At dusk on the evening of August 20th local bat expert and the Hampshire County Bat Recorder, Nik Knight, visited the Gazebo Garden to lead a small group on a bat detection session. Nik had previously visited the garden to advise us on the best location for our bat box, which we hope will be used by passing bats as a safe resting place.
Spaces on the walk were limited so the invitation only went out to the ‘inner circle’ of HCS members, those who responded to our earlier request for volunteers to provide a bit of essential extra help to the committee when needed. (There will be more on this subject in a separate post.)
Nik gave a short talk on our local bat population which highlighted the fact that Havant Borough is a hotspot for bats – including some rare species – so we need to care for them and provide bat boxes wherever possible. Nik then distributed the personal bat detectors that he had brought with him so we could all detect that many bats were active in addition to the ones we could see flitting about. In the Gazebo Garden we identified common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle (who knew!) and then we moved on to the Hayling Billy footpath where among the tall trees we detected a lot more common pipistrelle activity. It was a great snapshot of what was going on in the bat community that night, and other species have been identified on other visits. One of the group was so inspired that he’s bought his own bat detector!
Nik is keen to raise awareness of our very valuable local bat population. He runs the Hampshire Bat Group http://www.hampshirebatgroup.org.uk/ which has a membership page, a full range of information about how we can all get involved and help our diverse bat species, and links to the informative Bat Droppings newsletters.
(Posted by Anna G-H)