Guest post from Radio Lento, who create a "weekly podcast of sound postcards".
If you're anything like us, you'll know that it's impossible to be on Rye Harbour Nature Reserve without pulling out a camera. Spectacular views. Big skies. Active wildlife.
You may take some video too. But how much do you think about the sound? What we hear subliminally affects us, yet we rarely, if ever, mention it. Passing comment on the lovely view to a stranger is customary, but not on the lovely soundscape.
In a bid to capture the special ambience of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, we visited last April with two sets of stereo microphones. We walked from Winchelsea station and entered the reserve along a footpath, passing through an outcrop of blackthorn trees covered in the healthiest lichens we'd ever seen. Everything around us sounded so alive, so spring-like, and yet peaceful. At the last pasture before the shingle, we left a pair of microphones alone on one of the trees to record, then walked on.
Fast moving banks of cloud gave way to hot spring sunshine and it wasn't long before, high overhead, we heard skylarks. Always special as these are red list birds. We set up mics beside one of the ponds to capture their call. Perfect sounds of coastal wind swooshing through reeds and echoes of the sea beyond the last shingle ridge.
Listen in to these soundscapes, recorded less than a mile apart but sounding so different:
For the full immersive experience listen with headphones or earphones. Ideal as a backdrop whilst working from home or in a quiet moment just to relax.
Why not try recording your own personal soundscape out on the reserve with your phone's video or audio app? Wrapping a piece of soft fluffy fabric around it can reduce wind distortion.