Despite last Friday’s very wet weather, 52 people braved the elements for the first of this year’s guided ‘bat walks’ around the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve in Bradley Stoke.
After a welcome from the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group and a brief talk from Bekki Farrar of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), bat species guides & ‘bat detectors’ were loaned out and were tuned in to 45kHz, since most British bat calls sweep through this frequency.
The group walked around the reserve and up to the lake where bats can often be seen swooping over the water catching insects. They were shown the bat boxes in Savages Wood but as bats are a protected species the boxes were not opened.
The species most commonly found at the reserve are Noctule, Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s bats. You can tell what species of bat you have found by the sound that the detector picks up, Pipistrelle calls are described as smacks or slaps whilst the call of the Daubenton’s bat would be described as a tick. Although for the first time this year crickets were keen to get in on the act and the detectors often picked them up too.
The next two bat walks are on Friday 14th September, meet at Bradley Stoke leisure centre at 7:15 pm & Friday 12th October meeting at 6:10 pm. Please bring a torch and wear suitable footwear. All the Three Brooks guided bat walks are free.
We are also hoping to obtain a grant so that, with a valid library card, guides and bat detectors can be borrowed from Bradley Stoke library. If you would be interested in this please let us know, either through our Facebook page or by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Courtney, aged 6, with bat detector and Rainbow Girl-Guide mascot Olivia at the start of the Bradley Stoke bat walk.
Source: Press release from the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group