Aliza Le Roux
University of The Free State – Qwaqwa Campus
At the end of a rather dry summer (Nov 2018-Feb 2019), we finally found the time to start playing with our new equipment – four new song meters! As we have extremely high winds in our mountains, I first wanted to test microphone gain settings before going to the wetland itself. For a few days, I therefore hid a song meter near our campus dam, and picked up a lovely array of warblers. To my surprise, I also picked up traffic noise from a fair distance away!
This try-out gave me the confidence to deploy our camera traps in the wetland itself.
A friend and I took an afternoon off and dug poles in the wetland using a soil corer and quite a bit of muscle power! Who knew how solid the clay-rich soil would be!
We put up our song meters in four likely-looking spots in the wetlands and let them roll for about 10 days, on a schedule of 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off, just to see how things might change over time. Sadly, I have not had a chance to look at these data at all, and we’ve been a bit afraid of putting up song meters in winter (fires regularly blast through the grassland).
But, the good news is that I’ve found some collaborators with expertise in Kaleidoscope, and they should be able to help me get over the learning curve when it comes to analysis. The best news is that these collaborators are in Japan. I see sushi in my near future!