A multi-disciplinary designer’s journey in field recording, sound design, and music.

New Zealand: Gull Colony

Posted: February 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, nature recording
A small sampling of the red-billed gull colony at Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand.

A small sampling of the red-billed gull colony at Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand.

While on New Zealand’s South Island, I visited its largest colony of native red-billed gulls.

It’s tough when you’re presented with nifty creatures in large numbers that you can get close to (like the rutting elk from one of my earlier posts). You’ve got to balance getting as close as possible while respecting the animal and not threatening or stressing it. Well, I wound up getting nice and close, only to be dive-bombed by angry gull parents, all Hitchcock style. Too close after all! (I also got growled at by a sea lion, but that one wasn’t my fault, I swear! Another story for another day…) At any rate, I got a stereo earful of the chatty little bastards, with some background hiss and rumble from the pounding surf nearby.

New Zealand: South Island Red-Billed Gull Colony by noisejockey
[Zoom H2 recorder]

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Bird Ambience, Point Lobos State Park

Posted: November 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: field recording, nature recording
Birds can be so demanding...and chatty!

Birds can be so demanding...and chatty!

While tiny, Point Lobos State Reserve in of California’s Big Sur region packs a wallop. Big surf, sea lion colonies, petrified dunes, amazing rocks, and a dense forest with many birds. There’s a loop trail that is full of rocky, coastal, dramatic goodness, but there are also little-used paths that cut right across the park. They’re not long and have a utilitarian feel, but one August I was there alone and happened upon a pocket of songbird insanity.

I wasn’t equipped for, or anticipating, an audio recording event, but one must always be prepared! I stood recording for about five minutes and was surrounded by what I think were juncos, sparrows, and warblers (although I’m not a birder, so I could be mistaken – identifications in the comments are encouraged!). I was surrounded by surf but the forest and hills kept the background roaring to a minimum. But the main reason for the clean recording was the volume – the birds stayed in their trees, ignored me, and were just singing their hearts out.

A pretty magical moment, captured as best as I could on the gear I had (some bandpass filtering was used to clean up the recording a bit). Enjoy.

PointLobosBirds.mp3 by noisejockey
[Zoom H2 recorder]

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