In 2006 I hired a pair of Sennheiser MKH 20s, which are top-end omnidirectional mics costing 800-900 each, to try out at a studio session. Afterwards we had about half a day to try them out in the field. We literally jumped into the car and jumped out again at one or two select spots in our area, where I waved the mics at anything that made a noise.

Here's a recording made in a favoured bird-singing place. It's an "acoustic amphitheatre" with trees around a pond in a steep dip. I shouldn't put it up before identifying all the birds, but the quality's so good I can't resist. The water bird is a Moorhen, and right at the end you can hear the high-pitcheds tseees of a Goldcrest. We didn't even know one was there before. The main singer, which does the pan-pipe trills, is (I think!) a Song Thrush.

Frogs Hole Bottom birds (2.43 Mb)

I've been trying to forget about the famed MKH series as they're much too expensive for the likes of me. But when I dug this recording out the other day (it was lurking in the Microphones section) I just felt the quality reeking out of every note.

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