Bat Action

Went on a splendid Bat Walk around Chorlton Waterpark last night. It was technically part of national moth day but none of the moths seemed to be out. Too cold for some, too warm for others apparently. The bat people had got in on the act as bats keep themselves busy eating moths.

(picture by Helen Brealey)

There was a slightly drawn out but informative lecture on bats to start and we were shown a poorly captive pipistrelle bat (the picture is of a pippistrelle). Then it got really exciting as they handed out ultrasonic scanners to pick up the bats’ ultrasonic vibrations.

We found mainly two types of bat; the common pipistrelle which picked up at 45-47 KHZ and the soprano pipistrelle at around 55 KHZ. The sounds themselves translated as a series of pips, clicks and squeeks becoming blurred into a continual buzz as the bats honed in on their prey and the rate of output got faster than human hearing.

Pretty amazing to think there so much going on in those upper frequency registers we don’t pick up on. Helen has already picked up a bat scanner so we await its arrival with excitement. Hopefully be able to record some bat sounds as we get regular bat visitors to Woodlawn Court, and I’m also interested to see what else is going on in those higher frequency ranges.

Most immediate thing would be to investigate presence of the “mosquito” devices in the local area aimed at deterring young people from congregating in certain locations by admitting an ultrasonic frequency only audible to younger folks (our hearing range gets smaller as we get older losing those frequencies above 20/25 KHZ or so).


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