Waterfowl at Crex Meadows Revisited

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The above photo was taken on October 19, 2008 at Crex Meadows wildlife area in Grantsburg, WI.  I visited once before with my friend Rob Byers and the recording was good, but we knew it could be better.  The first time we went to record it was 4:00 AM, pitch black and we were forced to guess on a good location.  We guessed well, but I knew if we went back the recordings would be more detailed.  Armed with fresh coffee in our “grab and go” cups we headed out at 4:00 AM, moved about 200 feet from the original location and ended up in a location with Sandhill Cranes, Mallards, Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails and Ring-Necked Ducks.

The Sandhill Cranes are the most dominant in the recording; they only got more vocal as the day wore on.   Around 8:00 AM the hunters arrived.  Hunting season just opened and gunshots echoed all around once the sun started to rise.  The birds on the recordings are the lucky ones – they managed to find their way to the refuge!

The first file below is from 5:00 AM and is relatively quiet.

The second file is from 8:00 AM and is more active.

Recording Geek Note:

Schoeps CMC5’s in an MS configuration on a stand approximately 7 feet high.  Recorded directly to a Sound Devices 744T at 24/96.   More Photos if you keep reading.

My pal Rob and me.

Combing out the Rycote.

Sandhill Cranes at Sunrise.

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Michael Raphael   January 16, 2009

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