Posts Tagged ‘Nature reserve’


It has been several years since I published a recording from Flói nature reserve. The reason is more or less because of foul weather in recent years when I have had the opportunity to record there.
It was no exception last summer from late April to mid July. It was cold, windy and wet most of the time which is actually the high season for birdsong recording.
I went there on the 3rd of July 2021 and recorded overnight. The weather was calm in the beginning but the wind increased over the night. I was also struggling with increased sea tide and therefore a surf noise from the coast line, actually at the same time when the birds were most active during the dawn.
My mics were Lewitt LCT540s in IRT cross setup. Most of the bird’s activity was in front of channel 1&2. Most „silence“ was in front of channel 2&3 and most of the surf and traffic noise was at channel 4&1.
It surprised me how much traffic was there the whole night. There was almost constant rumble in the air during the ten hours I was recording, except between four and five o’clock in the morning. This noise was much more audible than I remember in my earlier recordings. The reason could be found in different mic setup and mics. Ten years ago I used to use NT1a in NOS or AB, pointing towards the open field and keeping the nearest road and coastline behind. I have also used MKH20 in AB which is less sensitive for these details than large capsule mics.
It takes time to search in this 10 hour long recording for some nice sounding 30 minutes moments. Listening to the whole four channels it starts with heavy traffic noise in all channels, then surf noise. Then traffic noise again until the wind and the sun makes the air so unstable close to noon, both traffic noise and bird activity almost disappear in the wind noise.
But with an IRT cross rig I have many options. I can turn off the channel or channels which are disturbing for the soundscape I am looking for.
The recording below is a very good example of this. Instead of using all four channels and mixing them to stereo, I use only channel 2&3 (NOS 90°/30cm) to avoid the surf noise. The time when it starts is about 04:15 so there is almost no traffic noise, but anyway, the recording starts and ends with some engine noise in the distance.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at mid or low level.
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Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewitt LCT540s,  NOS 30cm/90°
Pix: Canon EOS R

Location: 63.900944, -21.191958
Weather: Calm to breeze, partly cloudy, ca 5-10°C

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First weekend of August I traveled to Ísafjörður in the northwest of Iceland. From Isafjörður I took a daytrip with a boat over to Hesteyri which is located in a nature reserve named Jökulfirðir.
The weather was splendid so it was ideal to bring the recording gear with me and record the atmosphere at Hesteyri. This time I brought with me my newest mic setup I built inside Rycote stereo AG windshield. It is a 40cm spaced AB rig (AB40), a two stereo channels with parallel MKH8020/8040, which is slightly angled outward (around °5).
In Hesteyri I record in several places in a small area. Two of them was on the beach where the waves gently plays the music on the coastline during the rising tide. One of this recording is posted here below.
The wind was about 3-6 m/sec, blowing parallel among the coastline so the wind hit only the other side of the windshield, not front of it.
I used MixPre6. The gain was at 50dB, High pass filter on MKH8020 was 120Hz and on MKH8040 80Hz.
The microphones were placed on tripod 60cm above the ground. During the recording the tide rise so in the end the waves went under the rig.
Background noise is mostly the sea waves further outside the fjord and rivers behind and allaround the fjord. Sometimes the boat is knocking on the pier, 200 m away on the left side.
In post I lower the gain -5dB on MKH8020 and rise the gain +5dB on MKH8040 to keep the audible gain between the mics close to be equal. Use again Hi-Pass filter at 100Hz to minimize wind rumbling noise. and then normalized all three audio clips to 0dB. No low pass filter or noise reduction was used.
Both MKH8020 and MKH8040 sounds pretty similar in this recording, so I guess someone will ask:“ Why use four mics when two seems to be fine?“ “ Why making this four channel rig with this expensive mics?“ The short answer is this. The 8020´s are detecting sound from all 360° while 8040´s is only detecting 180° front of the rig. So if there was something behind the rig, like traffic noise it would been clearly audible with 8020´s, but far less with 8040´s. At this time (in Hesteyri) it was only a silence behind the rig so this is not a ideal recording for omni – cardioid comparison.
Field recording is mostly „once in a time – moment capturing“. So having a two different stereo recording of the same event, it is more likely either recording is OK. Two different recordings also give several opportunities in post.

MKH8020/8040 mixed together.
(Mp3 256kbps / 38Mb)

Only MKH8020
(mp3 256kbps / 5,3Mb)

Only MKH8040
(mp3 256kbps / 5,3Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Sennheiser MKH8020/8040 (AB40) in Rycote AG (See pictures)
Pics: Canon EOS-M

Weather: Sunny. Light breeze 3-6 m/sec, ca. 14°C
Location: 66.333261, -22.873719

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I have published many times recordings from the Nature Reserve Flói in southwest Iceland, so I will not introduce that area again.
During the years I remember couple of times when curious sheeps have disturbed the recording. This is one of them.
This peace is a 30 minutes of nine hour overnight recording. It was recorded between 7 and 8 o´clock in the morning 25th of July 2015.
The recording is not only disturbed by the sheeps, it is also highly disturbed by tourist traffic, especially in the air. Jets are arriving and leaving the country and smaller planes in sightseeing so this peaceful area is not especially quite this time.
Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at medium level.

(256kbps / 57,2Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics: RodeNT1 (NOS) & MKH20 (AB40) as close together as possible
Pix: Canon EOSM
Location: 63.901026, -21.192189
Weather: Calm, cloudy, around 11°C

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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.

Download mp3 file (256kbps / 60,7Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 788
Mics. Rode NT1 (NOS)
Pix. Canon EOS M
Weather: clear sky, mostly calm, between -1 to 4°C
Time: 14 June 2015, between 2 and 3 o’clock
Location: 63.900933, -21.191876

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Last summer was mainly wet, windy and cold in Iceland. It was no exception while I was recording birds in the nature reserve Flói, south of Iceland.
I was three weeks later than usual, so it was probably too late to record a reach bird chorus.
I spend two nights in the area and tried to record surrounding ambient through soaking wet windscreens. I stayed most of the time in a bird watching shelter to keep me dry. It was different from last tree years. Surroundings looked more like a swamp than grassland.
I kept one recorder in the field in a plastic box. The second one was in the bird watching shelter.
Just before I fell a sleep on the floor I started to record. The following recording is a short part of that moment while shower passes over.
Most windows on the shelter were open so birds surround are audible. Background noise is not a traffic, it is the surf at nearby south coast, about 3 km away.

Flói 2013. 1. hluti

Síðast sumar var kalt og blautt miðað við það sem maður hefur vanist síðustu ár. Alla vega elti óheppnin mig með leiðinda veðri á röndum hvert sem ég fór með upptökutækin. Hin árlega ferð í Flóann var þar enginn undantekning. Ég mætti á svæðið þremur vikum seinna enn vanalega. Ég mátti því búast við að fjöldasöngur fugla væri farinn að dvína. Vindasamt veður gerði svo erfitt um vik, hvað þá að hljóð gæti borist langar leiðir.
Að vanda tók ég upp í tvær nætur í flóanum. Í þetta sinn flaut allt í vatni og því ekki hægt að liggja úti í grasinu eins og vanalega, heldur var leitað skjóls inni í fuglaskoðunarskýlinu.
Fyrir utan var eitt upptökutæki að taka upp á hefðbundnum stað. Annað var aðgerðarlaust inni í skýlinu. Rétt áður en ég fékk mér lúr á gólfinu ræsti ég upptökutækið. Hér kemur partur af þeirri upptöku þegar skúr gekk yfir svæðið. Gluggar voru opnir svo það heyrist í fuglum í grennd. Suðið í bakgrunni kemur frá briminu suður við Ölfusárósa.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 34,5Mb)

Recorder Sound devices 744T
Mic: Rode NT1a
Pics: Canon EOSM (more pictures soon)

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I have still lots of unpublished recordings from this midsummer nights in Flói 2012.
With a quick audition all this recordings sounds similar. But with closer attention it sounds all as a beautiful symphony. There is so much happening that it can blow your attention, at the same time it can easily be your lullaby. I think these recordings are too nice to be lost in some of my hard drives.
This recording was made 26th of June, around 2am and is a straight forward of part 5.
It contains many bird species. Red throat Loon and two snivel Loon eyes. Red- necked Phalarope, Common Snipe, Golden Plover, Whimbrel, Common Redshank, White Wagtail, Winter Wren, Northern Wheatear, Common Redpoll, Snow Bunting and maybe other birds I can not mention.
In distance there are some traffic noises, horses, sheeps and Whooper Swan.
Background noise is mostly surf along the south coast and „white noise“ is mic´s internal noise .
As usual for nature recordings as this one, don’t play it loud. Play it as you will hear nature sound trough open window.

Friðland í Flóa 2012. 6. hluti

Hér er á ferðinni beint framhald af 5. hluta, upptöku frá 26. júní. Klukkan er um tvö eftir miðnætti og fuglalífið á fullu á þessari björtu sumarnótt. Þeir fuglar sem heyrist mest í eru lómur og tveir ungar hans. Óðinshanar, stelkur og spói. Ýmsar aðrar tegundir eru svo í bakgrunni. Í bakgrunni má heyra í briminu meðfram suðurströndinni, einhverri umferð, hestum og kindum.
Það er vert að minna á að best er að hlusta á þessar náttúruupptökur á lágum styrk, svipað því að hlusta á fuglasöng um opin glugga.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 39,6Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS)
Pics: EOS 30D (see more pictures) (Where is nature reserve Flói)

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Last autumn and winter I published some of my recordings from 25th of June 2012 in the nature reserve at Flói in the south of Iceland.
Day after, during the night and early morning at 26th I continued to record, but now I moved the microphones about 3-5 meter closer to nearby pond.
Something happened. There was a strange echo or reverb in some directions. It sounded strange because this area is very flat. But afterwards I thought it came from a ridge about 50cm high along the pond. This echo was sometimes very nice so it is worth to continue to put this recordings from Flói on the web, maybe in 2 to 4 parts.
I skip the first two hours of this night recording, mostly because of a high noise from the surf along the coast site, 3-4 km behind the microphones and some truck traffic 7 -14 km front of the microphones.
As usual this recording are made in virtually quiet environment. It starts around 1 am and lasts for 25 minutes. It is mostly very quiet, but in the end a choir of Red throated Diver gets very loud.

Friðlandið i Flóa 2012, 5. hluti

Síðastliðið haust og í vetur setti ég nokkrar upptökur úr friðlandinu í Flóa á vefinn. Voru það upptökur sem ég tók upp nóttina 25. júni 2012 .
Daginn eftir tók ég líka upp svo til á sama stað en færði hljóðnemana örlítið úr stað. Við það gerðist það undraverða að fuglar úr vissum áttum hljómuðu í einhverju bergmáli. Það er frekar óskiljanlegt nema að bakkar umhverfis nærliggjandi tjörn eru frekar brattir og u.þ.b. 50cm háir.
Það er því vel þess virði að halda áfram að setja á netið hljóðmyndir úr Flóanum.
Hér má heyra í fuglum s.s. óðinshana, hrossagauk, stelk, lómi, spóa, kríu, hettumáfi, músarindli og maríuerlu sem og mörgum öðrum fuglum. Bakgrunnssuð er helst frá briminu með suðuröndinni u.þ.b. 3-5 km fjarlægð fyrir aftan hljóðnemana og svo trukkaumferð eftir þjóðvegi nr.1 í 7-14 km fjarlægð. Upptakan er líklega frá því milli kl. 1 og 2 eftir miðnætti.

Download mp3 file (35Mb / 192kbps)

Recorder: Sound devices 744T
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS)
Pics: Canon 30D (see more pictures)
Older post from nature reserve in Flói 2012

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This recording was captured around 4:00 to 5:00 am, 25th of June.
It is almost straight continue of part 3 with very quiet relaxing midsummer sound scape but now disturbed with two airplanes passing by from east to west. It was just the beginning of a heavy airplane traffic later this morning. During calm moments thick clouds of gnats filled the air with heavy buzzing noise, but they got suddenly quiet every time when the light gusts stroke the field.
Quality headphone recommended.

Friðland í Flóa 2012 – 4. hluti

Hér er framhald af fyrri upptökum úr friðlandi í Flóa 2012. Þessar upptökur er frá u.þ.b. kl 4:00 til 5:00, að morgni 25 júní. Hér má heyra í fuglum s.s. óðinshana, hrossagauk, stelk, lómi, spóa, kríu, hettumáfi, músarindli og maríuerlu sem og mörgum öðrum fuglum.
Nú fer flugumferð að hefjast af alvöru. Tvær millilandaþotur rjúfa þögnina í þessu hljóðriti. Er það aðeins smjörþefur af því sem síðar kom og sett verður á vefinn síðar.
Hlustist með góðum heyrnartólum.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 53Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 744
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS setup)
Pix: Canon 30D (see more pictures)

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Recordings from Flói nature reserve continues. This two recordings were captured around 3:30 and 4:00 am, 25th of June.
The first recording contains mostly far distance sounds, a quiet relaxing midsummer sound scape. Birds are living their life, flying around and searching for food. Gusts sometimes disturb the recording with rumble sound .
The second recording was recorded around 4 am. It contains the first of many jet flights this morning from Europe to America. Morning sunbeams are now really going to heat the field so clouds of gnats are even thicker than before. A duck with youngsters are pushing their body through rushy field searching for food around the microphone.
Both this recordings are worth to played as a background sound at home or work.

Friðland í Flóa 2012 – 3. hluti

Hér er framhald af fyrri upptökum úr friðlandi í Fóa 2012. Þessar upptökur er frá u.þ.b. kl 3:30 til 4:00, að morgni 25 júní.
Fyrri upptakan inniheldur fremur þögula hljóðmynd af fuglalífi svæðisins. Heyra má þó í óðinshana busla í nálægri tjörn og stöku sinnum stingur kría sér í tjörnina í fæðuleit. Vindkviður eiga það svo til að trufla upptökuna.
Í seinni upptökunni má heyra í fyrstu þotunni þennan morguninn fljúga milli Evrópu og Ameríku. Sólargeislar brjótast nú í gegnum skýin yfir Ingólfsfjalli og verma svæðið. Þegar vind svo lægir þá lyftir flugan sér í þéttum skýsveipum og með miklu suði. Önd með unga kjagar með unga sína í þéttu mýrargrasinu umhverfis hljóðnemana í fæðuleit.
Báðar upptökurnar njóta sín best sem bakgrunnshljóð heima við eða á vinnustað.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 32Mb)

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 31,2Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices 744
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS setup)
Pix: Canon 30D (See more pictures)
Listen to other parts of  „nature reserve in Flói 2012

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Nature reserve Floi

This recording is almost a straight continue from “Nature reserve in Flói 2012 – Part 1” that was recorded inside the bird watching shelter. Now the microphones are in the wetland, about 300 meters from the shelter. This is close to a pond, early morning 25th of June, around 3am. Now and then the gust strokes the field, but later one it gets more quiet.
This was a busy time for all residents in the area so the recording contains a lot of their activity.
Birds searching for food in the pound or in the grass around the microphones, like Red- necked Phalarope, Arctic stern, Red throat Loon and some ducks. Birds pass by with wing flaps. There is also a lonely barking dog, bleating sheep and whinny horses somewhere far away.
When morning sunbeams warm the field and the wind goes calm, billions of gnats start to fly in thick clouds up and down with impressive noise. Many other bird species are audible in this recording like Common Snipe, Golden Ploer, Whimbrel, Gull, Rooster and many other birds I can not named like some young birds. Sometimes young Loon are crying, while other birds sounds like Tod (n.b. no Frogs live in Iceland).
This is a very quiet nature recording so you should not play it loud. You should play it like you think you will hear it trough open window, as a background sound. Best way to listen details and explore all bird species is using quality open headphones This recording contain also very loud session when all Loons in all ponds in the area “scream” a territory call.
Surprisingly it looks like only one or two motorist is audible in this recording, a truck about 20 km away So the soundscape is almost as nice as it gets on our planet.
There is still many hours left of this recording in Flói. It will be published in coming months.

Friðland í Flóa 2012 – 2. hluti.

Hér er á ferðinni svo til beint framhald af 1. hluta, nema nú hafa hljóðnemarnir verið færðir út að tjörn norðaustur af fuglaskoðunarhúsinu. Upptakan er frá því 25. júní u.þ.b. kl. 3 eftir miðnætti. Heyra má í ýmsum fuglum í dagsins önn. Meðal fugla voru lómur, lóa, hrossagaukur, óðinshani, spói, auðnutittlingur, jaðrakan, stelkur, álft, tjaldur hettumáfur, kría, kjói og sílamáfur. Einhverjar andategundir voru svo á vappi og sveimi um svæðið á meðan á upptöku stóð. Í fjarska heyrist jarm, hundgá, hanagal og hnegg í hestum. Þegar fyrstu sólargeislarnir gægjast yfir Ingólfsfjall og verma svæðið lyftir flugan sér í þykkum sveimum með þéttu suði.
Aldrei þessu vant fer ekki mikið fyrir umferðarhávaða í þessu hljóðskeiði. Greina má þó bíla fara niður Kambana í 20 km fjarlægð. Í raun má greina ferðir þeirra frá Kömbum og fylgja þeim eftir austur fyrir Selfoss á upprunalegu upptökunni og fullum gæðum.
Þetta er lágvær upptaka. Það er því besta að spila hana á lágværum nótum eins og setið sé við opinn glugga. En fyrir þá sem vilja greina fuglategundir og önnur hljóð er mælt með að hlustað sé á upptökuna með góðum opnum heyrnartólum.
Margra klukkutíma efni var tekið upp á þessum stað. Fleiri upptökur munu því heyrast á komandi mánuðum.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 40,3Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 744T
Mics: Rode NT1a (NOS setup)
Pix: Canon EOS30D (see more pictures)

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