During a stay at my mother’s in the heart of France recently, I noticed how there were literally hundreds of male frogs doing their chorus in the night. This choir was actually keeping us all awake, it was that loud Luckily I had a recording set with me.
For those interested in a 14 minutes long chunk out of the hours of croaking ribbits I’m now in posession of, here it is in Ogg Vorbis format. The original recordings are worth money (man), so I’m not handing this out uncompressed. This high bitrate Ogg Vorbis example is pretty much transparent though.
Now for the mystery I want to solve:
While this (example) recording was made, I was a couple of hundred meters away from the mics. Left it alone in the dark woods. This meant that all kinds of night-creatures curiously came to check out my recording set. This is why I’ve taken out THESE 14 minutes of the total, there are some strange breathings and steps to be heard in the recording. You will notice how around 11:04 the frogs fall quiet. This is probably the moment one or more larger animals or preditors close in on where the set was. (The frogs also went silent when *I* entered the scene, so that makes sense..) Around 11:54 you hear the HD-recorder spin up its drive (unfortunately).. Around 12:18 you hear some kind of preditorial sound at the left.. Around 12:38 you hear how my right-channel microphone gets pulled down by some animal. Trust me, you would need some force to make that happen, so I’m thinking this might be a fox or a raccoon? I assume it’s the animal you hear
snoring around 12:18..
When I got back there, I found the mic in the grass, and the recorder moved away about 8 inches from its original spot. I had its buttons locked, so it kept recording it all (as you can hear). Either way it’s fascinating how amazingly quiet this animal was.
The recording is binaural, where I carefully used a tree to service as the head with the mics as its ears. The top was sawed off, and the mics were at around 1.60 m height, as ‘ears’ directed towards this lake. The mics were positioned at the shoreside just left of what the picture shows.