Alan Dalton post's birding diaries and original artwork from Sweden. Established in 2006, this now long running blog is now a complete overview of my birding experiences. As an artist I greatly enjoy sketching birds in the field and you will find a wide selection of that work here, from fieldwork to finished paintings. I am very passionate about my artwork and try to depict birds in their natural habitat, as I see them in the wild. My artwork is for sale and can be viewed at http://www.alandalton.net/
As regards to my photography, since 2008 I have used a Nikon D90 DSLR camera coupled with a Sigma 150-500mm OS lens for since March 2012 for bird photography, all previous images being digiscoped. Regarding sound recording, I have been usung a Telinga Stereo Dat Mic and parabol to record birds in the field, coupled to a Marrantz 661 digital recorder, a superb piece of kit. Interest in butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies has recently seen the accquisition of a Sigma 150mm macro lens. I hope you enjoy the blog and please feel free to leave comments or contact me at alandltn@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First day of Sound Recording; Tyresta National Park; 20th March 2012

The first day out with the Telinga Stereo Dat setup today, the location was Tyresta National Park. As one might expect there were many hurdles to overcome and getting used to settings on the Marrantz 661, as well as the Pro8 handle will take time to master. Despite not having everything set up perfectly I did manage my first recordings which are here. Its still early in the year here and the huge majority of summer migrants have yet to arrive, I will use the tme available to try familiarize myself with the equipment in order to get the best possible recordings in the coming months. This will be a very steep learning curve, there is a lot to learn. I have decided to use Audacity to edit and convert my files to MP3 files, then uploading to the Xeno-Canto database. I have also downloaded Ravenlite from Cornell Lab to help analyze sonograms...

 Basically, today was day one in the field. My mistake was to set the recorder, a Marrantz 661, on Line Mic. This was the wrong setting and meant that the parabol was not utilized and the recording was done directly from the inhouse mic on the Marrantz. As a result there were problems with noise, such as me moving, or touching the recorder. Even with this happening I still got usable recordings! I returned home and found downloading managable after a few Youtube tutorials, then realizing my error on hearing the recordings. So, a lesson learned, something which would be remedied in future trips. Despite the error, heres what I got, a little noisy, but hey...


Arrrived at the park at the Nyfors entrance and noticed five Goosander present on Flaten. As I passed them into the woods they began to display and I moved back quietly and recorded their odd calls from behind cover in case I disturbed them. Recording opens up a whole new world, I'd never paid much attention to this species before, a really wonderful display this and nice to get it down...




My main target species for the day was Black Woodpecker, which are displaying busily at the moment. I came across this bird at Ovre Kärret and waas able to record his display/song from about 75 metres away. This is one of the best sounds around at the moment and very much a signature noise of swedish forest habitats, a very evocative sound...




Long Tailed Tit. Found these two birds moving through the wood in a small mixed flock, with Blue Tit and Goldcrest, both of which can also be heard of this recording. These are the typical calls heard from feeding birds..





Woodpeckers are very busy displaying right now, as well as calling in the forest they display to other males by drumming. Here is a recording of 2 Greater Spotted Woodpeckers drumming to each other from the boundaries of their territories. One bird was quite close, the other, clearly more distant. These birds have favoured drumming posts which they habitually visit, often early in the morning. Other species do the same, though often have slightly differing drum bursts and volume...





Lastly a common species, here a male Blackbird calls nervously as it watches me from a small pine. This will be a familiar call to many people from all over europe, one of a repotoire of call and songs the species gives. Therein lies the beauty of recording, there are often several calls given by any one species, sometimes different calls by the same species realted to their sex, behaviour of age...


Over the coming months I will try get out recording often and will post here on the blog. It struck me today just how difficult it is to avoid noise disturbance when recording, even at such a remote national park there was constant noise from planes, helicopters, pylons and distant cars...

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