- Environmental Recording
- Great Frigatebird
- Black Noddy
- Black Noddy
- Bristle-thighed Curlew
- Background Species (4)
Motor boat ambi
Time of Day: 0800
Central Tropical Pacific biology
Time of Day: 0830
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
United States Minor Outlying Islands
- Far east lagoon
- 5.88333 -162.08333
- Sennheiser MKH 40
- Sennheiser MKH 30
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo; Omnis
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Log of DAT #: 4
Engineer: Chuck Thompson
Date: May 2000
ng= not good
vg = very good
AC: ALEX CHADWICK
CT: CHUCK THOMPSON
AF: AINSLEY FULLARD-LEO
BF: BETH FLINT
Saturday, 8:00 AM, going with Beth to look at birds, with Ainsley in the boat, driving off in the inlet water. M/S. Trying to get as many species as they can. Switching to low-end filter
2:38-5:36 AMB: boat cruising, conversation in bkgnd, occasional radio. Conversation more up front sometimes.
5:40-8:26 AMB: boat thrumming along, birds squawking VG
8:26 AC: Ainsley ... perfect morning like this, do you ever have regrets about your decision to sell?
AF: Yeah, I'm pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. But I think its' the right decision. It's a beautiful place, but we don't come down here enuf to enjoy it and it should be preserved.
AC: hard to imagine any better place than right here right now. AF: that's right. Beautiful place. Course I don't have to tell you that now, do I.
9:06-10:40 AMB: boat motoring, birds squawking
11 :02 AC: Ainsley, would you just describe for the mic where we are right now?
AF: we're at the eastern end of the center lagoon. P consists of a circle of islands surrounding three lagoons: the west lagoon which is the largest and which has the entry channel. And the center lagoon. and we're now heading toward the eastern lagoon. There's a causeway separating the eastern lagoon from the cnter lagoon, and has several breaks in it. We're gonna attempt to go in the north break, but the tide is extremely low, so we may have to walk the boat thru. At high tide you can motor thru very easily. AC: when did you first see this place?
AF: I first came here when 17. I was in high school and came out here for a
summer with my brother Dudley.
AC: what was it like then?
AF: had a lot of buildings here, the civil aeronautics adm had a group of people living here. They had a school, a library, outdoor theater, the left over bldgs from WWII. They had a radio station here and a relay station. They left in 1953 and after that it just kind of disintegrated.
12:40 FX: motor throttles down (?): this is gonna be dicey.
12:42 AMB: boat, low motor, birds squawking
13: 17 AF: make sure you brace good, if we hit a rock. It might stop us.
13:57 AF: this is about the lowest I've seen it in a long time. AC: that reef flat we kayaked over yesterday is all exposed.
14:02- AMB: motoring along, birds in bkgnd
15:08 FX: motor up
15:45 FX: THUD
15:49 (?) that's ok, we'll try it again. BF: you almost had it, I think if you tilted it a little more.
16:03 FX: motor throttles up
16:14 FX: prop spinning (?) throw me that line
16:40 (?) just turn the key off
16:48 BF: want me to get out and help walk it? (?) no, this is good ... .I got it.
VARIOUS CHATTER OFF MIC
18:38 (?) this is like those movies you see in Africa.
AC: it's coming! It's coming!
AMB: grunting and groaning, water sounds
19:05 AF: if we can just walk it up the side here
19:08 - 21:12 AMB: walking the boat through the water
20:31 AC: Humphrey Bogart, African Queen.
21:12 AF: I think you can get in now Alex, I can¿.
21:25 AC: Of course, Bogart only had to contend with leaches, we have to hope there are no sharks in the channel.
21:48 - 22:50 AMB: water flowing rapidly by the boat, birds squawking
23:27 AF: got about a 3 knot current here
23:40 - 24:10 AMB: water flowing rapidly, splashing
24:19 - 24:29 AMB: stuff being moved around on boat
24:30 AMB: water and birds
25:25 FX: motor false start
25:27 FX: motor starts up
25:40 AMB: boat starts moving
26:15 AMB: motor speeds up slightly
26:40 CT: this was M/S recording, it's a sequence of working our way thru very low tide on the flats of a very low channel. AF and AC had to get out of the boat and they were pushing and maneuvering the boat against the 3knot rapids. You're hearing a combination of events, some banging around cuz I'm changing positions and bouncing around in here. It's 8:20 AM, STOP DOWN.
27:17 AMB: waves, talking in background
27:40 AMB: water, birds, talking in background
28:12 AF: when the tide's up it's about here...
AC: what are those stakes?
AF: barbed wire from WWII. All this place was circled with barbed wire.
28:58 BF: My name's Beth Flint and I'm a wildlife biologist with Pacific remote islands national wildlife refuge complex based in Honolulu.
AC: and what are we going to see today?
BF: today we're going to be looking at really nice examples of tree nesting
seabirds in the central tropical pacific. So we're come out to an area that has great densities of red footed boobies and great frigate birds, black knotties, and white terns.
AC: describe the terrain.
BF: here in the far east lagoon of P atoll we have a really good nesting habitat for these tree nesting species cuz we've got groves ofthe native tree pisonia grandis. And on the sheltered side of the lagoon inland from the ocean, a lot of birds like to nest in these pisonia trees anywhere from 15 feet to 70-80 feet in height. We're sort of surrounded here in a canyon of trees, sort of an inlet surrounded by pisonia trees.
AC: these pisonias I thought they were tall palm trees, but they're not, they're ...
BF: these pisonia trees are
BF: pisonia trees are a really important component of the tropical indo pacific. They're very tall trees but have very soft wood and large leaves, they remind me of lettuce. They're sort of light green and crinkly. But they're an important tree to sea birds. there seems to be a relationship between pisonia and sea birds. you rarely find one without the other under natural conditions. They live together.
31 :50 CT: alex wont be using those questions. You guys come back here and start walking away from me. AC: ok well let's see what's here.
32:17-33:25 AMB: WALKING ALONG, BIRDS SQUAWKING
33:30-34:46 AMB: BIRDS
35:04-35:54 AMB: WALKING ALONG, ONE PAIR FOOTSTEPS, BIRDS SQUAWKING
36:10-49:15 AMB: BIRDS
37:23 FX: AN AMAZING SQUAWK
37:29 FX: A WONDERFUL WARBLE
37:50 FX: NEARBY SQUAWK
38:05 FX: CRUNCHING SQUAWK
39:01 FX: BIRD FLYING BY
39:18-39:30 FX: WARBLING AND SQUAWKING SEQUENCE
40:14-40:20 FX: BIRD FLIES BY SQUAWKING
40:20-40:25 FX: DIFFERENT BIRD
40:23-40:37 FX: DIFFERENT BIRD
40:37 FX: BIRD FLIES
41:01 FX: SOMETHING BUZZES
41:09 FX: DIFFERENT BIRD
41:19 FX: BIRD FLAPPING
41:34 FX: THAT WEIRD BIRD YODELS
42:16 FX: YODELING BIRD
42:30 FX: BIRD FLAPS
43:06 FX: GOOD YODEL
43:40 FX: BIRD FLIES
45:24-45:45 FX: GREAT LOUD SEQUENCE
46:06 FX: BIRD FLAPPING 46:15-46:25 FX: BIRD GOES RIGHT TO LEFT
46:41 FX: BIRD YODELS
46:51 FX: BIRD FLYING
49:15 CT: I'm gonna lower the level, we'll get a description in a minute. Gonna take some pictures.
50:18 FX: LOUD SQUAWK
50:58 FX: FLY BUZZES BY
51:02 AMB: FOOTSTEPS
CT: what were we listening to? BF: we were listening to .... on that tape there should have been five different species of birds. The great frigate birds doing the warbly sound ... AC: Make that sound.
BF: (DOES THE YODELING SOUND) The really growly croaky sound was the red footed boobies, and there was some bickering going on between frigate birds and
boobies for branch space. So the little fight scene was that. There were white tailed
tropic birds flying over, so the high squeaky thing, I mean the white tailed tropic bird,
which was very unusual to get a recording of. That's an added bonus. The white terns
make the sort of donald duck sound that I can't imitate.
AC: (IMITATES IT) SoJy
BF: Yeah that's it. Twang twang twang. And we had a couple of~terns and
do a duet, a pair. (MAKES THE SOUND) (then names the birds again.
AC: Just so we know, what does the white tailed tropic bird sound like?
BF: that was just a single thin squeaky note. I definitely can't imitate that cuz I
rarely hear it.
AC: (TRIES IT)
BF: No, it's more of a sharp ...
AC: (WHISTLES IT)
BF: it only happened a couple times during the whole interlude.
CT: we'll be able to identify it.
BF: yeah, it'll be different sounding from everything else. There he is right now,
maybe he'll do it again.
AMB: BIRDS IN BKGRND, LOW CONVERSATION
53:21 CT: hold it. BF: (OFF MIC) He did another one, too, he did a longer thing. KEE
KEE KEE CT: (TAKES PICTURE) (STOPS DOWN)
53:58-55:00 AMB: BIRDS
55:00 LOW CONVERSATION
55:30-58:24 AMB: BIRDS
58:24-59:00 AMB: WALKING
59:00-59:30 AMB: WALKING IN LOW FLAT WATER
1 :00:00-AMBI sound
1 :00:49-FX disturbed bird squawk. VG
1:01 :05-Moving into the woods now. 1:01:14-Ambi sound of moving into the woods.
1 :01 :38-Very rich sound of stepping over brush, twigs, etc.
1 :02:00-Mumbling, still going into the woods.
1:02:34-VG Crackling branches as they walk through the woods.
1:03: 13 . Branch snaps, continued walking.
1:04:10-Low warble of birds in the background. More ambience 1:04:34-Unusual bird call. VG
1:05:19 -FX-Bird sounds, very close sounding. USE!
1:06:02· Stop down. Change to Omnis
1 :06:30-Quiet please! (insistent) Go away, I've got something amazing going on here.
1 :06:53-Good Ambient noises. Water rushing and bird sounds? Very rich. VG
1:08:01-Unhappy Engineer. Stop down. Back to M/S
1:08:07-BF-They're extremely sticky, the only one you can feel is a little sticky is this one. This is their dispersal mechanism. And they actually think that they stick to birds and that's how they disperse. But in some cases thre are so many of them that they can kill a bird because it gets all tangled up in these intensely sticky seeds and can't fly. So it doesn't always work. You don't often see them flowering here, so that's interesting.
1 :08:54-AC-How long is that?
1 :08:57-BF-How long has it been since? It seeded?
AC: In blossom? (talking together) BF-Don't know. But they are really sticky when they are fresh, so these are pretty old.
1 :09:09-Continuing to walk through the underbrush. Good sounds of stepping on the brush.
1:09:33-Walking on rocks? Then continued movement, stronger crunches. Very clear.
1 :09:58-FX Steps on branch, it breaks.
1: 1 0:23-Very active branch crushing. Some mumbles.
1:11:04-FX-Thud (equipment?) 1:11:15-FX-THUD (equipment)
1: 12:46-Large snap of branches, then a whine of a bird
1: 13:00-FX Branches/Thud G 1 :13:50-FX Double Bumps.
1: 14:26-Loud Crunching of brush 1:14:47-Bird squawk right in microphone. VG
1: 15 :41-Bendinglbreaking branches. 1:16:l3-BF-(some mumbling) 1:16:08-AC-Lighten up!
1:16:49-BF-In the trees.
1: 16:"'7-Stop Down.
1 : 17: II -Headed toward sound, someone' s been going ahead.
1: 18 :00-Bird begins to squawk. 1:17:L.\O· FX-Warble of Bird
1:18:10 -BF-these are black noddy, (species name) Unlike the, they're about the same size as white terns about 120 grams, but instead of just laying their eggs on the bare branch they build quite an elaborate nest with broad leaves and nests in colonies. AC¬(faint) how do you spell that?
1:18:33-BF-N-O-D-D-Y and it comes from their courtship display, they do a lot of head bowing and flicking of their tongues and pointing at their toes with their bills. So they're nodding and bowing a lot.
1:18:51-FX-Noddy warbles and calls. G
1: 19:24-Going up with the mic
1 :19:50-FXlAmbi-Tweet tweet! More bird calls. 1 :20:32-Going up a little more.
1 :20:49-Another warble.
1:21 :49-Noddy chatter, tweets, more bird chatter. VG 1 :22:36-marks the Noddy recording and gets more.
1:23 :00-More Ambi/FX with Noddy
1:23:03-Switched to Omni sound of area.
1:23:34-Ambi noise uising Omnis. VG.
1:24:26-Chattery call, three times.
1 :24:45-Begins walking again
1 :24:49-Putting things down? Thuds and heavy thumps.
1 :25:55-VG Bird chatter, close and clear .
1 :26:26-Twig snaps.
1 :26:57-Chorus of bird calls, some steps in between calls.
1 :27:24-Close squawk. Warbles in the background.
1 :27:46-Long bird call. Kaaaw, Kaaaw VG
1 :28:09-FX-Scowling vocalization G
1 :28:36-More walking, tl1en stops after a few steps.
1 :28:50-More bird squall. 1 :30:00-Short tweets.
1 :30:40-Switch back over to MIS Stop down.
1:31 :06-Pickup with MIS senheisers. Setting up audio .
1 :32:08-Equipment and walking?
1 :32:23-Very quiet ambi sound.
1 :32:45-BF-... quiet, relatively quiet middle of the day seabird calling. Lots of them are
out fishing. So toward evening the intensity will increase and there'll be more of an
uproar. This is quiet.
1:33 :09-It's often very hard to sleep around these black noddy colonies. They're being very quiet right now for black noddys.
1 :33:27-Soft warble, higher pitched. 1 :33:53-Warble and a loud call mixed together.
1 :34: 11-Tweet, much like human whistling.
1 :34: 19-Chuck warns AC about the antholes. (getting up and moving)
1 :34:47-Chatter. Other places you want to go?
1 :34:59-BF-We've gotten all the species, there are other places we can try where the sound might be different or better. Except, the one that would be nice, the bristle-thighed curlew (makes call) and we could go back along the canyon to see if we could startle up some curlew.
1 :35:34-Chatter about liking this environment and whatnot.
1 :36: 15-To get that particular species we have to go walk around don the flats or walk along the edge of the island and startle one.
1 :36:42-More chat. Transition, temporary stop down.
1 :37:25-Resumes. Walk along shoreline and flats.
1:37:39-As we walk along are we gonna see, what are we gonna see in the water? Are there sharks in there? BF-Yep, you see, there's one right there. AC-There's a little blacktip shark right there. It's pretty small, what is it, a couple of feet? 12 inches (stops and repositions for better sound)
1:37:55-BF-There's a little black tipped shark in the water about 18 inches, they're just pups when they live in the shallows. (does this one more time because of speaking over)
1 :38:08-BF-There's a little black tipped reef shark pup swimming right in the
shallows.they stay in the shallow water here for protection when they're small.
1 :38: 18-AC-Is that shark big enough to bite us?
1 :38:20-BF-It could try, but I don't think it could hurt us.
1:38:24-AC-In that case, let's go ahead. (laughter) 1 :38:34-Entering the water, splashing ahead. VG
1:39:03-Coming out on the other side.
1:39: 15-AC-(soft) Beth, what's this?
1:39: 17-BF-This is a Pen Shell, a bivalve, this is a dead one, but when they're alive they rest directly upright in the water about halfway buried in the sand. We'll see some more in a second ...
1 :39:28-AC-It's as big as a dinner plate!
1 :39:30-BF-It's an abalone shaped bivalve. They seem to like the real still water in here.
1 :39:37-AC-You talk about giant clams around here, this looks like a giant clam to me.
1 :39:43-BF-This is not, this is actually another species. Giant clams have fluted edges
and a real colorful mantle.
1:39:51-AC-(some overlap) Is a giant clam bigger than this?
1 :39:53-BF-About the same size, up to 14 15 inches across. But much more robust.
1:40: 14-Splashing noises again. VG
1 :40:30-BF-there's a little moray eel hiding in this clam shell, see his little face?
1:40:35-AC-There's an eel in there?
1 :40:36-BF -Yeah a little moray. Snowflake, err, I'm not sure what species.
1:40:41-AC-Can we pull'em out, or he'll bite us? BF-(humming chuckle) Careful..
1:40:48-AC-Gaw, that's a big eel. BF-(laughs) AC-You said it was a little eel,
that's a big eel. BF-I know, he's fitting in that shell. (laughing)
1:41 :08-AC-There's a red footed booby. A red footed booby nesting with a red footed
booby chick resting underneath her.
1:41: 19-BF -In the cottonball stage. About 2 weeks old.
1:41:39-BF-So that chick hatched out completely naked, but now it's got a thick covering of real soft white down. And urn, is old enough to be left alone but the parents do spend more time with them when they're young.
1 :42:09-Stop down until they get there.
1 :42:25-Resume, M/S pickup. Ambient noises of birds.
1 :42:51-FX Loud whistle call. VG
1:43:41-FX-Short Bird 'growl', clucking noise.
1 :44: 18-Birds squabble.
1 :44:40-Walking through water (soft)
1 :46:48-FX-Something coming out of the water/ slow walking
1 :48: 1 0-Camera picture, and rewinding camera.
1 :48:20-CT-speaks offish that came up in the shallows to say 'hello'
1 :49:47-FX-Slow, repeated bird 'honk' G
1 :50:58-Stop down.
1:51 :40-Walking back, splashing through the water.
1 :52: 11-AC-We think that there is one of those bristle-thighed curlews which we got one of them flew past earlier on this roll. We think there is another one off around the other side of that puddle there. They won't vocalize until they're startled and moving. So why don't you ... (becoming mumbles and off as they plan to startle)
1 :52:38-CT talks about puffer visits.
1 :52:39-VG sound of walking on gravel?
1:53: 18-Stops walking, listens. Whistling bird.
1 :53:42-VG Clear bird whistles back and forth.
1 :54:20-Moaning bird? 1 :54:30-Whistles again.
1 :55:30-Ambi noise of? Overshadows birds a bit. Wind? Rain?
1:56:31-FX-Loud whistle 1 :58:40-'Sea-gullish' sounds.
2:02:35-Stop down. END OF DAT 4!!