Field Reports

Thursday 17 August 2017 BAT WALK AT HUNSTON

Bat Walk along Chichester Canal on Thursday 17 th August

As members and visitors gathered at 8.00pm (an unusual time for a Chi Nats Field Outing!) we were intrigued by the (‘educational’) pipistrelles that assistant Lyn had brought along. She cares for sick bats (these two had damaged wings and would be unable to be released). Our Leader, Nik Knight Chair of the Hampshire Bat Group, had already conducted a survey along the canal this summer and was hopeful of what we might see and hear as darkness fell. After essential Health and Safety Instructions (eg. don’t fall in the canal!) and information on how to use his, kindly loaned, bat detectors we set off, dodging cyclists and evening dog walkers.
Nik explained that different bat species emerge at varying times after sunset, some even just before sunset. So, briefly and in order, we detected –
                Soprano pipistrelle at peak frequency of 55kHz
                Common pipistrelle at 43kHz
                Nathusius’ pipistrelle at 39kHz
                And finally Daubenton’s bat 45 minutes after sunset.
(Above frequencies were as on my bat detector.)

It was exciting as the sounds (and also the sightings) grew more complex, as members were, by the end of our walk, tuned to different frequencies –   almost like a bat orchestra! We could also see how all this activity appeared in graph like form on Nik and Lyn’s detectors which were linked to Ipads. Specific species and individual bats produced their own trace.
The Society looks forward to learning a lot more about bats when Nik speaks to us on Wednesday 7 th February 2018 as part of our winter lecture programme. So, if this has whetted your interest, come along.

Many thanks go to Nik for a magical evening, revealing to us what generally goes unnoticed on our very doorstep.
Gill Hance


The damaged pipistrelles 

Chichester, West Sussex

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