Friday 31 July 2020

Nocmig tribulations

In summary it has been a trying time. Let me briefly outline the last week:

Night 1: External microphone not plugged in properly
Night 2: External microphone plugged in but not switched on
Night 3: Heavy rain
Night 4: External microphone operating, however wrong settings on recorder, too faint
Night 5: Everything switched on (I think!), settings perfect, however no birds at all
Night 6: Party!!
Night 7: Read on.....

You would be forgiven for thinking that I am hopeless so-and-so, but honestly..... I could not have predicted the local party could I? It went on until about 2am and I recorded all of it. Happy young voices. Shrieks and laughter, and clear evidence of karaoke - Abba and the Jackson Five were perhaps the most memorable. As far as nocmig goes a complete write off, I couldn't even hear the A12, but as long as they had fun eh? To be fair it is relatively rare that something like happens, it is only the second time in July...

I poked my head out of the window last night before I went to bed. Nothing. Complete silence. Well, let me qualify that. No shrill voices and no thumping bass. Helicopters, traffic, sirens, foxes and cats - all present and correct and doing their level best to ensure that any and all passing birds were drowned out. But they could not disguise the Little Owl that called at one minute past midnight.

I was actually awake, tossing and turning in the heat. It was one of those moments that I hope to repeat out on Wanstead Flats this coming autumn with a single uncertain call recorded and nailed for posterity. Oooh, was that an Owl? Then a motorbike with a lawnmower for an engine kicked off and that was that, but that did at least allow me to quickly find the right spot on the recording in the morning. I've recorded Little Owl before whilst sound asleep, so this inks it in so to speak.

As I type it is above 30 degrees at 7pm so I suspect that tonight may be another hard one. I still need Tawny Owl....

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