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Bat Walk Report 2014

Posted on 30th September, 2014 in Events | News | Wildlife

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The bat walk 2014 took place a little later in the year than usual, on 29th September at 6:30pm. It was led by Daniel Greenwood from the London Wildlife Trust. It was the first time that the Friends of DKH Wood used their bat detectors and a good job we had them as 34 people turned up to take part!

As usual it was a slow start with nothing detected in the park and wood. We continued our walk through the wood and onto the open fields of the Green Dale. Here the floodlights from the astro turf pitch were on full-blast. There is an awful lot of light pollution from these bright lights. We waited and walked around for about 45 minutes but alas not a single bat was detected there. In past year’s we have noticed that the bats stay clear of the floodlights , though this seems to contradict what Ecologist Hattie Spray found as she did her report for Hadley propery group on the Green Dale Fields:

Although bat activity levels were quite low, individual bats could be seen so I hope you manage to see/hear them on Monday too.   The common pipistrelle were seen flying at quite low levels with the noctules generally flying higher – especially near the astro-turf floodlighting where presumably they were foraging on flies / moths drawn to the light.  It would definitely be worth looking up towards the lights if they are on during your walk on Monday and tuning down to about 20KHz on the detectors to try and pick up noctules if they are about!

Not to be deterred, we walked back into Dog Kennel Hill Wood for one last look. Finally at around 8pm we heard our first bats of the evening: pipistrelles. They were not only flying inside the wood but they also came very low above the grass of the open space. Unfortunately most of the children had already gone home to bed but the ones that were there looked pretty impressed.

Thanks to Daniel for the walk and to everyone that came along.

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