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Thanks to COVID, I got a unique opportunity this summer to record in places I have so far not been able to record because of traffic, mainly due to tourists. One such site was Skeiðarársandur, a broad sandy wasteland along Iceland’s south-eastern coast, between the Vatnajökull icecap and the sea. This area has been a „desert“ with deadly glacial rivers for centuries. But due to global warming and receding glaciers, rivers have disappeared. Instead, vegetation like moss, grass and trees has occupied some areas without human intervention.
It is therefore obvious that biodiversity will change significantly in the coming years.
Here is a part of an 8-hour-long recording that was taken just east of the dry riverbed of Skeiðarár, which was a huge glacial river for centuries until a few years ago when it disappeared due to changes in Skeiðarárjökull glacier.
This is a recording of silence. The microphones were placed beside a small creek which can be found all over Skeiðarársandur. Because of the wind I did not use a tripod, they just stood on the windshield on the ground which gave a pretty good result.
The background noise is mainly a gust of wind stroking the ground and surf among the coast, about 20-30Km away
Birds in this recording are Common Ringed Plover, European Golden Plover, Dunlin, Purple Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Whimbrel, Common Redshank, Whooper Swan, Greylag Goose.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.
The name of this blog „Dögun við Eyrar“ means „Dawn at Eyrar“ (Eyrar is the name of the place)
Other recordings from Skeiðarársandur can be found here

( mp3 256kbps / 63Mb )
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Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewitt LCT540s (IRTcross) channels counter clockwise 1-2-3-4 = L-R-L-R
Pix: Canon Eos R

Loation: 63.972468, -16.956438
Weather: Clear sky. Gust up to 6m/sec. around 10°C
Recording time between 5.am to 6.am

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Jökulsárgljúfur canyon in Vatnajökull National Park is situated in the north of Iceland near the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. In the middle of Jökulsárgljúfur, between Dettifoss waterfall and Ásbyrgi canyon, is Vesturdalur valley.
Vesturdalur is mostly surrounded with steep cliffs with luxuriant flat bottom. Through the valley flows a small creek, Vesturdalsá, on its way to the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
The first week in June 2014 I arrived there on a foggy night and placed the microphones close beside the creek. The soundscape in the fog was particular. The rumble sound from Jökulsá River about 3 km away, filled the air with extreme murky mysterious power. But all around me was a beautiful bird song that followed me in to the sleep.
This recording is several hours long so it is most likely that more of this recording will be available online someday.
Thanks to the Friends of Vatnajokull who made this recording trip possible.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening at low level.

Vestudalur við Jökulsá á fjöllum

Þann 8. júní 2014 eftir miðnætti kom ég í Vesturdal við Jökulsárgljúfur. Talsverð þoka var á svæðinu svo skyggni var fremur lélegt. Mikil frðsæld var í dalnum enda mjög fáir á svæðinu. Fjölskrúðugur fuglasöngur kom úr öllum áttum, en loftið var þrungið drungalegum drunum frá Jökulsá á Fjöllum í austri. Áður en ég lagðist til svefns fann ég stað fyrir hljóðnemana við bakka Vesturdalsár sem liðaðiðst hljóðlega um dalinn.
Um leið og tækið var komið í gang leið ekki á löngu þar til ég var kominn í draumheima með notalegan fuglasöng í eyrunum næstu klukkustundir fram undir morgun.
Þessa upptöku má þakka samtökunum Vinum Vatnajökuls sem gerðu það kleift að af þessari upptökuferð gat orðið.
Mælt er með því að hlusta á upptökuna í góðum heyrnartólum og á lágum hljóðstyrk.

Download mp3 file (256kbps/51Mb)

Recorder: Sound Device 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH20 (AB40)
Pics: Canon EOS M (See more pictures)
Recording location: 65.933496, -16.555915
Weather: Calm, fog, around 6°C

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