What's that "blerk!" sound the BBC uses in their night-time thrillers?
February 24, 2013 4:45 AM   Subscribe

In Sherlock, and in Midsomer Murders, there's a night-time sound which I presume is either a recording of, or meant to be some kind of night bird. What is it?

The only way I can describe the sound is that it's like someone being rapidly strangled, and it sounds kind of like "blerk!"

The sound turns up quite a lot in Midsomer Murders, and it was used in Sherlock (Season 2, Episode 2, Hounds of Baskerville) at the beginning of the night scenes on Dartmoor, so a total of I think 3 times.

Is it a real bird? Is it *meant* to be a real bird? Is it something totally different?
posted by nonspecialist to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Fox bark?
posted by Erasmouse at 4:59 AM on February 24, 2013

Best answer: Is it possible you're hearing a fox, not a bird? There are some fox calls here - does this sound right?
posted by Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo at 5:02 AM on February 24, 2013

Addendum: came to mind because it turns up, I believe, in the Pride and Prejudice miniseries and the first time I heard one live I was all, so that's what that was!
posted by Erasmouse at 5:03 AM on February 24, 2013

Maybe a barn owl?
posted by gubo at 5:03 AM on February 24, 2013

Response by poster: That's it! Fox bark.

I'm used to hearing possums screaming at each other outside, but the fox blerk is something much spookier; no wonder they use it!
posted by nonspecialist at 5:05 AM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks gubo, not a barn owl -- but that's a great resource for all sorts of owl sounds so thanks anyhow :)
posted by nonspecialist at 5:06 AM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ha. Fox barking will scare the shit out of you if you've never heard it before, even in an urban setting, but it's not half as scary as the sounds of foxes fighting and mating. Foxes are the UK's most populace mammals next to humans or something, so they are very very common.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:59 AM on February 24, 2013

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