Cubs & Scouts go Bat Watching
Wow what a hectic weekend, after Bag Packing Sat, Church Parade Sun and Monday Night is round again. This week we were down at Crosshill Quarry for a Bat Walk and talk with Phil Dykes from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. With the kind support of Hanson’s Cement allowing us to meet in their car park, we started with a brief introduction into bats from Phil. The various types of bat including the Common pipistrelle, which are the commonest British bats, weighing around 5 grams (less than a £1 coin). A single pipistrelle can eat 3,000 tiny insects in just one night!
For those who thought tonight would be a case of oh look there’s a bat, as sun was going down, there was a need for a little help. So a brief introduction into bat detectors, Bats use high frequency calls normally beyond the range of human hearing (except some beavers or cubs) to build up a sound picture of their surroundings. This echolocation system enables them to wing their way through the dark night hunting the tiniest of insects. A bat detector makes these echolocation calls audible to humans – and because different bat species hunt different prey and are different sizes, they make different calls which can help identify them. So bat detectors set at 45khz and off we go. Without these detectors the darker it got the less chance of spotting a bat we had so it was lucky Phil had 8 of these devices to share with the group.
So a short walk around Crosshills quarry and we were lucky to see Bats, and also hear them on the detectors and not spot them. As the night due in we were also lucky enough to hear the call of a Tawny Owl, one of the many great animals that inhabit the quarry area.
Thanks to Phil for a great evening, we have volunteered in return for Phil’s time to assist him in one of projects, so get prepared for some manual work.