Hamble Campbell's Home Page

An occasional window on Hamble Campbell's world.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Quotidian riparian perambulations and an idea for a new invention.

On one of my dog walks, at the weekend, I was amazed at how suddenly the greenery has grown large. The impression, I think, was mainly due to the super-abundance of blossom - from horse chestnut trees and cow parsley. The rain has made the planty smells more potent, and the colours more glowing. On the river I saw a grebe and her partner, with their two chicks, one of which was having a piggyback on her Mum's shoulders. (Or it might have been on his Dad's shoulders, etc.).

I am very stupid about bird recognition and other bird mores. It struck me the other day, when the songs were so loud and enchanting, how lovely it would be to know the names of the singers. Short of enticing an RSPB warden along with me when I go for a walk, I thought a useful gadget to own/invent/commission would be a pocket-sized machine to point in the direction of the song which would identify the bird singing it. I believe there are machines which do a similar job for bats but they work by analysing the frequency of the bat's call. I don't know if the technology is available to perform such a task for birds. It would need to filter out other sounds and maybe in some circumstances there would be too many different species all singing at once and maybe some species have too wide a repertoire. I do know, however, that a great deal of information about a sound can be stored digitally in a computer so maybe my idea is a runner.


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