Photo evokes memory of RNZ bird calls' origin

All was quiet in our Dunedin neighbourhood until about 10 days ago. Then the music started.

I don't think I'm imagining it or just having my own personal nightmare. Others must have noticed it too. The noise seems to ramp up towards midnight and the thump-thump-thump, the extended drum fills, the wah-wahing guitars get louder into the small hours. One night it was still going at 3am.

Ironically, I like a spot of loud music myself - when I can hear it in its entirety, not distorted by distance, wind and topography. But usually it is confined to within my headphones when I'm travelling and doesn't bother anyone else.

I know I'm sounding like a grumpy old man but it's starting to affect my sleep, and presumably that of my neighbours too.

I can't wait for someone to come along and disconnect the guilty party from the electricity grid for good.

Just as an amusing aside, and sort of music-related, nobody could ever say Allied Press fails to keep up with the times.

Not only do we have a lift in the building, a rather small one admittedly but it gets you from A to B, but yesterday we had provided for us a disco in the lift.

The light was flickering through the pitch black when the doors slammed shut. It was rather perturbing to begin with but you soon got into the swing of things, as long as you didn't wave your hands around too much or try any fancy, expansive dance manoeuvres.

Time to share your best or favourite cloud photographs with other readers. Here's one I took on...
Time to share your best or favourite cloud photographs with other readers. Here's one I took on the West Coast last week, at Tauranga Bay, about 10 minutes' drive from Westport. It was a day of short, sharp showers and sunny, mild intervals. The cumulus clouds were bubbling up as you watched in the unstable atmosphere. PHOTO: PAUL GORMAN
Bird calls

Dave Howell, of Mosgiel, writes about the photo of birds feeding happily at the home of Bruce Barnett, of Brighton, in our July 4 column.

``It raised many happy memories of Bruce's dad Frank, who was an aviarist in his own right.

``Frank lived next to the Town Belt in Belleknowes and had a great collection of birds in large cages in his backyard, and a magnificent aviary built beneath the bridge giving access across a bushy gully to his Alison Cres home. His birds were fascinating and frequently visited by us local kids.

``During the 1930s, Frank's family had owned and operated one of Dunedin's early radio stations from a studio in the Octagon. Sadly it closed down when the government of the day shut all the small private stations in 1937 and created the ZB and YA stations.

``Frank became employed as a radio technician in the Dunedin studios of the NZBS and continued his interest in birds.

``After World War 2, the NZBS created a mobile recording studio in a heavy, old ex-RNZAF truck. Recordings were to acetate discs in those days before tape recorders, and the truck had to be carefully levelled and stabilised to allow the disc-cutters to operate satisfactorily.

``Frank was able to persuade `the powers that be' to allow him to head off into the bush with this unit and record native birdsong using a parabolic microphone on the end of a long cable.

``His recordings became the start of the enduring `bird calls' played at various times each day on RNZ National.

``Maybe Bruce's bird-feeding photo continues his family tradition?''

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