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We're Baffled !


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For the last couple of weeks, we've been intrigued by a strange noise during the night.

It's rather lie a 'sonar' sound, regular (every 2 secs) and goes on for hours. Not enough to keep you awake nor to wake you up - just intriguing.

Schools of thought range from an alarm (since it so regular) to a toad, to an owl. Area is forested. Noise moves almost nightly.

Any thoughts?
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I will solve your mystery.

The noise is made by small Toads.

They sit a couple of inches from the wall and emit that peeping sound. They face the wall so the sound echoes.

We had quite a few some years ago but these days we have flowers growing along the rear wall where they used to congregate. The flowers prevent them from echoing the noise off the wall.

If you go out when they are peeping away, they usually stay quiet, but if you take a torch and look along the wall, you will see them. They are grey and about 5 to 6 cm long.

Hope that helps somewhat.
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Nothing to do with toads, midwife ones or otherwise.

But I heard, up close, a real donkey hee-hawing away yesterday afternoon while out for a walk.  The eeeeeeeeeeeee part is like a very shrill and ear-splitting whistle and the aaaaaawwwwwwww part is rather hoarse (ugh, I nearly wrote "horse") in contrast.  If it were a singer, I'd have said it had tremendous range[:)]

Now I know why the donkey is called Eeyore, the author knowing too well what sound donkeys make.  I, OTOH, is an urban creature and I had no idea what donkeys sounded like until yesterday!

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  • 7 months later...
[quote user="mint"]Nothing to do with toads, midwife ones or otherwise.

But I heard, up close, a real donkey hee-hawing away yesterday afternoon while out for a walk.  The eeeeeeeeeeeee part is like a very shrill and ear-splitting whistle and the aaaaaawwwwwwww part is rather hoarse (ugh, I nearly wrote "horse") in contrast.  If it were a singer, I'd have said it had tremendous range[:)]

Now I know why the donkey is called Eeyore, the author knowing too well what sound donkeys make.  I, OTOH, is an urban creature and I had no idea what donkeys sounded like until yesterday!

[/quote]

Come and visit me Mint and you can hear that each of my three donkeys has a different range and its own distinctive bray! :)
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If you mean a sort of electronic beep, we had those beeping toads in the first few years we were in this house. I actually found 2, ?hibernating in some grass at the base of our terrace. All the little'uns on their backs. But haven't heard them for the last few years. It's probably too dry now for them.

During the early autumn we had a huge toad which came into our kitchen (open door) and took up residence in our pet's drinking dish every evening. Often left it's visiting card behind. We blamed the cat first!

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[quote user="Rob Roy"]

 Come and visit me Mint and you can hear that each of my three donkeys has a different range and its own distinctive bray! :)[/quote]

Don't care if someone wants to rap me over the knuckles for not sticking with toads!  I just HAVE to tell you, RR, that I am fascinated by what you say about donkeys having their own distinctive bray.

I don't want to offend anybody but that sounds a bit like some English tourists in supermarkets and restos during holiday season.........tin hat off now!

RR, I just love their ears; they are so beautiful and furry and look like they will feel lovely and soft though I haven't been near enough to stroke donkey ears!

One question, RR, is it true that donkeys are very sociable and musn't be kept on their own?  A couple of French people have told me that you need to keep them with other animals, even if the other animals are not donkeys?

When I happen to see donkeys, I always say bonjour, Martin, on the basis that a lot of French donkeys seem to be named Martin[:D]

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LOL, I don't know any donkeys called Martin! Mine are Mabel, her son Eeyore (had to be!) and another gelding called Victor.

It's true that they should never be kept on their own as they get lonely and it's better if they are with another of their own kind, but other animals will do. A lot of donkeys do NOT like dogs and will chase them and even try and kill them if they get into the field.

Mabel's field companion was a gelding called Mack and they had been together for some years when I got them. Mack died suddenly in November 2015 and Mabel was very down for a while, even thought she had Eeyore with her. I got Victor last summer so that I can continue going driving which is what I had started doing with Mack.

Sorry, for hijacking the thread, I'll shut up!

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  • 4 months later...
A few weeks ago we heard groups of three loud coos/hoots on a single note, repeated many times at dusk.  We thought of toads but it was coming from a tree... It echoed rather like a sonar. We concluded that it was a hoopoe : https://vimeo.com/145409630, especially as we saw him the next day.

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