Journal Entry: Day 106

Tangalle, Sri Lanka,

Yesterday my Tuktuk driver did a great job. He brought me to a new place more East, near Tangalle, and near the Rekawa Lagoon. The place I booked did cancel my stay at the last minute so I didn’t know where to go. Hopefully, my driver was very good at talking with locals, he could find me a place where to stay. In fact, my driver has a past in hotel work and is used to arrange travel of tourists and finding places, I’m very happy I found this driver, he is the best I could have hope here since not many people talk English, and other drivers are only for the money and can lie easily.
So the place I arrived had not seen visitors for a while, they had to clean and arrange the room before I could move in. Once I moved in I have to say it is one of the best places I have been to. It oversees the patch of jungle and the small lagoon that is before the beach. You can clearly hear the roar of the waves crashing onto the sand bank. It is quite unsettling as it makes very damp rumbling sounds like thunder in the distance. But then once you used to it, it becomes part of the song that Nature sings to you and comes to rock you indefinitely.

Once I got installed into this place, we went with my driver on a mission trip to the bat sanctuary!
This is part of a private contract I have with a company from which I need to be confidential.
This place is full of giant fruit bats called Indian Flying Foxes. They live in a colony of hundreds or maybe thousands. They hang on trees during the days and go chase around during the night. They make lots of sounds we (humans) can hear (additionally to echolocation ultrasounds). The sounds they make are a little harsh and are more screeching sound, however typical to what we can think about bats.
The challenge with recording these is that they are close to the road, and traffic noise is very annoying. Hopefully, here the road is not a big one, so there are moments where it is quite quiet.
The other thing is that they are numerous, so they constantly make so much noise, I found the best time to record is when they start to fly away at dusk, the sound becomes more poetic as you can clearly hear individual ones and not just a big wall of sound.
The other challenge is other animals’ sounds, like insects, or birds, sometimes monkeys; as they share the same trees.
What is great about these is that they are outside, not in a cave, which renders the acoustic drier, and thus more versatile.
I like this job and it is very impressive to see them.
I used my boom pole along with the Sennheiser MKH8060, all of which I bought expressly for this kind of capture. I also recorded ambiences with LOM Mikrousi. I feel to have only one channel with the short shotgun mic, is limited and is good to add some stereophonic content in the mix .
I will try more bats capture in the upcoming days. I feel Sri Lanka is a great place for this.

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