So I went out to Bond Park, to go birding. I saw a Double-Crested Cormorant, which was new for me, and the usual array of titmice, cardinals, robins, small crying children, mallards, Canadian geese, happy dogs with bandanas, etc, plus my first Ruby-Throated Hummingbird of the season. There were also a lot of things that I couldn’t get a good enough look at to identify–something brown and swallow-ish catching bugs on the surface of the water, a liver-colored thrushy kind of bird, and what I suspect was a black and white warbler going head-first down a tree, but can’t be sure of enough to list. There was a flicker nesting in a hollow tree–I saw him (or her) go in and out a few times, and baby ducks, which are always cute as hell.
And an absolutely adorable muskrat carrying grass back to his nest. D’aww.
And then there was the thing that went “Hnaaagh.”
I was hanging out in a swampy area–and I’m going back sometime when I’m wearing hiking boots–rife with sunning turtles, dozing ducks, and the industrious muskrat. Then something went “Hnaaagh.”
It was a weird ass noise. I thought at first it was something industrial, possibly a truck grinding gears or something. It was, however, repeated several times, and then another hnaagher answered from some distance away. Since trucks only call to each other in that gawdawful Stephen King movie about the murderous 80s trucks of death, I suspected something organic.
It sounds like a honk, while sounding nothing at all like a goose. It didn’t quite sound like a bird call, for that matter, more like one of those weird drumming or booming things that the weirder birds make in their chests. It might well have been a croak. There was a weird kind of metallic buzzing quality to it. It was like a muffled, flat car horn. “Hnaaagh. Hnaaagh. Hnaaagh.”
I tromped around the swamp for a bit, nearly stepping on ducks and causing the turtles to eye me suspiciously. I saw nothing. But the hnaaagh continued, fairly nearby. It was a densely wooded area, so my range of vision was obstructed and sporadic, it could have been a small mammoth trumpeting at the water’s edge and I could concievably have missed it, but still, the hnaaagh, the hnaaagh, the hnaaghs in the walls. Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhnaaaghan!
Now I just wanna know what the heck it was.
Anybody got any ideas? I don’t know if it was bird or beast, fish nor fowl. I could recognize the sound again–I think–but while I can visually identify a bird at least enough to tell where in the book to start looking, I can’t even begin to identify based on a species-ambiguous hnaagh. I can find the calls on-line, I just don’t know where to start looking.