Saturday, 16 March 2013

Bat Hunting Quest

Armed with my trusty torch, I joined the Avon Bat Group for a bat search in Lincombe Barn Wood.  First, we were given a talk about different types of bats, the sounds they make, and facts about them (for example, did you know they're not really blind and they don't get caught up in your hair?).

As twilight fell, bat detectors were handed out - one for each of the 25 folks who'd gathered for the walk.

The bat detector - looks pretty nifty, huh?

We set our bat detectors to the 'bat frequency' (yeah, I always thought that was from the Batman films) and off we went.  Our trail led us along the river and it wasn't long before the first ultrasounds of a pipistrelle (the most common type of British bat) were heard (the bat detectors turn the ultrasound into sound we can hear).  We turned off our torches (bats are nocturnal (duh) and don't like the light) and listened for more bats.

We heard some noctules (the UK's biggest type of bat), as well as more pipistrelles (which we spotted flying low over the river).  We tried to find some horseshoes (cute, furry bats), but they didn't make an appearance.

Sadly, I didn't manage to take a photo of any of the bats we saw (it was too dark), but here's a shot of the twilight sky for you!

Quest: successful!  Thanks, Avon Bat Group.