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Who's afraid of the big black bat?

 
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fsphil



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 1562
Location: Cookstown, N.Ireland

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject: Who's afraid of the big black bat? Reply with quote

Last Friday I was at bat event in a local National Trust site called Springhill. Mark Smyth, who some of you will know from the swift threads here on BBF, give a talk on the bats that live both locally and worldwide before taking the group down to a small building where bats roost. Using an old fashioned bat catching device, AKA a big net, he caught two bats leaving the roost.


Batty
Batty
Poster: fsphil, viewed 42 Time(s)


Now I've only ever seen glimpses of bats flying about the lane behind my house, so getting a close up look at one was fantastic. They're a lot smaller than I expected, and their wings are incredibly thin and delicate.


Bats Wing
Bats Wing
Poster: fsphil, viewed 46 Time(s)


To help disprove the myth that bats get tangled up in peoples hair, the bats where set on two brave volunteers head. After a second, both bats flew away without any tangles whatsoever. Johnson's couldn't have done it better.


Bat Girl
Bat Girl
Poster: fsphil, viewed 44 Time(s)


After the bats where released, the group headed up to the gardens to see if we could see the bats flying about hunting. It was very dark by now, the flash lights and the clicks and beeps from the bat detector really added to the atmosphere. Spooky!!


Into the night
Into the night
Poster: fsphil, viewed 46 Time(s)


Blair who?
Blair who?
Poster: fsphil, viewed 47 Time(s)


The pitch of bat calls are well above human hearing, and Mark has a neat time expanding detector. It records sound at a very high rate and playing it back slowed down - talking 30 seconds to play back a recording of just a few seconds. The effect is amazing -- the bats calls, which normally are just clicks and beeps in the regular detector, sound exactly like the sonar beeps you hear submarines make in movies.

It was a great night, and we all learned a bit about an animal that lives all around us but very few people are really aware of. That, and there where hotdogs Wink


The Springhill Sky at Night
The Springhill Sky at Night
Poster: fsphil, viewed 43 Time(s)

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jeannette



Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 139

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like you had an enjoyable evening photos are lovely. Jen x
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Peter



Joined: 21 Apr 2005
Posts: 772
Location: South-west England

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds great - he is obviously a vert knowledgable chap. Is that bat being held a Daubenton's Bat?
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fsphil



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 1562
Location: Cookstown, N.Ireland

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter wrote:
Is that bat being held a Daubenton's Bat?


Good question, I'm not sure. I think Mark said that it might be a Nathusius.

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Kit



Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 2547
Location: Nottingham

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, lovely pictures. Those bats are so tiny!
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