Crex Meadows: Upper North Fork Flowage Composite

by David Michael

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Upper North Fork Flowage Composite is a 20 minute composition made from an overnight recording in the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area.

The Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is a 30,000 acre wildlife refuge located just north of the Village of Grantsburg in Burnett County. This area is intensively managed to preserve and restore the increasingly rare sedge marsh and brush prairie habitats. It is home to a broad diversity of plant and animal life including 270 species of birds and 750 species of plants.

The Upper North Fork Flowage, where this recording was made, is a large sedge marsh surrounded by prairies and woodland. It is host to a variety of water fowl, cranes, songbirds, frogs, and mammals including beaver, wolves, and foxes. Of the species identified in the recordings are sandhill cranes, Canada geese, spring peepers, chorus frogs, red-winged blackbirds, pickerel frogs, swamp sparrow, snipes, distant loons and grouse, and even a passing mouse. If you are able to identify other species, please notate it in the comments.

This composite recording begins with the calls chorus frogs and spring peepers preceding a unison call of sandhill cranes, geese and waterfowl call as night falls. A small mammal passes the microphones and a common snipe begins its courtship flights. Dawn excites the red-winged blackbirds, sparrows, and woodpeckers in the distant forest to sing as the wind picks up again.

The recording was made as part of the 2010 Nature Recordists Campout, sponsored by Rich Peet and Rob Danielson, took place over the weekend of May 1, 2010. Here a number of recordists gathered to explore Crex in hopes of capturing a small piece of the spring soundscape.

Recorded with a parallel boundary array using two AT4022 microphones set back from the edge at about 1". Additionally I used a spherical foam nose between the boundaries. The array was on a tripod about 2 feet from the ground feeding into an Edirol R-44 field recorder, recording at 24bit/44.1kHz.

Both Rob Danielson and Paul Dickinson had recording rigs in the very near vicinity. Rob's post of the evening's recording has a very detailed timeline of the area including weather, light, and events.
Rob's recording can be heard and seen at tinyurl.com/2endkau . Paul's recording is at soundcloud.com/paul-dickinson/100501-craneunisoncall

David Michael
May 2010

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released May 7, 2010

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