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In my last post on Barn Owls at Oxwich NNR, I mentioned trying to record the wildfowl on the reserve. Unfortunately road noise or the sound of the pump that seems to regulate the water height spoils most recordings, but I did get a few short excerpts that are useable. The Gadwall were gathering around the hide at times and would congregate together and then make the sounds you can hear below.

Gadwall

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The hide windows limit your field of view vertically, so when playing with the longer lenses, I normally concentrated on the far bank or birds on the water. Birds in flight isn’t easy at the best of times, so with limited vertical motion, it was a bit of a no go area to try. The barn owl didn’t appear when the long lens was with me, so my sound recording photo kit of a 28 – 300mm lens with a 1.5x crop sensor camera was all I had to make the image of the barn owl in the last post.

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Little Grebes make a fantastic sound in the breeding season and it travels quite a distance. It makes them sound very proud of their chosen mate with other pairs usually responding straight away with their own call.

little grebe

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The recording set up for both tracks was the same with two Sennhesier short shot gun microphones used in a stereo set up from one of the hide windows. The recording was then made on my Multi track recorder. As the microphones are very sensitive, keeping still proved a challenge as any slight shift of body weight on the stool could start the wooden floor creaking.

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Nick

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