Posts Tagged ‘Starling’


For several years I have recorded the soundscape at the same spot when I visit a cottage in west Iceland. Every time I record there I get something different and interesting, all year around.  Forestry has changed the birdlife a lot on this spot in the last 20 years.  Birds like Redwings, Common Redpoll, Eurasian Wren and Starlings are now in increased numbers since the beginning in this century.
I recorded this spot overnight both 6th and 7th of July 2021.
Lot of chicks had already left the nests so the grass field around the microphones was full of birds searching for insects which can be heard in this recording.
The following recording is not an example of the „best part“ which I record these two mornings. It is just a part of the first WAV file at the 6th which I choose because of low traffic. So more of these two days’ recordings will be audible in this blog in the future.
The time is between 2:30 am to 3:05. It is calm and quiet in the beginning until the Common Snipe begins to make a noise with its tail. Young Redwings, Common Redshanks and Snipes are all around the microphones. Other birds are not far away such as European Golden Plovers, Whimbrel, White Wagtail, Eurasian Wren, Rock Ptarmigan, and Whooper Swans in the distance.
This was recorded with four channel IRT setup, but sadly one of the cable was broken so I could only use three of the channels which was though easy to mix into INA-3
This was recorded at 48dB gain (HPF@80hz). In post the gain was increased about 30dB plus gentle RX noise reduction.
Quality headphones are recommended while listening at low or mid level or in speaker at low level.
If the media player doesn’t start to play, please reload this individual blog in a new tab or frame.

(mp3 / 256mbps 69,8Mb)

Recorder: Sound devices MixPre6
Mics: Lewitt LCT540  (IRT setup)
Pix: Canon EOS R

Location: 64.673368, -21.628709
Weather: Calm, cloudy, about 12°C
Other recordings from this location in Stafholtstungur:

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In mid April I was asked in a radio interview about field recordings, what was my favorite bird. My quick answer was „Starling“….or, I was not sure. But that was going to be clear a few days later.     
Starling is a new immigrant in Iceland. It was first seen 1940 in Hornafjörður, south east Iceland and in Reykjavik 1960. So today it is a very common bird in many urban places around Iceland, however, mainly in south west Iceland
His song is usually a loud high frequency tweet or rough ugly scream. But some starlings seem to have the ability to learn complex sounds and tweed them unbelievably well.   
Thanks to COVID-19, Reykjavik city gets very quiet with less traffic in April, which open a completely new and lovely natural soundscape in the city
So it gives me a great opportunity to record the bird life to the finest details in my garden in several days.
The following recording are selected moments of a 10 hours long recording which I made over night on the 25th to 26th of April in the garden  I use Audio Technica, AT4022 which I place with 50cm apart, on the ground, where I usually feed the birds during the winter moths. I use a simple foam as a windshield and hide them in brown nylon socks. 
I guess it is only one bird that imitates all the songs or sounds in this recording, which is totally outstanding. He imitates birds like ravens, seagulls, blackbird and redwing, which sounds even better than the original redwing song, golden plower, goose, duck, oystercatcher, great northern diver, common redpoll, snow bunting… and I am sure some other species too. You can also hear him imitate ambulance, rubber toy, dog and humans. 
If you recognize some other sounds, birds or animal species in this recording, please leave a comment below.
So one thing is for sure. I did not lie in the radio interview. starling is my favorite bird.
Please notice this recording have a wide dynamic range, so don´t play it loud. Quality open headphones are recommended while listening at low to mid level, or in speakers at low level.

(mp3 256kbps / 65,2Mb)
If the media player doesn’t start to play, please reload this individual blog in new tab or frame

Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6
Mics: Audio Techinca AT4022 AB50/boundary
Pix: Canon EOS30

Weather: Cludy, calm about 5°C 
The whole radioprogram with the interview – and only with me, Magnus Bergsson (sorry, only in Icelandic)

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Starling Starri

It has been my work passing weekends recording birds and other sounds in my garden. Sometimes I am just testing microphones, microphones’ setups, wind protections or batteries. Sometimes I am just hoping to get something unusual, car crash in the neighborhood, earthquake or just something nice and interesting.
This recordings could be many hours long. Then usually this recordings go through different audio software and spectrum analyzer. If nothing interesting is found then most of the files are deleted. Most of them are just traffic noises.
I am used to feed birds in my garden so they are an ideal sound source and the following recording is one of this feeding day in November.
After almost four hours recordings a very big group of Starlings visited my garden. They fly and walk around the microphones. A raven was not far away and frightened most of the starlings when he flew close by.
For many reasons this is a nice recording, but for one reason I was not satisfied with the result.
I will let the listeners to find out what it is and discuss it and response. I will give my answer before Xmas.

Umferð starra

Ég hef gert mikið af því undanfarnar helgar að taka upp umhverfishljóð úti í garði. Oft er ég að prófa hljóðnema, hljóðnemauppsetningar, vindhlífar eða rafhlöður. Oftar en ekki eru spörfuglar sem ég fóðra úti í garði viðfangsefnið þó ég láti mig alltaf dreyma um hið óvænta. Þessar upptökur geta verið margra klukkustunda langar og fátt annað á þeim en hávaðasöm bílaumferð. En áður en upptökunum er hent er þeim rennt í gegnum forrit sem sýna í fljótheitum hvort eitthvað áhugavert sé á þeim að finna. Ef svo er þá er það geymt.
Hér er á ferðinni eins slík upptaka. Eftir nærri fjögurra klukkustunda upptöku kom stór starrahópur í fóðrið sem lagt hafði verið fyrir þá.
Þarna spígspora og flögra fuglarnir umhverfis hljóðnemana, en stór hópur þeirra er uppi í trjánum. Hrafn er í hverfinu og fær hund til að gelta og hræðir síðan fuglana þegar hann flýgur of nærri.
Þetta er að mörgu leyti lífleg og skemmtileg upptaka. En það var eitt atriði sem varð til þess að ég var nærri búinn að henda þessari upptöku.
Ég ætla ekki að segja hvað það er, en ætla að lát hlustendum eftir að dæma upptökuna og segja frá því hvað hafi hugsanlega misfarist og fá þá til að rita ummæli hér fyrir neðan. Ég mun svo segja hvað mér finnst fyrir jól.

Download mp3 file (192kbps / 23,3Mb)

Recorder: Sound Devices 744
Mics: Sennheiser MKH30/40 (MS setup)
Pix: Canon 30D (see more pictures)

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