Soundscape Røst – Season 2 /2011

Hernyken nature reserve July 2010. Foto: AHS
Good news! I am so lucky to be able to volunteer and assist marinbiologist and senior bird scientist at NINA/Seapop, Tycho Anker-Nilssen, on his annual fieldwork at Hernyken Nature reserve in the Røst archipelago this summer. I will help out with all kinds of tasks.
Visiting Tycho Anker-Nilssen at Hernyken, July 2010. Foto by AHS
Tycho Anker-NIlssen observing Black Guillemots at Hernyken Nature Reserve 2010. Foto: AHS.
And then I will be recording seabirds the rest of the time. I will have access to great sites to record and have first hand access to all the information I need.  It will be a great adventure and I am wonderfully excited about this  oppurtunity for me to learn and live with the seabirds and other seabird enthusiast on Røst. My aim for season 2, is to get a good recording of the remaining Guillemot population (they are almost distinct on Vedøy) and good recording of a Razor Bills and Common Eiders. The Petrels are peculiar and wonderful and I hope to manage to catch them on digital tape in August.Their mating seasonbeing in the darker days of August and the autumn, making it harder for predators to hunt them. They also use Puffins nests. Other pelagic seabirds I hope to record again are seaeagles, kittiwakes on Kårøya (more details!!), Kittiwakes on Vedøy (to monitor the changing soundscape), The Fulmar, Black Guillemot and many many more.

Recording inside a Black Guillemot nest, at Hernyken Nature reserve, July 2010. Foto: AHS

I am just about starting to look into, and researching archive material and recording from Røst. I am curious to try and find out what the soundscapes of Vedøy and other Røst bird islands where sounding like thirty or more years ago. Imagine the cacaphonie of 22000 kittiwakes, thousands of puffins wings  and abundance of noisy guillemots and razor bills. The guillemot are more or less extinct from Vedøy today, but they where plenty in the 50íes.Check out to this great archive footage:

The Great Auk  – The Geirfugl

Which finally leads me to a thought and urge to find out more about the extinct “Geirfugl” or “Great Auk”.What did it sound like? Will I ever know? Sound anthropology. A large pelagic seabird that like the Penguin didn´t fly but was a fantastic diver. The Penguin actually got it´s name from the Great Auk. Well,, a wonderful seabird of huge historic impact, lost to the greed of European hunters. You can read the profound,  fascinating and sad story of the Great Auk here:

Great Auk- Geirfugl. Extinct around 1850.

About Elin Øyen Vister

Soundartist, composer, DJ
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