There used to be a regular bat visitor or two to my garden which hunted every evening towards dusk. I had long wanted something to enable me to hear the sounds they make so last year I bought a Magenta Bat4 detector. I saw and heard one bat for about 2 seconds the day it arrived and then there was no local activity for the rest of the year.
Bat4 detector with Sony dictaphone
|From MIDMARSH JOTTINGS|
This year I am pleased to say that there has been regular activity though they rarely come in to my garden as yet. Not many moths around here at the moment. One bat does regularly hunt just past the end of my garden towards dusk. There was a bit of daylight left so first I set the camera to the highest ISO speed it would dial, fixed the focus and tried to get a photo. This is about the best of the few I took.
Out of focus as it was hard to estimate how far away it would be. Also it moves so darned fast the shutter speed was still on the slow side for a good capture. Daylight was fading fast and the brightest light was from a solar powered lantern near the end of the garden. My favourite as it gives quite a realistic flicker.
Now was the time to try for a sound recording so I got out the bat detector and a Sony dictaphone in an attempt to record the bat hunting. Click here for a bit of the recording. The white noise (hiss) is from the detector as, with the bat being so far away, I had to turn up the volume but the clicks from the bat are quite clear. I don't know whether I had the detector set for the correct frequency, it being set about 47KHz. I shall experiment more over future nights. I am fairly sure that what we have here are Pipistrel Bats. Certainly it was one of those which flew in the back door and ended up in my bedroom a few years ago. I had to call on a friend to help get it out again as being that close to it was not my idea of fun.
While I was waiting for a bat to make an appearance I noticed a dark lump towards the top of the telegraph pole just past the end of my garden. I was trying to work out what it could be when it moved and then took flight and swooped down and out of sight. Although it was just a dark shape against a dull sky I had just missed an opportunity to photograph one of the local owls. All I could make out was that it seemed quite a bit larger than a Barn Owl. It had been perched on one of the metal foot holds you see near the top of the poles. If that is a regular perch then I must keep an eye out for any future opportunities.