Still waters, The cove, Taiji.

December 1st 2010

We have just gone through two days of relative peace in the cove. On the 1st of December a dolphin pod battled against their worst nightmare, man, and won with the help of mother nature. For 3 hours we watched the pod getting away from the molesters only to be rounded up again like sheep and driven towards the cove. As the winds got stronger we realised the pod may get away for good as the boats were struggling against all the elements. Sure enough, one by one the boats picked up speed and headed for shore. We sent the news back home and we danced a merry jig…
After the day before with so many dolphins killed we just experienced one of the lowest lows to the highest high.. It was one of joy and tears..
The pod in their grasp was of around 20, we never saw them flee because of the amount of white horses on the ocean but we could feel their spirit as they went back to their home.
I looked at Kim (one of the guardians) and her face was radiant, she has been so ill here but she was there every morning, I felt that another day like yesterday would demoralize her, Lady luck shone down for sure…. It was a huge tonic…
We went to celebrate and as we packed up our spotting gear and cameras, the boats drove past the rock we were on

The fishermen are defeated this time

Boats come in without their prey

and one of the fishermen stuck his finger up at me, I did not need to retaliate, Mother Nature had done it for me… Its that little man syndrome that makes them kill, They have to prove their masculinity to face life because of their insecurities and low self esteem. To attack animals is the most cowardly act but seemingly they attack their wives too! 80% of Japanese men I’m told are ok with wife abuse. Look at this and you get the whole picture. Pick a fight with those who are less powerful. Their boats are big and strong against the dolphins but when they step ashore they as little men with little dicks! God I hate them……….
Off we went to the whale museum to look at the exhibits to try and get into their culture a little. The place is the animal equalivent of Auschwitz. Absolutely disgusting! There are dolphin and whale fetus in specimen containers covering the pregnancy month by month. 1 month old, 2 month old up to 11 months. Just for this exhibit alone you would kill 11 Orca whales and 11 dolphins just for one glass case!!!
They rob the womb of the fetus

Just so that we know, Right!


Kim was her usual expressive self, full of horror and emotion, it was sickening to see, Then up comes a Japanese couple looking as though “what’s the big deal” They were later seen in the dolphin show eating cetacean meat!

I honestly don’t believe you can change this culture, It has to start from the ground up but it is indoctrinated in the young by the parents, This place has no empathy for which it kills, You can literally buy anything that moves here to eat…
Before we can stop all this barbarism we will loose a great majority of our cetaceans that swim past Japan, What will happen then?

The Whale Museum houses many captive dolphins, They live in pools half the size of a backyard swimming pool in suburban America and there are two dolphins to each pool. I hated seeing them go round and round, I spoke to them and cried a little. I felt embarrassed that I was one the the same species that put them there robbing them of their freedom.

Free in the ocean not long ago and destined to a life in a pool...

I want to say sorry for my species for what they have done to you....


Today was a good day in some ways but this place brought us back down to ground fast….

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Martyn
Captive dolphins by Martyn Stewart

Raccoon

I had the pleasure of recording and filming the release of 11 young Raccoons back into the environment. PAWS is an animal rescue and rehabilitation organization based in Lynnwood WA. PAWS is a champion for animals—rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife. Since the PAWS Wildlife Center opened in 1981, PAWS has cared for more than 100,000 wild animals. Their primary goal is to rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, restore them to full health and return them to the wild as functioning members of their wild population. I was first invited to the capture of these raccoons at the facility ready for release, totally contrasting sounds were evident here, the squeals when they were being handled and the sounds of contentment on their release. My special thanks for giving me the privilege to witness these animals goes to Kevin Mack, the naturalist that works at PAWS.

Raccoon release

Free at last!


Here I have a short video and 2 sound-bytes. The first sound-byte is that of the trilling, churring sounds and the 2nd that of the squeals.


The first sound-byte is that of the trilling


Next is the sound of the squeals

GEEK NOTES
Camera: Sony NXCAM
Recorder: SD 722
Microphones: MKH 40/30
Tripod Mounted with windjammer
Weather: Partly cloudy
Temp:57f
Humidity:75%
Recordist: Martyn Stewart
Camera: Martyn Stewart

Wood Ducks galore

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Kothenbeutel as his home in Woodinville, WA.
Every September the wood ducks return to his back yard pond – probably because he provides feed for them twice a day (mixture of whole wheat and gamebird pellets). On Sept. first there were 6 but the number has grown to 125 -150! They stream in in small groups just as it begins to get light in the morning, eat their breakfast, lounge around all day and then leave in the evening after their dinner. They never get very tame and always flush when he takes out the feed. After circling a few times they come raining back to the pond in a fashion that makes it too hard to count them. It is quite a spectacle. Even though they are devouring 150 lbs of feed each week he never gets tired of watching them. They even invade his bird feeder which is near his deck, and some have taken a liking to suet. There is a large number of juveniles and the mature drakes are now in full breeding plumage.

This is a recording from first light this morning starting from around 07:00am.

It is always best to let the player buffer beforehand….


copyright Mike Hamilton

Wood Duck


GEEK NOTES
Recorder: SD 722
Microphones: MKH 40/30
Sample/bitrate: 44.1k 24 bit
Tripod mounted
Rycote windjammer
Species:
Wood duck
Gadwall
Trumpeter swan
American crow
Mallard
Weather:Partly cloudy
Temp: 54f
Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Vaux’s swifts

The vaux’s swift is found mainly on the west of North America, measuring around 4.5″ around this time of year they can be found in mass flocks at night as they gather to roost. The swift has found an ideal roosting spot in man made chimneys,

© Kevin Mack

4.5\

Monroe WA has just that, you can get over 26,000 of these birds roosting in the chimney on occasions all tightly snugged together. These birds are on their migratory path to Central America and Venezuela and stop off on the way here in Monroe. The sound and video that follows are from the night of September 12th, The night was partly cloudy and cool but it still brought out a sizable flock for us to witness.


Thank you to Kevin Mack for the picture and Pilchuck Audubon for the use of some video in the chimney.

The following audio can be listened to by clicking your mouse anywhere along the wave player, select any area on the player with your mouse.

Geek notes
Vaux swifts monroe

Location: Monroe
Date: 2010-09-12
Time:
State: WA

Description: the migration of vaux swifts roosting in a chimney stack

Habitat: City
VoxType: calls
Category: soundscape

Recorder: SD 788t
Mics: sennheiser mkh 40/30-Telinga DAT
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: MS stereo
Take#  

Anthrophony: constant traffic
Geophony:
Biophony: Vaux swift

Weather: overcast
Temp: 66f
Humidity: 81%
Wind: 4mph
Barometer: 
Elevation:
GPS: N47.51’9″,W121.58’48 

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

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

Honey Bee

Keeping bees is fun and good for the environment. With many chemicals on our planet now, the bees have taken a hammering. Bees pollinate 80% of our flowers so you know how important bees are to us. Today i went out to meet a bee keeper by the name of Daniel Sullivan who showed me around his hives and allowed me to capture a short film and soundscape for your enjoyment.

A picture showing you the positioning of various bees in a hive.

Honey bee hive.



sound recording
These sounds are from two DPA microphones that were placed at the entrance to the hives. You can hear the change in pitch as each bee arrives to deposit their pollen. Guard bees make sure that there are no impostors or other pillaging bees trying to steel the honey from the hive..
I used 5 different microphones. Outside the Hive i have an MKH 40/30 set-up to record the ambient around the hives and inside i dropped a DPA hydrophone and 2 DPA 4060 microphones between the slats.I will post the Hydrophone sounds here a little later…


THE HONEY BEE
Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees.
THE LIFE CYCLE
As in a few other types of eusocial bees, a colony generally contains one queen bee, a fertile female; seasonally up to a few thousand drone bees or fertile males and a large seasonally variable population of sterile female worker bees. Details vary among the different species of honey bees, but common features include:
Eggs are laid singly in a cell in a wax honeycomb, produced and shaped by the worker bees. Using her spermatheca, the queen actually can choose to fertilise the egg she is laying, usually depending on what cell she is laying in. Drones develop from unfertilised eggs and are haploid, while females (Queens and worker bees) develop from fertilised eggs and are diploid. Larvae are initially fed with royal jelly produced by worker bees, later switching to honey and pollen. The exception is a larva fed solely on royal jelly, which will develop into a queen bee. The larva undergoes several moltings before spinning a cocoon within the cell, and pupating.
Young worker bees clean the hive and feed the larvae. When their royal jelly producing glands begin to atrophy, they begin building comb cells. They progress to other within-colony tasks as they become older, such as receiving nectar and pollen from foragers, and guarding the hive. Later still, a worker takes her first orientation flights and finally leaves the hive and typically spends the remainder of her life as a forager. (Information Wikipedia)

Recordings by Martyn Stewart
Recorder: SD 788
Microphones:DPA 4060 X 2
The following movie can be played at HD by choosing the HD option at the bottom right of the video.
Dan’s website can be found here.

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

Temp:56f
Humidity: 57%
Time: 06:42
Date:08-29-2010

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.

Coyote’s at Dusk

Copyright :Tim DeregThere is nothing more spectacular than listening to the coyote’s as the daylight ends. These were recorded outside my studio as I was editing. The land across the road opens up to over 300 acres and it is great habitat for these prowlers of the night. You can hear the youngsters call as the male brings home the meal. (I presume)
The coyote is a member of the dog family. In size and shape the coyote is like a medium-sized Collie dog, but its tail is round and bushy and is carried straight out below the level of its back. The ubiquitous coyote is found throughout North America from eastern Alaska to New England and south through Mexico to Panama. It originally ranged primarily in the northwest corner of the US, but it has adapted readily to the changes caused by human occupation and, in the past 200 years, has been steadily extending its range. Sightings now commonly occur in Florida, New England and eastern Canada.

Calls of the Coyote (Canis latrans) by: Martyn Stewart

White-throated sparrow

Also in the north woods you find the beautiful sounds of the white-throated sparrow.
There are at least two distinct songs sung by this species. One consists of an initial note, followed by three or so repeated notes at an interval of about a major third above. The second song consists of an initial note, a second a whole step lower, and a third note, repeated 2-3 times, about a minor third below that. This second song is commonly described by use of mnemonics with the cadence of “Po-or Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” (or “O-oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada”) The rhythm is very regular, and the timbre could be described as pinched. These musical intervals are only approximate; to a human ear the song often sounds out of tune. The repeated note will often change in pitch very slightly, contributing to this effect.
The White-throated Sparrow also has at least two calls, in addition to its song. This is a bird that was recorded deep into the North Woods of Minnesota.

White Throated Sparrow taken by Steve Listengart in Rhode Island

Geek notes
State: Minnesota 

Description: Species recording

Habitat: wood/mixed
VoxType: Dawn
Category: soundscape

Recorder: SD 722
Mics: Telinga DAT
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: Omni stereo
Take#  29

Anthrophony: cars on the main 169 HWY/

Geophony: wind in trees

Biophony: white-throated sparrow/red squirrel/ovenbird/

Weather: clear
Temp: 85f
Humidity: 65%
Wind: 3 mph
Barometer:  1009.6
Elevation: 223 ft
GPS: N.47.81717 W 092.16361

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

The White-throated sparrow of the North Woods

The white-throated sparrow is the distintive “song of the north woods. It is a large sparrow with a prominent bill. You often find these sparrows close to the ground and in flocks around ponds, forest edges and regrowth.
There are at least two distinct songs sung by this species. One consists of an initial note, followed by three or so repeated notes at an interval of about a major third above. The second song consists of an initial note, a second a whole step lower, and a third note, repeated 2-3 times, about a minor third below that. This second song is commonly described by use of mnemonics with the cadence of “Po-or Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” (or “O-oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada”) The rhythm is very regular, and the timbre could be described as pinched. These musical intervals are only approximate; to a human ear the song often sounds out of tune. The repeated note will often change in pitch very slightly, contributing to this effect.
The White-throated Sparrow also has at least two calls, in addition to its song. (source wikipedia)

Bear cubs in the North Woods


Copyright: martyn stewart
Geek notes from original recording.Date: 2010-07-12
Time: 17:57
State: Minnesota 

Description: afternoon soundscape

Habitat: wood/mixed
VoxType: afternoon
Category: soundscape

Recorder: SD 722
Mics: sennheiser mkh 40/30
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: MS stereo
Take#  08

Anthrophony: cars on the main 169 HWY/39:25 car passes by the microphone/47:00 chain saw or motorbike/54:06 ATV passes by/1:05 truck passes close to the mics/

Geophony: wind in trees

Biophony: common raven/common yellowthroat/white throated sparrow/willow flycatcher/black-capped chickadee/chipping sparrow/blue jay/unknown/11:53 something walking through the grass/13:51 bee/16:37 white-throated sparrow/20:03 white-throated sparrow part song/common raven 21:18/55;04 flies/northern flicker/golden-crowned sparrow/veery/bumble bee/1:02 white-throated sparrow/blue jay/American robin/

Weather: clear
Temp: 85f
Humidity: 65%
Wind: 3 mph
Barometer:  1009.6
Elevation: 223 ft
GPS: N.47.81717 W 092.16361

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

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