, when you hear it, you will notice the difference.

No matter how loud would a cuckoo sound, it is no match to cicadas (those that are very large and very loud too) - they are the loudest in the morning.

... You thought those little bugs who are chirping somewhere in the resorts of Turkey and Egypt are cicadas?
Well you probably have not heard the real cicadas yet - from Thailand!
Especially for those who have not heard them singing (like a chainsaw) - turn up the volume:

During the corresponding season we hear them almost every day, and sometimes the sound would last for 20-30-40 minutes.
The recording was made in the kitchen - I just held the camera-recorder against a mosquito net on the wall.

And here is the picture of the sound source:



There are also more familiar to us cicadas that sing almost the same as those found in the South of Russia, and on the beaches of Turkey and Egypt:

Here am I, as usual, went to the kitchen and recorded all the sounds from the outside of the house through a net on the wall.
At the 17 second a “tintok” joined the cicadas with its "smacking".


But the main violators of peace and tranqility during the night, thanks to whom we never forget that Koh Samui - is not only a beautiful seaside resort in Thailand, but also a large village, are them:

These are the favorites of the locals. They are often bred for cockfighting. You can find them almost in every district where the Thais live.
Many of them (the roosters) have a nasty character (how else would you explain their behavior?) – they crow a few times a night -   10-15-20 min per session. Usually start at 2 am, then at 4, 5, and then randomly.
And you would not hear a normal "cock-a-doodle-doo" from them - just something hoarse and indistinct.
On the record of the morning awakening of the island (see above), you can hear our unruly neighbor rooster, which is being chased on the photo. But eventually we got used to it and accept as a background.


A turtledove:


But let's get back to more interesting sounds produced, for example, by a Myna (Asian Starling):

Everyone met these birds during a visit to Thailand:

These long-legged sassy "yellow-beak birds" not only love to beg and are almost tame, but can also perfectly replicate all sorts of sounds. It would not surprise me if one day I will hear a Myna, which lives in our backyard, meowing, copying cats.


However, the Yellow-beaked Myna are not the most skilled imitators in Asia. Those would be rare Myna species with red beaks.
These birds are not brown but black and are much larger:

You wont see them in the wild (even though in some places on Samui they can still be seen).

They perfectly imitate the sounds of cars, phone ringtones, voice, even pronouncing whole phrases:


In our yard we see all kinds of different birds, which also produce certain interesting sounds, but so far they could not be identified. If someone will tell me (this can be done, for example, in a comment box to the article) – I will add all the missing information about them.
So far - only pictures.

This is a white-winged heron / Chinese Pond-Heron (Ardeola bacchus) (thank you for the comments in the reviews!) With feathers during the mating season.

And that is the same bird, but in his normal plumage, which he "carries" during the winter.

This bird is not yet identified:

Among the other feathered visitors are those bright colorful birds which are able to hover in one place and have a curved beak and a small size.
Who is it? Hummingbirds?
Nope, there are none in Southeast Asia.

this beauty

could be identified as the Sunbird.


And this bird looks very significant.
He is the one making strange noises, which I will describe below 

This is a Big or Chinese cockle. It is found from Nepal to Indonesia, and from Southwest China to India. He lives in the jungle, and close to the people, wherever there is a shelter in the form of a shrub or bamboo and trees suitable for building nests.
This is not the type of a cuckoo that lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, and is building its own ball-shaped nest:


In addition to photos there are some unidentified sounds that we hear nearby, but have not yet figured out who produce them.
Recently I took a tape recorder to record the songs of frogs at night:

(that is them alright)
I was lucky to record the bird, I was looking for for a long time and could not capture it until now - it's her weird screams that can be heard at the beginning of the recording.



Those smaller frogs has long been perceived as a background (like those French neighbors, whose language I do not understand, and therefore can sleep comfortably while they are chatting outside). But those big frogs that start their “singing” during rainy seasons - are for those whose nerves are way stronger:

Isn’t it wonderful!?
And how happy we are when such a "hurdy-gurdy" sitting next to the house starts its concert!
This sound is heard in the stillness of the night at a great distance.
And they can make these sounds for hours!

I would assume they look something like that:

We found it after the rain on one of the tracks.
Just take my word - it is very large, with a size of a fist.

These frogs can produce the creaking sound of rusty swings for hours. Monotonically, dull and most importantly - loudly!


However, it is nothing comparing to the mobile market,

that moves around the island, then appearing here and there for a week, and delighting locals with cheap food and clothing, as well as "cultural program".

This is usually can be heard from anywhere at a distance of 1 kilometer from the market. The concert continues up till 11 pm, sometimes until 2 am (it is hard to say what it depends on).

The mobile market appears in almost every area of Koh Samui - about once in 3-4 month. You can tell by the stretch marks on the vacant land where in a bright and colorful (and most importantly - with dates!) manner it informs that it is time to stock up on ear plugs.


Also, once a year on Koh Samui happens the big "Bada Boom" - Chinese New Year.
It is not only a fun and colorful celebration, but also quite noisy action. Within a few days, the Chinese family chase away evil spirits.


Every week in different parts of Koh Samui on predetermined days of the week is held a "Walking Street". The schedule is as follows: Friday - at Fisherman's Village, on Saturdays - Nathon, on Sundays - on Lamai and on Thursday - at Maenam.

This is not something that everyone used to see in Pattaya – there is no sex here.
But there are traders with a lots of tasty food, souvenirs, clothing ..., actors, singers, musicians, and the pointsman who loves to whistle to help with the traffic (where it is needed).
There is also an "Executive Director" of the fair with a microphone.
In general, all the loud music and endless emotional speech of the MC, commercials and the whistling of the traffic police ... – it never gets boring. You might not even be able to hear your own  thoughts - this is how noisy it gets.


Every evening at designated sites, starting at 6 pm, the locals (and foreigners) are engaged in ... umm ... fitness facilities.
In general  they do different exercises under the cheerful music.
The event is conducted by a coach, whom at the end of classes one should pay a tip - 10 or 20 baht. The lessons are free of charge and are carried out throughout a year as a part of a program to strengthen the health of the citizens of the Kingdom.

But back to the animals.
Here's a couple more species of frogs:    

Here the frog sounds like a ratchet, and on the 8th and 19th, second it is accompanied by a whistling (classification of sounds of these geckos are just above in the article) tintok.

And here it is much louder. Latter on a cat wedged into the recording which at the time constantly trained the kittens and was probably telling them something in their own language:


Also there are squirrels on Samui.
I hope that is not new for many of you.

However, have you ever heard them communicating before?
A squirrel from our garden, for example, is chatting with cats. Seriously!

But more often - just jumping from branch to branch, accompanying each jump with a loud click.

Here a tintok wedged into (lizard tail vibrates very quicklyat the same time producing that sound).
It is on the 1:10 - 1:20 min.
And at the end, at 1:50, the squirrel clicks finally go into the sounds that are on the next record. Incidentally, they more sound like a talking.

Well, another record of the squirrel that occasionally wakes us up in the morning:

Moving on.

This wonderful, almost domestic lizard is Tuk-Kay. Its sound at first many mistaken for a bird.

Someone hear them saying "Tu-ke," someone "To-kai" – all the different variations. First, he makes a deep noisy breath in, and there it goes...:

As it turnes out it is the male calling to his female, which went for a walk around and ran into our veranda (the "head of family" sits under the roof on the back porch). In the same way - with the shouts, the male claims the right to the territory.
Large species may produce up to 10 such sounds making one or two small air refillings.
Externally, males and females are virtually identical:

According to my observations, the locals do not really favor them, and even feared. But do not drive off.
If it really bothers you - you can put in the attic of the house a few mothballs. This scent is not to their liking, and tukey will probably be gone in no time.


That's all I wanted to tell about the sounds of Koh Samui.

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