Friday, 16 September 2016

Bat walk on 16th September 2016

The day began with heavy rain and remained damp so there was no certainty the bat walk would go ahead.  Our last bat walk in April was washed out, although everyone enjoyed walking through the park in the rain after dark, so we all wanted to see bats this time. Luckily, by 6 o'clock it was clear the rain clouds were blowing away though the sky remained cloudy.

We met up near the pavilion at 7.15 pm,  had a brief introduction to the bats of Britain, a summary of our route through the park and a reminder of any potential hazards.
The event was led by Dr Iain Boulton.  Iain showed us how to use the bat detectors and off we went.

First stop was the 'balcony' overlooking the bowls green and our bat detectors detected bat activity. As our eyes got used to the dark of the trees and the lighter background of the sky we could see the fast flitting of the bats. Better still was when we moved past the bowls green to the space between the green and the tennis courts. With trees along the back of the Bishopsthorpe gardens behind us, the hedge of the bowls green to our right and a number of older trees around, we saw a number of bat silhouettes sweeping against the night sky. According to the bat detectors, we were watching pipistrelle bats.

Moving on along the path between the orchard and tennis courts we could hear more bat activity and saw some bats flying around above the orchard.

These amazing flying mammals have to work hard now to fatten up before they go into hibernation mode for the winter. And where will they hibernate? The old trees in and around Mayow Park have many hollows and some of these are small enough for bats to roost safely away from disturbance from other tree animals in the park. some of the houses nearby may also provide a suitable habitat under the roof tiles.

Reviewing the evening, Iain guessed that we saw around 5 or 6 pipistrelle bats but it would have seemed more because they swirled to and fro.
There were 27 people in total including 7 younger children.
Iain is looking forward to 2017 and has promised another walk next spring. Thank you Iain for helping us to appreciate some of the wildlife of Mayow Park.

No comments:

Post a Comment