I then investigated software for analysis of recorded bird sound and after some fairly quick research I decided that the Raven software was a good starting point. Having downloaded the free Raven Lite and watching a number of tutorial videos and reading some of the user manual I found this a fairly straightforward piece of software to get to basic grips with. I then opted to download the Raven Pro one year licence for USD100 with a view to extending this licence if my interest took off.
On 1st November I had my first opportunity to test my kit and here are a few recordings from wandering around Cowley village and to Cowley Woods near to Cheltenham. The calls were uploaded to Sound Cloud and the sonograms were generated in Raven Pro.
First I encountered a flock of Long-tailed Tit and recorded their 'zerrr' call. The sonograms generated remind me of horse heads with the higher pitched 'ze' element of the call forming the head and the lower pitched trilling 'rrr' the body of the horse.
I then recorded this singing Robin. The recording levels are a little high and therefore there is some distortion to this recording but the sonogram shows some of the complexity of the song.
Here is a fairly distant (c.200m) Great-spotted Woodpecker showing its broadband 'pic' call.
I then encountered a flock of around 50 Redwing and in this sonogram the familiar 'seep' calls at around 7kHz and and low inverted 'V' of the 'gack' call at around 2.50 kHz at 0.4 and 2,5 seconds can be seen and heard,
So, I think that this is a fair start but initially I notice that there is a lot of noise to my recordings particularly in the lower frequency. I suspect this is simple background noise from the recording device as the frequency of this noise seems to be consistent across all recordings. There is a way to filter this noise in Raven Pro and I began to get to grips with this in the Robin recording, this reduced noise can be seen in the sonogram above which has a reduced fuzz along the bottom of the sonogram. During my investigations to find suitable kit to commence sound recording I found the following websites very useful and I hope they are useful for you if you decide to embark on this rapidly evolving element of birding.
ABA Blog - How to Record Birdsong Part 1
Audubon - A beginners Guide to Recording Bird Vocalisation's
Ear Birding Blog
How to Visualise Bird Sounds
Macaulay Library - Audio Recording Techniques
Raven Sound Analysis Software
Wild Mountain Echoes