Our second Bat Walk of the year took place on a perfect bat-friendly September evening; still, mild and plenty of insects. There were also plenty of people, 51 plus a dog to be exact.
At twilight Les explained what we expected to see and hear and how the bat detectors would enable us. He shared fascinating bat facts and others chipped in with their experiences and information. With detectors and torches turned on we set off for the main field, checking the bat boxes and holes in trees for evidence of habitation. Nothing in the boxes, but one large oak tree had a hole with telltale shiny excrement stains trailing down its bark – bats like to keep a clean roost inside!
By now a few people had picked up pipistrelle bat signals and anticipation mounted. We wandered up to the clearing between the old and the present allotments. No bats here but many moths and night noises wafted about as we trailed through the undergrowth. It’s amazing how a familiar path becomes mysterious in the dark…The Dothill path opened onto twinkling views of Plumcroft School and beyond as we turned sharp left up to the clearing where a few pipistrelles whizzed by and three of us detected the signal of another bat species, the noctule. As we strolled back to the carpark the bats treated us to a finale of acrobatics, their shapes visible against a low cloud layer.
A good time was had by all and thank you for the positive feedback received. As those who came along know, these nature walks are free to FSP members, £2 to non-members. Needless to say we gained several new members that night!
The bats have slowed down for the winter, hopefully having adequately stocked up on food and bred successfully. Your awareness and support of their environment will help them survive.
For more bat information and news, visit the Bat Conservation Trust bct.og.uk
To borrow a bat detector see: Terms and conditions for loan of FSP bat detector.