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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

Auglýsingar

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When I use boom in recording I have used Audio Technica BP4025 stereo mic in Rycote windshield. It is not too heavy and it gives me stereo recordings. But very often I have been disappointed with the „musical“ sound quality, so I don´t often get quality ambiance recordings with this setup. Saying that, it does not mean BP4025 is a bad mic. BP4025 has a very low noise floor. It is the perfect mic for special circumstances like where size does matter and for very quiet environment/nature recordings.
DPA4060 is a pretty sounding miniature mic, sold in pairs and much lighter than any original stereo mic on the market. That means it is perfect to use for boom recordings. But because DPA4060 is an omni mic it is necessary to separate the capsules to get stereo. It is done in two ways. Separate the capsules with space (around 40cm) to get time difference, or place them in two sides of some sonic baffle materials.
The BP4025 was in a short Rycote WS2 windshield which has overall length (wide) 34cm. So it was important to place the capsules each side of some baffle material to get acceptable wide stereo.
I end up with a simple „binaural“ project I made out of wooden leftover (see pictures).
I decided not to use silicon artificial human ears because the ears will change the frequency curve at 2,5Khz and 5,5Khz, which means I needed to fix the EQ afterwards on all recordings made with this rig.
The result was stunning. The rig I made was lighter and better wight balanced than previous BP4025 setup. The overall wight is only 750gr (mics+wood baffle+WS2 basked+fur). It also gives me wider „stereo image“. But best of all, it withstands wind- and handling noise much better than previous BP4025 setup.
Following recordings are 4 and were made in three locations. The two first one are waves on seashore, then one from a cliff, 300 m above sea level with seabirds and the last one is from a football game in Reykjavik. All where recorded on Sound devices 744.
All recordings are straight from the recorder. Just cut and paste, fade in and out and then down grade from WAV to mp3.

(256kbps / 29Mb)

The two first recordings are big and then small waves. The mic have fur, HPF is off and gain at 45db. The mics are faced from the beach to the fjords. You will hear car pass by „behind“ the mic. Notice, you will hear a short „drop out“ when it pass. It is because it passes my car which was located on the road side. See location.
In the cliff recording the mic is without fur. It is possible to hear how strong gust sounds on the Rycote basket, but that is anyway much better (or different) than the my previous BP4025 setup. HPF at 40Hz and gain at 45dB. The boom with the mic reaches the cliff edge about one meter. See location.
The last recording is from a football game celebration in downtown Reykjavik. No fur, HPF at 40Hz and gain at 40dB. The mic stood on a boom about 1 meter above the crowds head. See location.

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