listen to africa

an audio adventure through africa


Posts tagged ‘field recordings’

Geotag Icon Wildlife: Yellow-casqued Hornbill

audio, wildlife posted by on Jan 15th, 2010

This is the first of many recordings we made on the beautiful Tiwai Island, one of Sierra Leone’s largest inland islands and a nature reserve preserving one of the last tracts of the Upper Guinea Forest in Sierra Leone. Eight types of hornbills are found on Tiwai, including this beauty, the Yellow-casqued Hornbill, whose whooshing wings and distinctive trumpeting vocalisations are often heard above the forest canopy – especially at this time of year. This is an edited extract from a much longer recording we have of this pair of hornbills. In the background, you’ll hear cracking noises and other movements created by some of Tiwai’s larger animals – including a group of Lesser Spot-nosed Monkeys in the nearby branches. We’d like to thank all the Tiwai Island crew, especially Suzanne for all her help and our guide, …



Geotag Icon Soundscape: Morning at Tendaba

audio, soundscapes posted by on Dec 14th, 2009

We recorded this shortly before recording Life in the mangroves – and standing just a few metres away, in the wilderness near Tendaba by the River Gambia. Any help on identifying the species here would be very appreciated! Best listened to in stereo.

Date and time recorded: 07:52 local time, 16th October 2009
Location: Tendaba, The Gambia (view on map)
Equipment: Sennheiser MKH30/40 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon About the sound recordings part II: natural soundscapes (biophonies)

Blog posted by on Nov 13th, 2009

In part II of this series, we look at natural soundscapes created by living creatures, and why we’re keen to record more and more of them.



Geotag Icon Soundscape: The pirogue to Orango

audio, soundscapes posted by on Nov 13th, 2009

Loading the pirogueLast week, we left our bikes in Bissau and set off by boat to a couple of islands in the Bijagos archipelago – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – with Lynn, Tim and Will of Atlantic Rising. The weekly boat between Bubaque and the sparsely populated island of Orango was a wooden pirogue, which we shared with around 50 people, a dozen or so chickens, several pigs, a few goats and – on the return journey – six cows. We made this recording while the boat was still being loaded, before the bottles of palm wine and sugar cane alcohol had been cracked open for the five hour ride.

Date and time recorded: 12:30 local time, 7th November 2009
Location: Bubaque, Bijagos archipelago, Guinea-Bissau (view …



Geotag Icon Soundscape: Life in the mangroves

audio, soundscapes posted by on Nov 12th, 2009

We recorded this just after dawn in the mangrove forest on the banks of The River Gambia, placing the microphones on a tripod among the mangrove roots to try and capture the astonishing pops, clicks and drips coming from them. We think the pops and clicks are created by crustaceans but if anyone knows for certain, we’d love to find out so please let us know in the comments! Best listened to in stereo.

Date and time recorded: 08:05 local time, 16th October 2009
Location: Tendaba, The Gambia (view on map)
Equipment: Sennheiser MKH30/40 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Soundscape: Dawn at Bessi

audio, soundscapes posted by on Oct 22nd, 2009

This soundscape was recorded at dawn in a derelict old camp near Bessi, not too far from the southern bank of The Gambia River in The Gambia. A lot of the former hotels and camps we came across on the south side of the river have been reclaimed by nature since the southern road disintegrated into a bumpy track – bad news for the Gambian tourist industry but good news for The Gambia’s 576 bird species. This was recorded using our new mics and, to celebrate, we’re keeping it long (10 minutes). It’s best listened to in stereo.

Date and time recorded: 06:44 local time, 12th October 2009
Location: Near Bessi, The Gambia (view on map)
Equipment: Sennheiser MKH30/40 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Flock of Village (Spotted-Backed) Weavers

audio, wildlife posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

Flock of village weavers nestingThis flock of Village Weavers was busy building nests in a tree just across from the restaurant in the Bandia Reserve. Every now and then the whole flock would suddenly go quiet for one or two seconds before starting up again. In this recording, taken just before the skies opened to rain, we captured one of these silences.

Species: Ploceus cucullatus
Common name: Village (Spotted-Backed) Weaver
Date and time recorded: 13:47 local time, 31st August 2009
Location: Bandia Reserve, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Long-tailed Starlings

audio, wildlife posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

Long-tailed starlingThe area around Mbodiene, Senegal, was an ornithologist’s dream: giant eagle owls, pelicans, weavers, terns, gonoleks, bulbuls, and lots and lots of long-tailed starlings, who often carried on singing through the night. We recorded this group of long-tailed starlings as we walked back to camp one afternoon.

Species: Lamprotornis caudatus
Common name: Long-tailed Starling
Date and time recorded: 16:04 local time, 30th August 2009
Location: Near Mbodiene, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Python killing a chicken

audio, wildlife posted by on Sep 14th, 2009

Python killing a chickenWith apologies to any more sensitive folk who may find this distressing, here’s a python (kept in captivity) killing a chicken at Le Thiossane camp, where we also recorded the pig, hyenas and jackals. At the beginning of the recording, you’ll hear the chicken – which had just been thrown into the enclosure – clucking away, oblivious to the nearby python. We were amazed at how quickly the python struck, and how quickly it was all over for the chicken. The photo was taken around half an hour later.

Date and time recorded: 14:33 local time, 3rd September 2009
Location: Near Mbodiene, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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Geotag Icon Hyaena breakfast time

audio, wildlife posted by on Sep 11th, 2009

Bottle feeding a hyaenaThese two ten month old, orphaned spotted hyaena pups (reared in captivity) were still being bottle fed, partly – a task which both they and Alain (the Frenchman raising them) seemed to love. Here, you can hear Alain feeding them breakfast – four or five bottles of milk each, slurped down in record time.

Species: Crocuta crocuta
Common name: Spotted Hyaena (Hyena)
Date and time recorded: 09:28 local time, 31st August 2009
Location: Near Mbodiene, Senegal (view on map)
Equipment: Audio-Technica AT897 via FEL MicBooster MB-1 to Fostex FR2LE
Copyright: Listen to Africa
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