Take #1

My first gull sound recordings

One of my main interests in gulls is observing the wide range of postures and calls that they use to communicate with each other.

I was already using photography to capture postures, but I’m happy to say that I’m now also able to record calls.

After being inspired by a few fellow birders, I have purchased the Olympus LS-5 audio recorder.
It’s a beautiful device which is very well made, easy to use and records sound very clearly.

As with photography, the art of sound recording takes practice, as does the processing afterwards. I’m currently using Audacity to edit and analyze the recordings, as well as Raven Lite. Both are free and easy enough to start working on the files without the learning curve getting too steep. I’m sure I have a lot to learn though.

Both applications can also be used to view the recording in a spectogram (also known as a sonogram), which visualizes the pattern so that they can be “read”. Very fascinating stuff into which I will have to delve much deeper over the coming weeks.

So here are 2 of my first recordings:

Long-call of an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull

Waveform and sonogram of an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus graellsii) performing a long-call. The recording was made in a suburban area with the sound bouncing of the walls; some noise has been removed. Leiden, The Netherlands, 19 August 2012.

Alarm calls of 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls flying overhead

Waveform and sonogram of 2 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus graellsii) performing the alarm call while flying overhead. Un-edited, apart from applying a fade in and fade out effect. Leiden, The Netherlands, 19 August 2012.

More recordings to follow over the coming weeks.

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