Noc Mig Redux

Months ago, at the beginning of lockdown 1.0 I think I mentioned nocmigging. It’s the nocturnal audio recording and analysis of overnight sounds that might include the calls of migrant birds flying overhead. In April, I set up a microphone and recording software and poked it out of my office window and left it running overnight. In the morning I checked to see what had recorded and sadly it seemed at the time that the software had failed and all I had was the first 20 minutes from when I set things running.

NocMig recording in Audacity Spectrogram view showing the rise of the dawn chorus, 2020-04-07

I had tried a few more times and had managed to record the dawn chorus once or twice, but I didn’t think I had captured a long period of nocturnal noises until I was scanning my hard drive with the aim of deleting unwanted large files to clear some space. I found a 6h45m 4.5 gigabyte audio file. Exciting stuff.

So, now processing with Audacity in spectrogram view with the aim of feeding the output into the nocmig software. Here’s how to configure audacity for a nocmig recording.

Turns out there’s very little to hear other than occasional motorbikes and cars, at least until the first Blackbird of the dawn chorus, followed by Robins, Dunnocks, Wrens, and Wood Pigeons. Nothing was apparent and high-pitched in the spectrogram during the preceding hours. And, an audio scan didn’t even give me muntjac, foxes, nor even cats in the night, possibly one very distant dog barking. It was all very quiet, sadly. Still, there’s always next year.