The third in the three week ‘bat-athalon’ was our annual bat talk and walk at Court Hey Park with the Friends of Court Hey Park and again organised by Karen Brady. This walk has the benefit of generous hosting by the National Wildflower Centre who kept the Cornflower Cafe open late especially for us! Thanks for the hot drinks and lovely cakes!
The start was a little late with so many people arriving and settling in. With 70 in and the cafe pretty much full we made a start. First off with the tradition of True and False to break the ice and get some bat knowledge out there for the young and old alike. It still surprises me after three years people still turn up not knowing the answers (they’re all True!!). However, I think we will need to change them for next year…
The attendees were then treated to a less common event. We had managed to arrange for the Batman (H. Green) to join us and bring with him two recovering bats! With the quiz over H and his capable assistant Michael (Robin?) made their way around the tables to show and talk about these fascinating creatures in a bit more depth.
The introduction to some live but injured bats complete we herded the masses from the cafe and out into the park to go and hear some wild ones. We took a somewhat scenic route around the back of the Centre where I had thought we might get some bats using the woodland and pond. Zero bats later we completed the circuit and move to our ‘old faithful’ location which has never failed to produce a bat, nothing, some desperation and silent pleading later we decided to circle back through the car park, when the drizzle started..
The bats must have been feeding high as within seconds we heard the first distinctive clicks, a Bandit (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) had dropped and was foraging right overheard! We moved south and there it was again, further still and a Soprano (Pipistrellus pygmaeus) passed us heading south. We followed it, and that is where we found them. Following the insects pushed down by the drizzle and flying near at head height up and down the paths and roads least five assorted Pipistrelle giving us plenty of time to listen and discuss the calls.
Thank you again to everyone involved and for sticking with us. Hope to see you all next year!