Thursday, May 29, 2014

Let's Go!

Despite the lack of postings here, I have been quite active shooting nature. Some get posted to Facebook, and a few to Flicker and eBird, but I can't post all the good stuff in those places, so HERE will be the main showcase of what I'm up to. My official eBird list has me at 66 bird species, which isn't even a spit into the wind for a real birder. Many people see more than that in one day! Part of the task is being able to recognize songs, which isn't necessarily impossible to learn, it does take some effort, and that's what I've been doing this past week.

I figured I'd start right in my backyard. Initially, I tried sticking a microphone out the window and recorded on my laptop. Works, but the songs are too quiet and the street noises are too loud. Then I got a brain storm and tried recording with my video camera. Eureka! It has a super sensitive microphone, no hum, and I can take it anywhere.

The back yard is a great place to practice, but there's the neighbor's air conditioning going on and off, kids hollering next door, dogs barking, and the eternal freeway noise. So, today I took it to the park and placed it on the ground, right on the edge of a marsh, walked away for an hour, and came back. Being mostly interested in the audio, I never even gave a thought of what video it might capture, so imagine my surprise when I played it back and saw 2 slugs and 3 snails slowly crawling up and down the leaves and twigs in front of the camera! Plenty of bird food available! I'll share video of that at a later date, but here's some bird song's I got today. Sounds like two birds, actually, and there still is some freeway noise (3 miles away!) but it's not bad. I haven't figured out what they are yet.

Here's the 'sonogram' of that clip which is simply how the audio looks on the software I use for editing (Cool Edit 2000):

Here's another clip of a Marsh Wren taken right next to "Mud Lake" at Grobschmidt Park in Franklin, WI

I have also found out that the little Sony camera makes great macro shots because the focal distance is so short, and there is a setting for automatic flash.
Check out this cool 'toad stool'. Not bad!

So, stay tuned, I've still got 9,000+ species of birds to photograph, 5,000 species of mammals, 16,000 species of mushrooms .....

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