Scots Pines in the dark

This morning I joined in with the reveil Dawn Chorus Day 2024.

Reveil (2014—) is a collective production by streamers at listening points around the earth. Starting on the morning of Saturday 4 May in South London near the Greenwich Meridian, the broadcast will pick up feeds one by one, tracking the sunrise west from microphone to microphone, following the wave of intensified sound that loops the earth every 24 hours at first light.

I was streaming from Victoria Park, a short walk from our flat. I was on my way by 4:00

I had to change my audio setup a little this year, a new phone put my lightning mic out of action, so I used a h4n recorder as a mic.

It was dark overcast and the ground was pretty wet, but it didn’t rain. All the way to the park the blackbirds were already singing loudly. A shadow fox seemed to be around a bin but no one else was about. There was a bit of traffic on the Expressway making a noise.

Audio setup in the dark. H4N recorder with dead cat, connected to iPhone
I got set up and was streaming by 4:30.

An old sim-less iPhone 6 using my broadcasting phone as a hot point allowed me to listen at the same time. It is quite strange listening to local birds in one ear and ones that are very far away in the other.

Unfortunately although I could hear the main stream the IRC widget on the page didn’t work for me. When I tested it earlier in the 24 hours it was fine, but this morning it wanted a password…

A short clip of my stream.

I could listen and see what was playing, look at the schedule and figure out it might be a little behind. I kept my broadcast running. I think just after 5:30 I heard a shout out for my stream. Unfortunately by that time a helicopter was flying around the park and the result was pretty unpleasant. The broadcast moves quite swiftly on to the next stream.

A clip with helicopter, I think this is what was broadcast, around a minute in!
Dawn view, audio set up with park in background. A path through an avenue of trees.
Dawn View ~ 5:30am

Reveil was a good excuse/motivator to get up and listen for a while. I found it hard to listen and identify any birds locally, while listening to other sites. My bird song knowledge is not good. The old iPhone 6 wouldn’t let me use the Merlin app to sound ID. I am also interested in distributed collaboration so the whole process was good to see. There were some amazing broadcasts form around the world.

Listening back to some of my recordings I can hear just how much traffic and noise pollution there is even with helicopters.

If this is on next year and I join in, I might try going further afield to somewhere with less traffic and thinking about a better second device. I suppose that I could also try getting up and 3:30am all by myself, but I am not sure I’ve got the willpower or my wife would understand.

Robin at dawn. Dither image. It was poor anyhow due to light.

The above is a short selection of a few moments of the stream I broadcast this morning, 10 minutes in total. The segments are each separated by 1 seconds of generated silence. The Whole thing is on the Stream Page.  There is a fox barking near the start and a pigeon claps its wings over head near the end.

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