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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Birds in Manchester Springtime

Have seen a much larger selection of birds in Manchester this Spring than I ever remember seeing before. Possibly to do with now living nearer to trees but possibly not, as the more interesting ones (the wagtail and chaffinches) were spotted near a dirty bit of the Medlock and a carpark behind the Palace hotel in town!

Thrush (Woodlawn Court, Whalley Range)

Blackbird (Woodlawn Court, Whalley Range)

Blue Tit (Woodlawn Court, Whalley Range)

Jay (Woodlawn Court, Whalley Range)

Magpie (Everywhere)

Seagull (Everywhere)

Wood Pidgeon (Woodlawn Court, Whalley Range)

Crow (Woodlawn Court, Whalley Range)

Wren (Redbricks, Hulme)

Robin (Redbricks, Hulme)

Yellow Wagtail (in river Medlock behind Palace Hotel)

Goldfinch (carpark behind Palace Hotel)

Mallard (in canal near Piccadilly station)

Dirty Pidgeons (Everywhere)

Canada Geese (Alexandria Park, Moss Side/Whalley Range)

Swans (Alexandria Park, Moss Side/Whalley Range)

Violin Developments

Winter is taking its toll on the violin the communal gardens in Woodlawn Court that I put out to seed in the summer… its now down to just the front piece of the body after mysteriously disappearing for a few weeks. The piece is becoming slowly more sculptural and less resembling an instrument. Im fascinated to see if it will survive the winter in any form…

Whats been most interesting so far is that our neighbours who we in keeping with the fragments style of postmodern living we dont really know in any really form, have clearly been taking an interest in the instrument. This is the third time now that the violin seems to have ‘disappeared’ and then reappeared in a different spot out the back. Just how it lost the back, sides and neck we’ll have to keep imagining, probably an overzealous squirrel preparing for winter.

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