Leach’s storm petrel

The sounds of the night are intriguing on seabird islands. This is a short recording of a few Leach’s storm petrels returning to their burrows to feed their partners and chicks.
One of the very small tube-noses, these delightful birds make a lot of noise for their size. These sounds also include, Laughing gull and the endangered Roseate Tern.

Leach's storm petrel

Eastern Egg Rock

Atlantic puffins had nearly vanished from the Maine coast until a young biologist defied conventional wisdom to lure them home.
I was invited to Eastern Egg rock island to record the atlantic puffin. Steve Kress who had introduced these birds back in 1973 has re-established this island to now include over 200 breading pairs of puffins.This recording you can hear one of the puffins in its burrow along with common tern, arctic tern, laughing gull and the endangered Roseate Tern

The re-introduced Atlantic Puffin

©martyn stewart

Geek Notes (from original recording)
Dawn recording egg rock

Location: Egg rock island
Date: 2010-06-21
Time: 05:34
State: Maine

Description: seabird colony

Habitat: island
VoxType: soundscape
Category: species recordings

Recorder: SD 722
Mics: sennheiser mkh 40/30
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Microphone pattern: MS stereo
Take# 7

Anthrophony: boats/ 8:09 fishing boat/30:00 constant drone of fishing boat/

Geophony: ocean waves hitting rocks/thunder

Biophony: laughing gull/Roseate Tern/arctic tern/3:22 Atlantic puffin/25:00 puffin/34:18 puffin lands on microphones/45:00 increase in DB for black guillemot/

Weather: partly cloudy
Temp: 61f
Wind: calm
Barometer: 1012mb
Elevation: 14ft
GPS: N.43.86173,W069.38254

Recordist: Martyn Stewart

Notes: inserted -30 db tone at beginning of the recording/ set rotary pots to 57.9 db/Mic suspension with Rycote windjammer and gitzo tripod/

The day a colony disappeared

On May 31st 2010. This colony of healthy Brown pelicans and laughing gulls thrived like it has done for many years. On June 7th 2010 it was no longer.

This is all we have left, A picture

We went out to record and video this colony that was in the line of fire from the Gulf oil spill disaster and document what was existing at the time. This colony lasted 45 days until the oil finally came ashore and wiped it out. Hundreds of gulls and Brown Pelicans were covered with oil virtually over night. One day it was healthy the next it was contaminated. This was extinction happening right in front of my eyes.
These sounds will be the last that is ever heard from this little island in the Gulf of Mexico. I do not think it will ever be the same again..

Copyright: martyn stewart

Birds of the colony:
Brown Pelican
Laughing Gull
Black oystercatcher
Black Skimmer
Rosetta spoonbill

Geek notes:
Recorder: SD 722
Microphones: MKH -40/30 MS
Tripod mounted with Rycote windjammer.
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Temp: 82f
Humidity: 85%
Weather: Thunder/partly cloudy
Recordist: Martyn Stewart

The Gulf oil disaster

I didn’t want this issue to become political, it was just our intention to see what was happening and help in some way in the Gulf of Mexico instead of watching government driven media telling us otherwise.

© rebecca stewart

Oiled pelican © rebecca stewart www.shutterstop.org

What we saw is now dwarfed by what is happening now and we knew it could only get worse. We saw masses of oil polluting pristine marshes and animals affected by crude oil in the ocean and on the shores.
What we also saw was pristine breeding grounds now polluted with oil and colonies wiped out with nothing to help them beforehand, you just knew the inevitable was about to happen.
We travelled over 100 miles along once pristine marshes and coastline without seeing any helpers employed by BP.
We tried to help in anyway we could but we were shunned away as BP were running the show and you had to have their permission. They had license to drill NOT pollute the oceans and coastlines, how the hell does this work?
Because i was working for the media i could get into places off limits to others and it killed me! the horror was not a nightmare that you could wake up from, this was real…
My wife was threatened with arrest if she touched any animals oiled or dying yet you could not find help if you tried.
As an audio guy, I captured sounds from the disaster and also from untouched habitat, but I did manage to make this short film of our feelings.

I would like to take this time to ask you to distribute this to as many people as you can, friends, colleagues and family. This will only get worse but this will show what it was like at the beginning.

Gulf oil disaster from Martyn Stewart on Vimeo.

Our team consisted of:
Martyn Stewart
Noeleen “Roo” Stewart
Rebecca Stewart (photographer)

© martyn stewart 2010

Martyn Stewart

Pacific chorus frog

Sometimes referred to as the Pacific tree-frog, this frog gave us the “ribbet” in cartoons. There is nothing like the sounds of the pacific chorus frog at night in spring. This however is a single frog separated in a lone pond living quite happily.
This frog is chiefly nocturnal, spending the day beneath logs, rocks, or other debris. During breeding season, males will call to attract females. A number of calling males is known as a chorus. A dominant male, or chorus master, leads off the calling which is then followed by subordinate males. If an intruding male comes instead, the Pacific Tree-frog changes its usual two-part “ribbet” to a one-part encounter call. An observer trying to locate the Pacific Tree-frog can mimic their calls and take over as chorus master, enticing the other frogs to begin calling as well. If this is done, be prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with being the chorus master!

Pacific chorus frog

Pacific chorus frog

Geek notes:
Recorder: SD 722
Microphones:MKH 40/30 MS system
Tripod mounted with Rycote wind protector
Sample rate: 44.1k 24 bit
Time: 20:15
Date: 2010-05-04
Recordist: Martyn Stewart


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….

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

Recording in the Wind

This video shows the benefits of using proper wind protection on microphones. This system includes the Rycote windjammer and “furry cat” The microphones are suspended on a Rycote microphone suspension.
The wind sounds are recorded with the sound devices 788t recorder and then dubbed onto this film.

Rycote windjammer

Rycote windjammer

Geek notes:
Roycote windjammer
with microphone

Rycote set for stereo pair of
MKH mics 20/30/40/50

040204 suspension
010904 windshield
021901 stereo windjammer
016903 connBox cable connection box

microphones used here

Sound Devices 788t

Gitzo traveler

Copyright: Martyn Stewart 2010

Noise pollution

This is part of an interview that was held on BBC world regarding noise pollution. This interview followed the article on noise pollution in Cairo, Egypt.

Noise pollution is especially bothersome in highly populated cities. The Egyptian capital Cairo is one of them. There are around 20 million people in the greater Cairo area, but for Cairenes, their city just wouldn’t be the same without all that commotion, as Daniel Estrin reports.

The full program can be found here.

great spelling

educated people