Field ambiance with birds
Includes intermittent conversation about recording natural sounds.
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
- 39.75217 -120.31439
Log of DAT #:3A
Okay Greg, when I was sitting in that patch over there, what were the birds that were singing.
The most prominent bird was the fox sparrow. That had a highly varied, fairly musical song, very loud. The very diagnostic feature of that song in this area is that occasionally the song phrases end with a clear note. Very similar, an it started singing a little later than the fox sparrow, was a green tailed toey; very similar song but often the penultimate phrase is a trill. They're almost impossible to tell apart, but you had both there. And then the other bird that you had that was very musical -(imitates bird) -was the McGillery's Warbler, and that appears in a lot of television commercials these days. Then we had some sap sucker drumming as well. And then a number of individuals were giving a soft trill and those were all dark eyed juncos, the local population, the local race is called Oregon Junco.
When you were recording the mountain quail, the were two phrases form the blue growse, the low (imitates sound); that's blue growse. That's a really hard bird to see.
That's the blue growse. It's an amazing bird. The have yellow instead of red. They have these big air sacs that they use for creating the resonance. And that's a mountain quail. Really handsome harlequin pattern.
Boy, I cannot wait for the sun to come up. I feel like a lizard on a rock. (laughing)
Recording is stopped. Starts again.
Ambi -birds; 4:20-4:46 some sounds of movement;
sounds of walking, some chat
I think he's a little bit to you're right. He's singing pretty vigorously. It might be worth trying to get a little bit more.
What was that chattering called that we just heard. The really high pitched (imitates sound).
Yeah, one of the chipmunks. I wasn't paying very close attention. It's either a chipmunk or a chicory. I was trying to ignore it. (laughing)
Recording is stopped starts again.
Ambi -focuses on wood pecker, some other birds in background; not as close to the woodpecker as the recording on dat #4
chat about a red breasted sap sucker that someone recorded.
13:50 -That's a beauty. Great recording. Nicely done.
13:57 -Completely by accident
14:02 -Well you were in the right place at the right time.
Ambi -bird, some whispering
talk -A man giving advice to a woman on how she can get a better recording. She is going to sneak closer to the bird.
some sounds of movement and a zipper slowly being unzipped.
Good job. Now one thing I'd do while he's still there 's is make some behavioral observations. He's doing a pretty vigorous tail shake with each song. It's looks like there might be some vibrations of the wings as well. Something to note. And whether he turns his head from side to side tips it back to project his voice.
chat on observations of what the bird is doing.
talk about where recording is being taken -Bear Trap Meadow
Chipping Sparrow, East end of Bear Trap Meadow in Sierra Valley. It's about 7:10 am on June 4th, same equipment, singing from the top of a conifer, tail wags with each note and he kind of turns his head from side to side as he sings.
With this particular bird, when we get to the road I recommend that when we get to the road you take a good a five or six songs and then begin the approach because they're incredibly wary. If you don't do that you'll probably come home empty-handed.
Ambi -birds, woodpecker in the background starting at 33:07.
Susannah, I think the best approach to this bird is not to go straight for it . . . I think what you might want to do is go up to the edge of the woods and go off to the side, to the right of him, so you're not approaching him directly cause I think he can see us, and then move along the edge of the trees getting closer and closer
sound of movement, ambi in background, chat about how to get closer to the bird
sounds of walking
ambi -bird (western tanninger), not very active, not much going on; 49:20 woodpecker in background
sounds of walking and some chat about where to go next and what birds are singing in which areas. Unorganized and not focused chat.
A man is advising Susannah to set her headphones at a standard level so that she will get used to making adjustments without having to look away from the bird. This will allow to make visual assessments of the bird while it is singing.
One nice thing about warbling barrio, even though were in a forested setting, it's not a treetop singer so it'll be a nice bird to work on. It won't be that high up. We've got Lincoln Sparrows singing over here to our left.
ambi - birds chirping
sounds of walking
One of the things you're going to have to deal with here is the babble of the stream running through the meadow. One way to quickly get rid of it is simply to squat down; get your microphone below the plane of sound coming from that babble. The edge of the stream then acts as a burm, protects you from some of the higher frequency components.
Well we can try to chase him and if that doesn't work then we know he likes to sing from this group of trees, so one thing to do is just wait here, and while we're waiting one of the things you can do is just listen through the microphone and figure, he'll be singing from those trees over there, what's the beset trajectory for you. Listen through the microphone, figure out where the noise is coming from, and then remember with the shotgun the angle of rejection is to the side, rather than the rear and obviously not to the front, and get yourself in the right position so that you have your angle of rejection towards the babble and brook.
general ambi -some birds
some bird ambi and some sounds of movement; the wind is picking up in the background causing some disturbance
talk on the levels of the recording just done and on the volume of the dusky flycatcher's song.
This cold this morning and the wind has things down. They're not singing as frequently as they might normally. The dusky flycatcher is right here in front of us.
ambi -birds; pretty good, but there is some wind in the background.
Dusky Flycatcher, same location, singing about halfway up the pine tress, moving around.
general ambi -some birds, wind
sounds of walking
ambi -birds, babbling brook.
I'm gonna spish and just see what this is. (speaker makes a calls to the birds)
ambi- birds, babbling brook, some sounds of movement
I'm pretty sure it's a Lincoln Sparrow. I've gotta get a better look
speaker makes spish sound, a call to the birds again. Some bird ambi in here in between his calls
Tentative Lincoln Sparrow on alder part of the meadow, East Bear Trap Meadow. Same place, same time, same equipment.
The PETA people wouldn't like that. That would constitute harassment. The spish, pish pish (making the calling noise)
1:41:25 I would say I'm 99% sure this is a Lincoln Sparrow
So do that sound for me and then tell me what that is.
That's called spishing and bird watchers use that to bring birds in, usually song birds, but you can get woodpeckers as well. It's a generic sound that attracts a variety of species. They come in to investigate what the source of the sound is. So a really great way, and effective to use that sound is to not stand out in the open when you give, but stand next to a tree or a shrub and the birds will come flocking in to find out what it is and then they've got to work their way around the tree or shrub to see you. If you're out in the open, they see you and off they go. As soon as they figure out what the source of the spishing is they're gone. A little bird watching trick.
It'll definitely work in the D.C. area.
Okay, I'm gonna try it. When I'm alone, out of sight.
sounds of walking and movement