So this week I went on an organised batwatching walk to Sconce and DEvon Park, feeling rather smug that I had my own bat detector and wouldn't have to borrow one.
Organised by The Sherwood Forest Trust, the event started at 8pm and attracted about 40 people, which I was quite surprised about, that being said it had become a bright enough evening and there was no threat of rain that would have kept the bats in, bats not being stupid animals.
We first went off to explore the orchard, although it was still a bit bright - we were told that "Bats don't come out until the birds stop singing" and this actually seemed to be the case. If you wanted to be all zoological about, I suppose it means the bats don't have to compete with the birds for the insects.
We detected nothing in the orchard, and so headed across to the river side of the park to the Old Oak Wood, where I knew that bats would be found, and sure enough my detector went off, then everyone else's.
We then had a pretty exciting bat-show in the woods for the next half hour or so, watched by excited children - and adults - as pipistrelle bats whizzed around our heads in numbers. The walk leader had a much more sophisticated detector that registered the bats as calling at 57 kilohertz, indicating that they were soprano pipistrelles.
Occasionally bats flew past in pairs, whizzing round it each other, and apparently this indicates that they were probably females looking for a nest site to raise their young.
Every so often the detectors gave out a loud squelching sound, indicating the demise of an insect on the sharp points of bat fangs.
After a while we then moved further down the river, but further detecting efforts were hampered by a small gang of kids, one of them in mirror shades and wearing a shopping bag on his head, having a rave.
It's that sort of town.
It was a fun event, and if you have any such near you, I would recommend going.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 30.04.22