A little bat detecting

Last night, the children, my mum and I went to Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum for their Museums at Night event – a Bat Night!

We watched a slide show and talk done by a local Bat conservation enthusiast, Ged Ryan. It was fabulous, fascinating, and we all learned a lot. Like, every pipistrelle bat  eats 3000 insects every night. Without bats we would be completely overrun with little flies, midges and moths. And female bats accept their fellas’ sperm then save it for six months so they can get themselves pregnant at exactly the right time depending on when the weather is going to be at its warmest.

Then we ate bat biscuits, shortbread and scones while we waited for it to get dark enough for the real live bats to come out! At this point I nipped One home as she didn’t want to be too late to bed, with a bus to catch early this morning. I still got back to the museum in time for a bat biscuit and a cup of tea. 🙂

Eventually, at about nine o’clock, it was deemed to be getting dark enough for our walk down the road with the bat detectors. Even before we’d left the museum drive, some of us had seen a bat flit over and heard the distinctive clicking noise on the detectors which is the sound of the bat shouting for its echolocation to work!

I didn’t get any photos of bats, but we heard plenty with our detectors! It was really interesting to hear how we could tell what type of bat it was depending on which frequency on the detectors was the clearest. The bigger bats have lower frequencies.

Eventually, it got a bit too dark for decent photographs – these two were the best I managed, and then I put the camera away and concentrated on watching and listening for bats.

 

We all went home late, tired, but happy after a brilliant, informative and fascinating night. And the bat biscuits were scrumptious!

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