In the current edition
Annual Sound Competition Results
In the News
New Species Discoveries
Sound Devices - MixPre 6
Sarawak Report (Borneo)
Reviews and Reports
Nature Sound Map (Web Site Review)
Letter from Utopia (Australia)
Wildlife Sound Autumn 2017 Edition
Bernie Kraus is famed with saying that when he started recording over four decades ago, he could secure one hourís quality material in every ten hours of recording: now it takes him a thousand hours or more to secure an hour of similar quality. Studies in the Glacier National Park in Montana, USA have shown motorbike noise pollution from just one motorbike can carry over 15 miles. This challenge of dealing with anthropogenic - human - noise pollution is familiar to many readers in developed countries.
It is tempting to want to travel to far away places where human impact is much less. Three of our features are from contributors who did just that, and we travel with them deep into the jungles of Borneo and Papua New Guinea. Such environments, of course, present other significant challenges - perhaps veracious insects, leaches, or disease - and most significantly the difficulty of travelling and carrying all that one needs for shelter, sustenance and for recording on foot.
For the hardy, the rewards can be significant, as two of our feature contributors, Vincent Chanter and Sue Gould, discovered when their recordings made in Borneo and PNG took top awards in the annual competition. However, the competition also saw wins from within the UK and Greg Green, one of our youngest members, shares his story with us too. His winning entry came from a project to portray the British wildlife year in sound, which he undertook as part of his university studies. His article gives interesting insight into how this was planned and executed, and feedback from WSRS members and others on how effective the finished work was.
Travel into the jungle (or increasing age) requires travelling light, and we look at four small recorders which allow just that - the two new and much-awaited MixPre recorders from Sound Devices, and the Zoom H2n and H6. We also profile a light-weight solution to your tripod needs.
For most of us, our world-view is dominated by vision. We say the chiffchaff and willow warbler look the same, and therefore assume they are the same species - until we are surprised they have different songs and investigate further. If sound were our dominant sense, perhaps we would perceive things the other way round, and be intrigued that two obviously different birds happen to look so alike. Recognition of unique songs and calls continues to lead to the discovery of new species, and we report on three such recent cases. We also look at recent research into the way birds structure their songs, and how vocal recognition can help those trying to count birds at night.
We are pleased to bring back two regular columns, "Notes from the British Library" and "Letter from Utopia," as well as introduce a new one from America. For those who missed them, earlier Utopian letters are available in previous journals on the web site.
The next edition - Spring 2018 - will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the WSRS. If you have recollections or photographs from the early years - the people, the activities, the developments - please do share them. We will also be looking forward, anticipating developments over the coming fifty years, and articles on this theme - or anything else you feel would be of interest - would also be most welcome.