I've been really busy for the last few months working on various films so I haven't had much of a chance to get out recording but I did recently go down for a day to Caerlaverock WWT reserve down near Dumfries. I am a member of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society (WSRS) and they are working with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) to help promote the sounds on their reserves. The recorded sounds will be used by the WWT to promote the signature sounds of each reserve throughout the year via their website, podcasts and in theatre presentations on the reserves. Above is a picture of the reserve by Sylvia Duckworth. I volunteered to do some recording at Caerlaverock because I grew up in South West Scotland and went to the reserve as a kid. Roger Broughton, another WSRS member, also volunteered so I'm looking forward to swapping tricks and tips!
We visited the reserve together a few months ago and had a look around. Caerlaverock (http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/caerlaverock/plan-your-visit/) is a great reserve with all sorts of wildlife including ospreys, foxes, badgers, skylarks, various types of warblers... and many, many more types of bird of all shapes and sizes. In the winter huge flocks of barnacle geese descend on the reserve making the most amazing sound. It has a great selection of paths and hides looking out on all corners of the reserve.
I spent the whole night at the reserve trying to record the badgers but didn't have much luck. I had either spooked them or they weren't feeling very vocal on that particular night. I'll have another go soon and post the results!
One thing that stood out was the vast number of bats! I could hear they're echo location just on the edge of my hearing range all through the night. Below is a spectrogram of one of the recordings I made. As you can see there is not much going on in the human hearing range (20-20,000Hz). But right at the top end starting around 20,000 Hz there are hundreds of echo location calls.
I think next time I go I will my bat detector and try and get some recordings. There were also loads of barn owls screeching throughout the night. Definitely a signature sound of the reserve.. at night at least!
The best recording of the trip, mainly because I haven't recorded them before, was a sedge warbler. I recorded it using my MKH 30/ MKH 40 M/S rig at around 3.30 am. Sadly there is a wee bit of low frequency noise from the farm buildings nearby but still worth a listen I reckon.