Ortolan Bunting

Emberiza hortulana

Ortolan bunting song.

Recorded using a mid MONO parabolic microphone – 2 x Primo EM172 caps and a 33 cm dish.
Filmed with a Sony Nex6 + adapter and a Lens Nikon 400 IF-ED 5,6.

Special thanks to Gastone Pivatelli.

Marsh Warbler Song

Recorded using a HiSound 688 stereo – Olympus LS5 Low Cut Filter – Normalized

Nightingales Duet song in a marshy environment

TETA – DIY Stereo Microphone – AOM 5024L capsules

Nightingales Duet song in a marshy environment

Bufotes VIRIDIS

European green toad – Bufotes viridis – Rospo smeraldino

Recorded using a Telinga PIP parabolic microphone (Plug In Power, with direct power supplied by the Zoom H1 digital audio recorder).

Registrazione effettuata mediante l’utilizzo di un microfono parabolico Telinga PIP (Plug In Power, con alimentazione diretta fornita dal registratore audio digitale Zoom H1).

Blackcap Song… and More!

If we take in apart the aspect of its song, the Blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla, is a very crazy bird!
When we hear an unusual bird song, before thinking of any kind of bird unknown to us, it’ll be better if we exclude the possibility that it could be a Blackcap!
The Blackcap song is one of the least stereotyped that can be heard among the european birds, characterized by local dialectal variations. Moreover, it is frequently given in the form and with imitative phrases of other bird species, which generates further confusion for a correct ID.
Do we want to make life even more complicated? Let’s compare the song of the Blackcap to that of the Garden Warbler,
Sylvia borin, and the damage is done!

PS For the Garden Warbler take a look at the images shown in reverse mode.

Se prendiamo in considerazione l’aspetto del canto, la Capinera, Sylvia atricapilla, è da considerarsi una specie veramente pazza!
Quando sentiamo un canto strano, prima di pensare a qualsiasi altra specie di uccello a noi sconosciuto, sarà meglio escludere la possibilità che possa trattarsi di una capinera. Il canto della capinera è uno dei meno stereotipati che si possano sentire tra gli uccelli europei, caratterizzato da notevoli variazioni dialettali locali. Inoltre, viene spesso emesso con frasi imitative di canti di altre specie di uccelli, il che genera ulteriore elemento confusione per una corretta identificazione.
Vogliamo renderci la vita ancor più complicata? Confrontiamo il canto della capinera con quello del beccafico, Sylvia borin, e la frittata è fatta!

PS Per il Beccafico vedere le immagini chiare riportate in modalità spettrogramma reverse.

A full song is normally structured with relatively short phrases

Blackcap Full Song, breeding season
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin, breeding, full song 29 June 2012

In the last decades we have seen a remarkable increase in subjects performing the so-called Leier song (from the Lira instrument), a song characterized by one or two notes repeated several times in the final part of the song phrase (see below).

Blackcap Leier Song

Here a prolonged song, also known as plastic song

Blackcap Plastic song
Garden Warbler, Sylvia borin, plastic song during migration 24 May 2019

Below we have four examples of the specialty of the blackcap: the imitative song.
It’s easier to hear it during the spring migration.

Blackcap imitative song of Common Reed Warbler and Marsh Warbler
Blackcap imitative song of Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler

Now a subsong of a juvenile bird, mainly hearing in autumn and winter.
It’s very soft, with very long and interminable phrases.

Blackcap Subsong

Finally a very curious and repetitive Blackcap song!

Juvenile MARSH WARBLER Subsong

Marsh Warbler Acrocephalus palustris Subsong of a Juvenile bird

This is a subsong not so easy to record and particularly difficult to recognize: it is the song of a juvenile male of a Marsh Warbler, Acrocephalus palustris, about two months old, which already begins to emit its first singing phrases. In the last part of the file there is the generic call.

Questo è un sottocanto non facile da registrare e particolarmente difficile da riconoscere: è il canto di un giovane maschio di Cannaiola verdognola, Acrocephalus palustris, nato da meno di due mesi e già alle prese con le sue prime manifestazioni canore. Nell’ultima parte del file ci sono delle note di richiamo.

Here the full song of an adult male

Adult birds of Marsh Warbler produce a complex song composed exclusively of dozens of imitations of songs and calls of other bird species, both of species found in Europe (nesting areas) and those found in South Est Africa (wintering quarters).

Gli adulti di Cannaiola verdognola producono un canto canto molto complesso, composto quasi esclusivamente da decine di imitazioni di canti e richiami di altre specie di uccelli, sia di specie presenti nell’areale di nidificazione europeo, sia nella zona si svernamento che si trova in Africa meridionale orientale.

PS – Audio files recorded using a DIY parabolic stereo microphone system.

Nightingale – Nocturnal Song

Nightingale – Nocturnal Song
(Listening with headphones is a must!)

2. SASS with Audio Technica AT3032 Omnidirectional microphone – matched pair

Ringed Bush-cricket Grasshopper recording using Dodotronic Ultramic 384k

This Ringed Bush-cricket , Rhacocleis annulata, first report for Northern Italy (using a Smartphone Huawei Y6ii)

Here the recording of the grasshopper Ringed Bush-cricket, Rhacocleis annulata, first for Northern Italy, which produces a call that is difficult to hear without the aid of a bat detector.
The first ten phrases using a bat detector; the second ten phrases using a Zoom H1 and an AOM5024 PUI microphone.

Below a recording using an ultrasonic USB microphone Ultramic 384k by Dodotronic.

Seven prashes using USB microphone Ultramic 384k by Dodotronic, at different distances, set to mid gain.
Ultramic 384k recording distance: 0,5 meters – 2 meters – 8 meters


For comparison, I also made a recording using a Zoom H1 recorder and an external DIY stereo microphone system with 2x Primo EM172 capsules.
Despite having a decidedly higher self-noise than the EM172 capsule, the 384k has proved to be more suitable for recording high frequencies, as it was likely to be expected.

note: I didn’t cut the passage of the car to highlight the difference at low frequencies.
In the background Oecanthus pellucens and Eupholidoptera schimdti

Ultramic 384k Vs. 2x Primo EM172 capsule

details of the “cerci”

Highlighted tipical rings of R. annulata

Bushy habitat of Ringed Bush-cricket, Rhacocleis annulata, in the Eastern Po Valley
Grassy habitat of Ringed Bush-cricket, Rhacocleis annulata, in the Eastern Po Valley
Geographical location of the discovery from Google Maps
Map of distribution in Italy (modified)
FAUNA D’ITALIA VOL. XLVIII – ORTHOPTERA

I wish to thank my friends Cesare Brizio e Filippo Maria Buzzetti for helping me in recognizing the species.

Nightingales Duet song in a marshy environment

4. TETA – DIY Stereo Microphone – AOM 5024L capsules

Nightingales Duet song in a marshy environment

Here a tested AOM 5024L microphone capsule. This capsule is comparable in size and sound performance to the most known and widespread Primo EM 172 (now EM 272). The main difference is in the Sound Pressure Level SPL, 119 dB EM 172 Vs. 110 dB AOM 5024.

Summer night with Orthoptera

Yesterday’s night summer, before the thunderstorms expected for the next day (now regularly arrived!). The microphone used is a Do It Yourself “TETA Microphone”.
Listening must be performed strictly on headphones, otherwise the whole description that follows loses its value.
Excluding a couple of green frog sounds audible at 10 “, the recording concerns exclusively calls of Orthopterans (crickets and grasshoppers). Two species well audible on all: European Tree Cricket
Oecanthus pellucens, located on the left; a grasshopper Eupholidoptera schmidti (or is it a chabrieri?), the “rough” call heard on the right, with a second subject a little farther and more central.
Then we have
Pteronemobius heydenii concolor, around 7000 Hertz, the call in crescendo on the right, and Ruspolia nitidula, whose sound emission is reminiscent of the hum of an electrical transformer and starts at 47”.
Enjoy!


Serata estiva di ieri, prima dei temporali previsti per il giorno successivo (oggi puntualmente arrivati!). Microfono utilizzato un “TETA Microphone” autocostruito (il nome si deduce facilmente osservando la costruzione in foto).
L’ascolto va effettuato rigorosamente in cuffia, altrimenti tutta la descrizione che segue perde valore.
Escludendo un paio di versi di rana verde udibili a 10”, per il resto la registrazione riguarda esclusivamente versi di ortotteri (grilli e cavallette per intenderci). Due specie ben udibili su tutte: il Grillo d’Italia Oecanthus pellucens, localizzato sulla sinistra; la cavalletta Eupholidoptera schmidti (o si tratta della chabrieri?), il verso secco che si sente più a destra, presente con un secondo soggetto un po’ più lontano e più centrale.
Abbiamo poi il Grillo dei fossati, Pteronemobius concolor, attorno ai 7000 Hertz, il verso in crescendo anch’esso più sulla destra. All’inizio del file, si percepisce appena un Grillo di Bordeaux Eumodicogryllus burdigalensis. Ad un orecchio sensibile alle alte frequenze, non sfuggirà la Ruspolia nitidula, la cui emissione sonora ricorda il ronzio di un apparecchio elettrico, quale potrebbe essere ad esempio un trasformatore particolarmente rumoroso, ed inizia a 47”.
Buon ascolto!

Here the location!