This is a podcast but much of it will be inaudible in a typical podcast listening environment–earbuds of earphones, outdoors on the hoof or in public transport.
Do be aware that this podcast does not represent the organisers of the census is any way; not the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales; the mega wardens Bee and Edd; the university and academics using the data; or the other volunteers. It is purely my own project.
The making of; a.k.a. excuses excuses:
The next day I would be starting a day-long journey to get to Skomer, a small, predator-free island in Wales. Mostly packed, but distracted by the jackdaws playing on the roof of my rooms in Gouda, the Netherlands. The sound is fun–so I decide to record it two ways, with on microphone up against the ceiling and another chucked out the window onto the roof. As I pull the mics back in–piuuu–the furry windshield of one blows away, across the rooftops, out of sight, maybe into a canal. I don’t have spare fabric to hand to make a new one, so I resort to a ‘technique’ described by a now long-retired radio journalist uncle: into the kitchen, get a knife and a sponge, slice a gap in the sponge to and jam the microphone in. The best I can hope for.
Trying to go quasi-binaural looks daft at the best of times, but now I have an apparent rodent dangling from one side of my hat and a bright yellow rectangle dangling from the other. It barely works–the right ear has more wind noise and a brighter acoustic. So the recordings were never going to be good enough to share as field recordings, or for an installation or whatever. But probably good enough for radio.
For all that, the listening experience is a smidge better on headphones that speakers.
However the volunteering took precedence, meaning I recorded only two days out of more than two weeks; I hit record and forgot about it, not really trying to get good audio of anything in particular. And I chose not to make any interviews.
So, there are the excuses.