Hjalteyri is a small village on the western shores of Eyjafjörður, fjord in north of Iceland.
It all began when the Norwegians started salting herring around 1880 and the village Hjalteyri was confirmed by law as a trading post in 1897. Swedes, Scots and Germans would fish there in the following years but all foreigners had left by 1914.
The Icelandic fishing company Kveldulfur was active there from 1914 and in 1937 built the largest herring factory in Europe at Hjalteyri, which ran until 1966. The company also built many of the beautiful residential buildings that still stand in the village, such as the house of Thor Jensen, the founder of the company, and Asgardur, where the head of the factory lived.
The herring disappeared from the fishing grounds in the 1960s and Kveldulfur thus left as well. Fishing from small boats increased. Today, at Hjalteyri is a harbor and a small fishing industry, the drying of fish heads and aquaculture are the mainstay of the economy. During the summer months the buildings of the old herring factory are often used as a venue for art exhibitions. Around 40 people lives there today. There is also a pretty big Arctic Tern colony which brings also many other bird species to the area.
The following recording was captured in 8th of July 2015. It is 25 minutes of 6 hours long overnight recording.
This is one of my recording where I probably should have used another microphones because of the noise source in the surrounding. In this case a „fan noise“ from the factory. I use cardioid mics so the noise is only on the left side, instead of omni which would have brought the noise more to both sides and made the listening more pleasant in headphones.
So now I would recommend to listen to this recording in speakers in low-mid level, instead of headphones.
(256kbps / 46Mb)
Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Rode NT1a in NOS setup
Location: 65.853976, -18.194666
Weather: Calm up to 4m N, almost clear sky, temp around 8-12°C
I think I don‘t need to present the nature reserve in Flói in many words. It is a wetland / moors in south of Iceland. I have already published in this blog several hours of „Flói recordings“.
Last spring was cold, wet and windy so I did not spend much time there. But in June, I stayed there for two nights while I recorded several hours of recordings during the nights.
As usual I fell in to sleep in the field during that time, so I did not know what I was recording. Last week when I was searching trough the recordings, I noticed some interesting moments.
At 14th of June the overnight weather forecast was nice and I started to record at midnight. Between 2 and 5 in the morning the wind went down so the field got „quieter“ for far distance sound waves.
I put up Rode NT1 in NOS in the same place as usual and pointed them to north. The soundscape is always spectacular in this place.
This soundscape is probably not what everyone would hear by bear ears. The recording is highly amplified. In this circumstances and Rode NT1, I normally adjust the gain on the recorder between 54-58dB. In this particular recording the gain is increased again in post about +24 dB so the peak level in one moment (at 13:16) reach 0dBf.
Many bird species are audible in this recording like Red throat Diver, Common Snipe, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Gull, Arctic Tern, Northern Wheatear, Greylag Goose, Whooper Svan, Meadow Pipit and other bird species I have forgotten, or can’t name. Other audible animals like horses and sheep’s are there too.
Background noise is mostly from the Atlantic ocean’s waves along the south coast behind the mics. Then as usual, traffic noise and sometimes a party music somewhere in the county.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.
Flói 2015. 1. Hluti
Hér er á ferðinni upptaka úr friðlandinu í Flóa frá því á laugardagskvöldi og sunnudagsmorgni 14. júní 2015. Eins og fyrri upptökur úr Flóa sem finna má hér á síðunni eru hljóðnemarnir ávallt staðsettir á sama stað við sömu tjörn norðan við fuglaskoðunarhúsið.
Í upptökunni má heyra í ýmsum fuglategundum. Má þar nefna lóm, hrossagauk, heiðlóu, lóuþræl, spóa, máfa, kríu, steindepli, grágæs, álft og þúfutitling. Þá heyrist lika í hestum og kindum.
Bakgrunnssuð er einkum brim meðfram Suðurströndinni og einkum við Ölfusárósa. Svo berst hávaði frá bílum og partítónlist einhvers staðar í sveitinni.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á upptökuna í góðum opnum heyrnartólum og á miðlungs- lágum hljóðstyrk.
The Ófeigsfjarðarflói is divided into three fiords, furthest east is Ingólfsfjörður, in the middle is Ófeigsfiörður, and furthest west is Eyvindarfiörður. Those fiords were named after three brothers, the sons of the Norwegian Herraudur White Cloud (Herraauður Hvítaský) , who settled there. According to the land registry of 1706 the farm in Ófeigsfiörður was abandoned, but soon afterwards it was re-inhabited. The register also states, that the most important advantages of the property were seal hunting, driftwood collecting and processing, eiderdown and the winter grazing on the shoreline. The greatest disadvantages were the long and hard winters and the long and dangerous way to the nearest church. The farm was abandoned in the sixties, but the driftwood and the eider colonies are exploited every summer.
The eiderdown is mainly collected on the islet Hrútey, just off the headland Hrúteyjarnesmúli, and also around the farmhouses. Sustenance fisheries were also practiced during the centuries and the shark fishing was an important enterprise until 1915.
During Catholic times a prayer chapel stood in Ófeigsfiörður. Some geothermal activity was spotted in two places on the property.
Nowadays travellers use the nice camping grounds in Ófeigsfiörður. Hikers in the northern Strandir area use them in the beginning or at the end of their hiking tours. The closest you get to Ófeigsfiörður by car is Eyri in Ingólfsfiörður, but a 4wd track continues all the way.
Following recording was recorded nearby the camping side.
In the recording an Arctic tern is constantly attacking the fury microphones. But the battle last for only twenty minutes so the recording ends in a peaceful sonic experience.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid-level
Árás í Ófeigsfirði
Hér er á ferðinni upptaka sem tekin var upp við tjaldsvæðið í Ófeigsfirði, síðdegis þann 25. júní 2015.
Kría gerir ótal árásir á óboðinn gest við hreiðurstæð sitt. Árásirnar standa yfir í u.þ.b. 20 mínútur en eftir það fellur allt í dúnalogn og við tekur hljóðmynd sem er hljóðlát og draumkennd.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á upptökuna í góðum opnum heyrnartólum og á miðlungs hljóðstyrk.
Life has been difficult for some seabird species in some places around Iceland. Puffin colony with around 3 million birds has almost disappeared within few years from Vestmannaeyjar island south of Iceland. Change in the ecosystem is probably the main reason for this dramatically changes. But it is not only Puffins; many seagull species have also difficulties to survive. These gulls are in big flocks where ever scraps can be found. We have also several stories about them hunting BQ from hot outdoor grills.
Last week I was in Garðabær, south Reykjavik region, when I noticed some different behaviors of the birds around me. I went there with my gear later that day if there was something to record. I was lucky. Just when I arrived, hundreds of Arctic Tern and Black-Headed Gull was catching something on a manmade beach. Tide was getting lower so it was something trapped in a pool on the beach. I am still not sure what it was, but probably was it Pollock juveniles.
Some minutes after I started recording a flock of Lesser Black Backed Gull arrive with lot of noise until some photographer came too close and they all flew away (at 13 min).
Other birds like Great Black Backed Gull, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Common Eider, Raven and even Great Northern Diver was around, or not far away.
This recording is my contribution to World listening day 2014.
Matarveislan í Hraunsvík
Það var óvenju fjölskrúðugt fuglalíf á Arnarnesvoginum þegar ég átti þar leið um miðjan júlí. Mátti meira að segja heyra í himbrima úti á voginum. Ég ákvað því að koma þar við með upptökutækin um kvöldið og hljóðrita herlegheitin.
Ég kom svo til alveg á réttum tíma. Kría var í tuga ef ekki hundraða tali að steypa sér eftir einhverju æti í manngerðri vík í Hraunsvík. Stuttu eftir að upptaka hófst þá kom flokkur máfa sem reyndi að fá hlutdeild af ætinu sem líklega voru ufsaseiði.
Þegar mest gekk á voru þarna margar fuglategundir. Mest var af kríu, hettumáfi og sílamáfi, en inn á milli mátti sjá svartbak, æðarfugl, tjald og hrafn .
Þessi upptaka er framlag mitt til World Listening Day 2014.
During Icelandic independence day, 17. of June 2012, I was in Önundarfjörður fjord in the Westfjords, the north west peninsula of Iceland. This fjord lies deep between steep mountains with high cliffs. After midnight I entered an Arctic tern colony to record their sounds. The recording conditions was as good as it gets. The weather was calm, dry but cloudy, and the temperature was about 7 °C. Almost no traffic was in the fjord so most of the background noise was only coming from falling water in the mountains and sea waves at the shore.
This Arctic tern colony is big and has been there for decades, even centuries. This bird is very territorial and aggressive protecting the colony and many other bird more passive species feel safe to nest among the Arctic tern. So this recording includes sounds from many other bird spaces such as Whimbrel, Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Oystercatcher, and Golden Plover… and many more
The recording contains also human and sheep voices from a nearby farm. Swans, Red-throat Diver, and common Eider at the shore side and a some sound from a Gull colony high in the cliffs all around the fjord.
During the recording the Arctic Terns attack many times the furry microphones. Sometimes you may hear their excrement fall to the ground around the microphones, but at this time they never hit or peck the Blimps.
The duration of the recording was almost 80 minutes. Following recording contains the last 36 minutes so my disturbing visit is not much audible. This is just a nice ordinary summer night in the north west of Iceland.
Krían í Önundarfirði 17. júní 2012.
Upptaka þessi var gerð í kríuvarpi nærri Holtstanga innst í Önundarfirði.
Veður var stillt, þurrt en skýjað og hiti um 7°C. Það var því varla hægt að kjósa sér ákjósanlegra veður til upptöku á fuglalífi. Allt iðaði af lífi. Fyrir utan kríu mátti sjá og heyra í hettumáfum, spóa, lóu, stelk, tjaldi og fleiri fuglum, Efst í fjöllunum mátti sjá allt fullt af fuglum á sveimi björgunum. Í flæðamálinu voru álftir, lóm og æðarfugl.