I mentioned noc migging at the end of last year as something I planned to do in the spring of 2020. “Nocmig” or Night flight call (NFC) recording as the Americans know it, is basically making an audio (or indeed video) recording of the sky above you at night with the aim of plucking from the audio the calls of birds flying overhead as they migrate.
We’re coming into the main migratory season in the UK with a few of our summer visitors already here, many more heading this way and crossing the Iberian Peninsula and other parts of the continent lying between their winter holiday homes further south and The British Isles. Of course, the wintering birds are also returning to their summer roosts and mating grounds further north, in the far reaches of Scotland, Scandinavia, Siberia, and The Arctic.
So…I just need to waterproof a microphone to stick out of the window and setup some audio recording software to run overnight. I’ll use my music software as it has lots of options for cleaning up the sound. With a “tape” in hand it can either be scrolled manually looking for bursts of sound in the waveform and these sampled out to be analysed spectrally or it fed into a second bit of software such as a spectrogram to filter out barking dogs and vehicles and other non-avian noises. Cornell University then has an app – Raven – that can take the cropped analysis and identify the birds from their calls in your recording.
I’ll keep you posted…