Sights and Sounds of Australia Part 1

Each season has its own features and aspects of life cycles in the ‘natural’ world. In this blog post, as in previous blog posts, namely, Sights and Sounds of Ireland, I’m going to share with you some recordings I’ve made. This time the sights and sounds are closer to home, they’re in my local ‘hood, the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Cicadas, Crickets and Corellas

Summer’s over for us Aussies and we’re now entering the cooler months. Some might say goodbye, good riddance to Summer. It’s too hot. But for many of us this last Summer has been relatively tame; less days over 40ºC than in other years. And for my worms that’s meant survival—in my worm farm, that is. On two occasions over the last five years I’ve had to clean out the putrefied, liquefied quagmire of worm remains from my farm following heatwaves, where the temp was over 40 for a few days in a row. This year, the cooler Summer has meant happy worms and, happy me.


As I’ve hinted at in my blog name, I consider the sound of cicadas a quintessentially Australian sound even though cicadas are not endemic to Australia. They’re found worldwide. Maybe its the association they conjure up for me: balmy Summer evenings; too hot to do anything much except find the coolest spot and stay there. As a kid it conjures up memories of never-ending Summer holidays at the beach. Lying around on the cool floor of the beach house after a bath and fish and chips for tea as your skin turns beetroot.

I made the following recording of a chorus of cicadas as I heard them on a walk around my local streets one hot, balmy January evening.

See what memories they conjure up for you…


Now, we’re in Autumn. The screechy cicadas have gone.

In their place are the crickets. A much gentler chorus. At dusk one night in April, I recorded their dulcet tones as they set up their choir in my front yard.

Have a listen…

Certainly a much gentler sound for a much gentler season.


Now, these guys are raucous. They’ve been circling my neighbourhood in large flocks for the last couple of weeks. Many of them will descend on a tree, ravage the berries/seed pods and discard the remains out the side of their beaks like old codgers spitting into spittoons. This can make for hazardous walking, especially if the remains are strewn over the foot path.

Below is a recording I took of a flock that settled on a Cotoneaster just above my head as I was walking past. For a moment I felt like Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s The Birds as I instinctively placed my arms over my head and walked a little faster. But they weren’t interested in me, all they wanted was those delicious, bright red, juicy berries.

Have a look and a listen…

These recordings may not be quintessentially Australian but they certainly stir feelings of ‘home’ in me.

How about you?

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11 Responses to Sights and Sounds of Australia Part 1

  1. Bernadette says:

    Hi Marg, What a lovely way to start the day… listening to cicadas, crickets and corellas!! Thanks for that. The corellas have been so loud around us. Beautiful to watch.
    Love Bern xx

  2. Heather Rose says:

    great post Marg. some of my favourite sounds are household lawnmowers on a fine Spring day as they try to control the flourishing grass; and the sizzle of a sausage on a bbq, together with the smell of onions in the fry up – its heavenly.

    • Marg says:

      Thanks Het. Yes. All conjure up great images for me too. When you mentioned the lawnmower my nose instantly went to the smell of the freshly mown grass. Gorgeous.

  3. Rosemary says:

    Hi Marg. Enjoyed your recordings and the video of the corellas. The sound of the crickets takes me back to younger days in Melbourne. The sulphur crested cockatoos dominate here with their screeching! Driving around it is common to see groups of lovely grey and pink galahs feeding on the ground. Rosemary x

  4. brian cockerall says:

    Not many cicadas up this way, but if would like a few more corellas we can oblige. No request too big.

  5. Krystal Wallis says:

    Beautiful sounds and oddly relaxing…something about ‘home’ in the chorus of them all.

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