Some time ago I bought a s/h Olympus digital voice recorder hoping to use it as a cheap portable recorder to capture birdsong. Wrong! Even on the low setting a fairly close bird overloads it and it ends up really distorted. Very disappointing. One problem is that they are designed to respond to the deeper sounds of a human voice at close proximity. Today I tried an experiment. I plugged in the microphone I used to use with Skype. That helped but the results were still not nearly good enough.
I had a look round the internet and found a really good site full of help for the beginner in wildlife sound recording. It is run by the Wildlife Sound Recording Society and if you are considering adding this activity to your wildlife observations then it is well worth a visit. There is a lot of reading but also there are many example sound files so you can hear what different combinations of equipment really sound like.
Pink Footed Goose having a Stretch
12 hours ago