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World Oceans Day takes place every 8 June. It has been celebrated unofficially since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development (ICOD) and the Ocean Institute of Canada (OIC) at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[1] The Brundtland Commission, i.e. the World Commission on Environment and Development, provided the inspiration for a global oceans day. The 1987 Brundtland Report noted that the ocean sector lacked a strong voice compared to other sectors. At the first World Oceans Day in 1992, the objectives were to move the oceans from the sidelines to the center of the intergovernmental and NGO discussions and policy and to strengthen the voice of ocean and coastal constituencies world wide.
The Ocean Project, working in partnership with leading organizations from all sectors, including the World Ocean Network, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and many others in its network of 2,000 organizations, has been promoting World Oceans Day since 2002 and together with World Ocean Network led a three-year global petition movement to secure official UN recognition. World Oceans Day was officially recognized by the United Nations in late 2008.[2]
World Oceans Day events are celebrated on 8 June, the closest weekend, the week, and the month of June. The day is marked in a variety of ways, including launching new campaigns and initiatives, special events at aquariums and zoos, outdoor explorations, aquatic and beach cleanups, educational and conservation action programs, art contests, film festivals, and sustainable seafood events. Youth have been playing an increasingly important role since 2015, including the development in 2016 of a World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council (Wikipedia).
The following recording was recorded at midnight 29th of May in a wonderful weather nearby Hraunhafnartanga peninsula, close by the arctic circle.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at medium level.

(mp3 256kbps / 55Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 (Parallel AB37)
Pix: LG-G6

Location: 66.52273, -16.03947
Weather. Calm. Clear sky. around 7°C

Auglýsingar

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Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Klaustur) is a village in the south of Iceland on the hringvegur (road no. 1 or Ring Road) between Vík í Mýrdal and Höfn. It is part of the municipality of Skaftárhreppur and has about 500 inhabitants.
Even before the time of the first Norse settlement in Iceland, Irish monks are thought to have lived here. Since 1186, a well known convent of Benedictine nuns, Kirkjubæjar Abbey, was located in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, until the Reformation in 1550. The names of the waterfall Systrafoss („waterfall of the sisters“) and of the lake Systravatn („water of the sisters“) on the highland above the village refer to this abbey. Folk tales illustrate the history with stories about good and sinful nuns. The Systrastapi (sister’s rock) is where two of the convent’s nuns were buried after being burned at the stake. One of the nuns was accused of selling her soul to the Devil, carrying Communion bread outside the church, and having carnal knowledge with men; the other was charged with speaking blasphemously of the Pope. After the Reformation, the second sister was vindicated, and flowers are said to bloom on her grave, but not that of the first nun. Systravatn also has a legend relating to the convent. The nuns traditionally bathed in the lake, and one day two nuns saw a hand with a gold ring extending from the water. When they tried to seize the ring, they were dragged below the water and drowned.
The village became well known in Iceland during the Lakagígar volcano eruptions in 1783. The pastor of the local church and dean of Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla, Jón Steingrímsson (is) (1728 – 1791), delivered what became known as the „Fire Sermon“ (eldmessu) on July 20, 1783. The legend says that this sermon stopped the lava flow, and the village was spared at the last moment. The current church, constructed in 1974, was built in memory of the Reverend Jón Steingrímsson.
Today, the village is an important service center for the farms in the region as well as for tourists and weekend visitors. (Wikipedia)
During summer time many bird species are nesting close to the village and the river Skaftá which flows beside the village. Arctic Terns have a big colony almost in the middle of the village, so many other migrant birds are nesting there too.
The recording was captured early morning 7th of June 2016 and is a part of 7 hours long recording
Many bird species are in this recording, Arctic tern, Red wing, Common Snipe, Whimbrel, Common Redshank, Red-necked Phalarope and probably many other species. What I love most in this recording is in the middle of the recording, is a „special song“ of Eurasian Wigeon which is not a common bird in my recordings.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level. Be careful, sometimes the level goes high when birds fly by.

(mp3, 265kbps / 59Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics: Sennheiser MKH20
Pic: Canon EOS-M

Location: 63.787049, -18.050793
Weather: Cloudy, Calm, around 7 °C

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I spend almost 4 days late June 2017 recording in Þjórsárver area, which is a tundra southeast of Hofsjökull glacier. It was shortly after the road administrator open the Sprengisandur route across the highland, so there was still not much traffic. It was very early this summer so it was possible for me to record birds activity in nests.
When I arrived at Eyvindakofaver I saw an Arctic fox sneaking around a stone cairns and an angry Snow Bunting flying around. It was a clear message for something interesting to record.
The weather was boring for recording. It was cloudy, the temperature about 4°C and the wind was SW, 5-10 m/sec. But the stone cairn was a suitable cover for the microphones. So I put up my gear and started recording just before midnight and then went to sleep.
At 3:40 the wind suddenly went down for about 30 minutes which was the only minutes with calm weather this four days in the area. Calm weather means normally better detail recording for the birds’ activity and deeper listening to far distance sounds.
Usually Snow Bunting lay eggs two times during the summer so this was likely the previous nesting time.
It is necessary to listen to the whole recording but suddenly something happens in the nest which we humans can guess was probably a brutal rape or other domestic violence.
If you think this was something else, feel free and leave a comment below.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening in silence at low level, or in speakers at low level.

(256 kbps / 59,4Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Sennheiser MKH20 NOS
Pics: Canon EOS-M
Weather. Cloudy, around +3°C, SW, 2m/s
Location: 64.613944, -18.575462

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Hér er á ferðinni lágstemmd hljóðupptaka sem beinlínis lýsir ljóðrænni sveitasælu út við sjó. Hún er tekin upp við Kópavog fyrir neðan bæinn Ófeigsfjörð við samnefndan fjörð á Ströndum.
Ímyndaðu þér að þú liggir þar með lokuð augun á grasbala rétt ofan við fjöruna við hliðina á lækjarsprænu sem rennur þar til sjávar. Þú ert þar milli svefns og vöku, það er logn og sólin vermir skrokk og grundir. Lágstemmd en þung undiraldan lemur sandfjöruna fyrir neðan þig og þú heyrir í henni jafn vel neðan úr jörðinni sem ofan.
Nú stefnir allt í að þessi sveitasæla sé að hverfa á þessum dásamlega stað.
Það hefur væntanlega ekki farið fram hjá nokkrum manni að innlendir sem erlendir braskarar hafa gengið hart í því að fá að virkja Hvalá sem rennur í Ófeigsfjörð. Mikil andstaða er við þessi virkjanaáform. Hafa braskararnir því mútað fólki með ýmsum hætti s.s. með loforðum um innviðauppbyggingu ofl.
Ég ætla ekki það skrifa meira um þetta hér, en vísa á fréttir og blaðagreinar.

Sjá fréttaskýringu frá RUV  (1. nóvember 2017)
Sjá blaðagrein hjá Stundinni  (9. febrúar 2018)

Kópavogur in Ófeigsfjörður

There are not many places left in Iceland where it is possible to have peace from traffic or feel as you are in clean unspoiled nature. But one of this places is in the northeast Iceland named Hornstrandir and Strandir.
But now, „business“ gangsters are planing to build a power plant in the river Hvalá that flows into the fjord, Ófeigsfjörður at Strandir.

Read article about this attack on this region:

Conservationists reject plans for hydropower plants in untouched Westfjords wilderness
Plans to destroy unique waterfalls in an abandoned fjord meets stiff resistance
See the breathtaking hidden waterfalls of the remote Strandir region in beautiful video

Following recording was recorded in June 2015 below the old farm Ófeigsfjörður which will be just a typical noisy place in the future if the business gangsters are going to build the power plant just few kilometers north of the recording place.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at medium level.

(mp3 256kbps / 56Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS)
Pix: Canon EOS M
Recording location: 66.049968, -21.703009
Weather. Calm, sunny, about 14°C

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For me nothing is as pleasant as laying in the grass on a warm summer day in good distance from human activity, looking at the sky and listen to the wind wipe the grass until I fall a sleep.
This is something I did the 30th of July 2017 when I decided to visit places I remembered as a child, almost 50 years ago. It was at my grandparents´ farmland, Efri-Brú, which they owned most of the last century.
About 2 km northeast of the farm is a place named Hvítingshæðir. There is an old ruin of sheep shield, surrounded in grass field and remnants of old fence. This sheep shield in Hvítingshæðir was one of three or four sheep houses in distance from the main farm buildings. These sheep shields were usually built in places where it was easy to mow and keep hey for sheep during the winter months.
There is not much going on in this recording. Many decades have passed since farming was in the area and most birds are quiet this time of the day. So gust is playing the main role in the recording.
This was one the first recording I did with my parallel MKH8020/8040 AB setup in Rycote windshield. It was recorded on four channels with 50dB gain and HPF at 80Hz.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps / 48Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Parallel Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 AB setup
Pix: Canon EOS-M
Location: 64.111163, -20.972373
Weather: Dry, sunny, light clouds, 3-5 m/sec

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It was a BBC article „’Worrying alarm call’ for world’s birds on brink of extinction“ which reminded me about several recordings I have made of seabirds in cliffs. This recordings are not many or interesting, but who knows how this cliffs will sound in the future when the climate change has changed or destroied the livelihood for many bird species.
So what ever about the quality of this recording is, it can be valuable in the future. Just imagine if we had been given the opportunity to record the Great Auk before it became extinct in the mid- 19th century. It would have been wonderful.
We are loosing some animal species almost every month on the planet. So it is very important to record as much as we can of the biosphere now and in the future…even though it is as likely the recordings will disappeared after several years for just „technical reason“.
„Krýsuvíkurbjarg is a wave-cut cliff that rises from the sea in the lava of Krýsuvíkurhraun.
There are many bird nests found there, approximately 60,000 pairs consisting of 9 kinds of sea birds. The black-legged kittiwak (Rissa tridactyla) is the most common one, a common migrant found in many places in Iceland. It’s population in Iceland is estimated to be about 630.000 birds, what is an interesting fact since the population of people is only 330,000 in the country! The estimated number of kittiwaks in Krísuvíkubjarg is about 21,000 birds.
Common murre (Uria aalge) is a large auk also found in Krýsuvíkurbjarg. They make no nest, their single egg is incubated on a bare rock ledge on a cliff face. Their breeding can be very tight up to 70 birds on each square meter. Interestingly, the young are considered ready to leave their nest only three weeks old, but the male bird teaches the young how to hunt in the beginning. The estimated number of the Common murre in Krýsuvíkubjarg is about 20.000 birds
There are other kinds found on the cliff, but with smaller amounts of birds.The razorbill (Alca torda), The thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia). The northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis). The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) can be found there, but is not as common as it is in Vestmannaeyjar. The European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). The European herring gull (Larus argentatus) is there and the black guillemot or tystie (Cepphus grylle). Above the cliff edge other kinds can be found like the purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima) and The snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis).“ (discover.is)
This recording was made 11th of July 2016.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps/39Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: DPA4060 in „binaural“ setup
Pix: Canon EOS-M
Location: 63.832656, -22.091189
Weather: Cloudy, NW 3-5m/sec, 13°C

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Two years ago, when I was recording in Skaftafell National Park, I noticed that Redwings sing differently between two places in the park. In the forest around Skaftafellsheiði, above the campsite and the information center, the redwings sing quiet „normal songs“ as most Redwings do in Iceland. But in nearby valley, in Morsárdalur in Bæjarstaðakógur forest, most of the Redwings colony start their song with two long tones before the „normal song“ starts.
I have search my recordings for something interesting. What makes it different and what is common with this Redwing songs which will probably bring me, or someone else, to further research.
But I will not talk about it here, because that will be another story.
By slowing down the recording four times (1min > 4min) it makes a totally new soundscape. It sounds like a rain forest full of screaming monkeys. It opens my mid for different understanding on birdsong. Redwing’s song is much more complex than I thought. They are far from being singing the same melody or make a simple message all the time. It sounds more like a complex language.
It does not matter what they are doing. Are they speaking to each other, sending messages or singing a complex song to the crowd, it always leave the question: What are they doing and what does it all mean?
Following recording was recorded last summer in Bæjarstaðaskógur. You can hear this special Redwing start his song with its two tones before he continues with a „normal“ song.
In the normal speed recording at 2:40, you will hear a rumble from the Morsárjökull glacier which was about 10km away
Background noise is mostly from streaming water in the mountains and the Morsá river.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

Normal speed.
(mp3 256kbps / 12Mb)

Slow speed (4x).
(mp3 256kbps /41Mb)

Recorder: Sonosax SR-X4+ (24/48)
Mics: Sennheier MKH20 (AB40)
Pics: Canon EOS-M

Weather: Light cloud, showers around, calm, 10°C
Location: 64.058877,-17.024021

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