High pressure 1015mb

The winds pick up at dawn on a sleepy Sunday morning. The pressure gauge reads 1015mb, A Barred owl shrieks out at a group of rats it has been steadily watching in the early hours. As the winds increase the old dried leaves blow from the trees, a coopers hawk smashes into a Steller’s jay and takes it to a feeding perch. The hawk calls out and starts to strip the bird apart. All this happens as the sleepy neighborhood still lay in their beds…

copyright: Mike Hamilton

Coopers hawk at dawn

Geek notes
Recorder: SD 722
Microphones: MKH 40/30
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Location: Redmond WA
Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Humidity: 57%
Time: 06:42

Tripod mounted with a rycote windjammer.
Copyright: Martyn Stewart 2010

The wild flowers of Rainier

Into August and the wild flowers of Mount Rainier are stunning. Insects collect pollen in this short summer season. There is a sense of urgency from the animals that make good of the very short season here.
Copyright: Rebecca Stewart
One of the most spectacular aspects of Mt. Rainier National Park is its world-renowned wildflower meadows. No matter what the length of your stay, a stroll among these seemingly endless fields of wildflowers is a must-do. Each July and August, Mt. Rainier’s meadows burst with color. Avalanche lilies, paintbrush, asters, daises, cinquefoil, fireweed, purple shooting stars and so many others, blanket the mountain in every color of the rainbow.


There is nothing quite like recording wind sounds and listening to the wind is something else. If you listen to these two samples you can drift and let your mind tell a thousand stories. One wind sound is from the hot Mojave desert, the other from the humid semi tropics of Florida.
In sample 1 comes the hot winds of the Mojave Desert, Creosote bushes blow in the wind and make squeaking noises as the branches rub together. Flies are abundant keeping low in the scrub trying not to get blown with the direction of the wind.
Sample 2 is the remnants of a tropical hurricane that avoided land and therefore sidestepping potential property damage. These winds are topping 18 MPH and 50 MPH respectively

Mojave Desert

Winds blowing through creosote bushes

Mojave winds

Low pressure over Florida

© martyn stewart

To see a movie of wind and wind protection, take a peep here….

American Black Bear Interaction

Imagine walking through the woods looking for owls and you hear crashing of branches in front of you? Well, this was the case here. It is the time for family separation and here we have (I think) 3 bears. 2 of the bears climbed a pine tree while a larger (older bear) chased after them. The 2 young bears stayed in the tree for over 5 hours with various panting sounds and snorting. In this soundscape you can also hear the Jaw Pops the bears make when they are nervous. Roo and I watched these bears until we could no longer keep our eyes open. Eventually, the larger bear walked off leaving the 2 younger bears to ponder when it was safe to leave.

Black Bear Interaction

You may have to wait for the file to buffer itself before being able to click anywhere on the sonogram. Headphones are a must!
© martyn stewart

The Louisiana Delta by Day

Pristine areas are very far and few between and with over 6 billion people on the planet, Space is a rare commodity. However, sometimes when the people are asleep or resting, this recordist can get into places that others deem worthless. The soundscape is priceless to me and sometimes you capture the very beauty of it. This is from the Louisiana Delta before all the troubles with the oil spill. Listen to this tranquil soundscape with mother nature at peace with the world. I will post the aftermath of the oil-spill soon for comparisons…

Pristine habitat

Louisiana Delta ambient by Day

Red-winged blackbird chorus

Morning has broken, like the first morning, blackbird has spoken like the first bird! Here we can praise for their singing. There is nothing like a spring morning filled with the sounds of the dawn chorus. Here we have red-winged blackbirds with pacific chorus frogs, varied thrush and winter wrens filling the morning air.
This section was taken from a much longer take condensed down to around 9 minutes. I include all the metadata info as it happened in realtime to give you a feeling how the morning panned out.

the song fills the air

Red-winged blackbird

Geek notes:Location: stossel creek
Date: 2010-04-20
Time: 05:42
State: Washington

Description: morning at stossel creek

Habitat: ponds/coniferous
Voxtype: dawn
Category: soundscape

Recorder: SD 722
Mics: sennheiser mkh 40/30
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: MS stereo
Take# 1

Anthrophony: light distant traffic/airplane 16:37/20:20 airplane/31:18 airplane/38:46 airplane/40:15 car door/53:25 airplane

Geophony: rain on leaves/10:31 wing flaps from wood duck/16:37 wood ducks take off/21:19 red-breasted sapsucker drum knock/42:54 beaver tail slap/47:05 wood duck wing flaps/

Biophony: pacific chorus frogs/varied thrush/winter wren/barred owl/around 9:30 frogs go quieter/American robin/18:49 bumble bee/21:30 frog vocal change/23:50 song sparrow/24:18 bumble bee/26:05 nice varied thrush calls/27:27 frog vocal change/28:27 common raven/28:57 northern flicker/30:22 common yellowthroat/30:55 song sparrow/32:40 wood duck calls/Douglas squirrel/33:22 red-winged blackbird unusual calls/35:25 common yellowthroat/36:06 rufous-hummingbird/36:54 individual chorus frog croak/42:18 bumble bee/43:49 chorus frog/44:05 wood duck calls/46:28 wood duck high calls/47:35 wood duck calls/48:14 varied thrush song/chorus frogs and wood ducks/49:37 red-winged blackbird/50:30 red-winged blackbird single call/51:20 northern flicker/59:51 red-winged blackbird/

Weather: overcast
Temp: 47f
Wind: calm
Barometer: 1017.4 mb
Elevation: 605ft
GPS: N47.76772 W121.85210

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Notes: inserted -30 db tone at beginning of the recording/ Mic suspension with Rycote windjammer and gitzo tripod/

Cape Tribulation, Australia

Cape Tribulation

Morning in Cape Tribulation

Queensland Australia is the setting for this recording. Around 05:00, the sounds of a tropical rainforest are a delight. The frogs are calling all night long and the pre-dawn becomes special with the nocturnal animals getting ready to go to sleep and the diurnal animals waking up to face the new day.
Recorded with the Sound Devices 722 recorder with MKH 40/30 microphones.
Temp 92f, Humidity 95%

Stossel creek road

The idea of this soundscape is not for you to sit down and listen to amazing sounds of the rain forest or amazing vocals from a rare bird but to tell you there are tranquil areas to be found in the USA.
This is a recording from a place I like to monitor all seasons, at a location called “Stossel creek” It is in Washington State just outside the Carnation area.

Sound meter reading

The ambient reading from a sound meter from Stossel creek road.

As you can see from the sound-meter snap-shot, i could acquire a reading of around 40db, almost a studio environment!
Stossel creek Feb 2010

The tranquil ponds of stossel creek road

This is a recording that includes a song sparrow, douglas squirrel, american robin, northern pigmy owl. winter wren (singing in the near distance) and a hairy woodpecker that chooses to drum on a metal post to announce his presence.

Location: stossel creek road
Date: 2010/02/28
Time: 07:40
State: Washington

Description: morning recording on stossel creek road
Habitat: pond/pine
VoxType: morning
Category: soundscape

Recorder: SD 722

The road of stossel creek

Recording spot on stossel creek road

Mics: sennheiser mkh 40/30
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: MS stereo
Take# 01

Anthrophony: airplane
Geophony: light rain drops on leaves/bubbles from pond
Biophony: varied thrush/purple finch/American robin/hairy woodpecker knocks on some metal type object?/douglas squirrel/distant northern pigmy owl/winter wren/song sparrow/common raven/stellars jay

Weather: overcast/mist
Temp: 42f
Wind: calm
Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Notes: inserted -30 db tone at beginning of the recording/ Mic suspension with Rycote windjammer and gitzo tripod/microphones placed at the side of the road close to the ponds

Recorded by Martyn Stewart.
Copyright: Martyn Stewart

Mexican pebble beach

There are many beaches around the world and they all sound entirely different to one and other. Sand, coral, volcanic. This is the sound of ocean waves breaking onto a pebble beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The different sounds of stones moving against each other as the tide pulls back out to sea is an amazing sound. Various sizes of stones roll against each other with the pull of the ocean making this just one of those tranquil sounds.
Recorded at low tide with the Nagra Ares PII+ recorder.

Nagra Ares PII+ Recorder

© Martyn Stewart 2010. Recordings by Martyn Stewart.

Wind storm

The hurricane of 2007, Redmond WA

The morning after

While i was editing sounds the other day, i remembered the high winds of 2007 here in Washington State. We were without power for 5 days, you would think the world had come to an end the way people reacted. I remember going down to the garage because they had a generator (not many garages had them so obviously they could not get the petrol out of the tanks) This garage in particular had milk in the fridge, 5 x 1 gallon containers! As i was reaching for one of them i noticed a rather large woman behind me. Being british and believing the age of chivalry was not dead, i said to her “after you” She barged into the fridge and grabbed all the containers! I said to her “oh, no you don’t, i want one of them” she told me to “fuck off” and that she had a sick child, i grabbed the carton of milk out of her hands and told her that i was only being polite and that one of those were mine, after all i “let her in” so to speak!! She kicked me in the shin and we had a scuffle…
This was all because of the wind storm that had brought havoc to the towns!
Haiti has just had a major catastrophe, far more destructive than a bloody wind storm yet people here act as though life depends on themselves.
I would hate to see a real calamity here, there would be guns out on the street with the wagons in a circle!!
Here is a clip from the winds i recorded in the night.