Starting at an earlier time this year, we were fortunate again to have Dr. Jon Russ, an ecologist and member of Warwickshire Bat Group to guide us in finding the bats present in Abbey Fields. As it was a light night, with no sign of rain, Jon had plenty of time to explain about British bats and we were all delighted to see the rescue bats he had bought with him. Both of them were pipistrelle bats, the smallest and commonest of Britain’s bats weighing about 5grams. After a question and answer session dusk descended and Jon handed out bat detectors to everyone present.
These devices pick up the sounds of the bats as they fly. The bats produce a stream of high-pitched squeaks and listen to the echoes, which enable them to avoid obstacles in the dark and catch insects. The group armed with their detectors moved near to the barn and as the light faded the sounds of the bats was picked up by the detectors and as our eyes grew accustomed to the darkness we were able to see the bats flitting overhead.
Our last stop of the evening was by the lake where Jon shone his torch across the water in the hope of seeing Daubenton’s bats: a species which takes insects from the surface of the water. This night we were unlucky, but the close-up views of the rescue bats more than made up for our disappointment and we had a most enjoyable evening.
Wednesday 26 June 2013