Go walking with bats

To eavesdrop on feeding bats with a bat detector is to enter another world.

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On the face of it, a bat walk is an odd concept. “So, we’re going to look and listen for animals we can barely see and cannot hear? Er, I’ll give it a miss.”

But, of course, that’s half the fun of it, particularly decoding the bats’ echolocation calls using a bat detector. This is a good reason to join a walk organised by your local bat group (track it down at www.bats.org.uk), reserve or park, because enthusiasts will not only have the right kit, they’ll know how to use it.

It’s a bit like hunting for ghosts. You twiddle the dials and wait for the signature clicks and chirrups to break through the static, while the bats themselves remain stubbornly invisible. And then, a flicker of a wing, a gust of air brushing your cheek, and the spirits of the night reveal themselves.

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