We love Bat Walks (we really do) so we’re over the moon to be holding another on Wednesday 13th ! The walk starts at 7pm and costs £10 to join. Nik Knight from the Hampshire Bat Group will guide us into the Hanger woodland, following the Zig Zag path to find our local bats. Bat detectors will be provided, we will be meeting and finishing at the Gilbert White Field Studies Centre. Suitable footwear and outer clothing is recommended. To book click here!
Here’s what Gilbert has to say on bats!
Selborne, September 9, 1767.
At present I know only two species of bats, the common vespertilio murinus and the vespertilio auritus.
I was much entertained last summer with a tame bat, which would take flies out of a person’s hand. If you gave it anything to eat, it brought its wings round before the mouth, hovering and hiding its head in the manner of birds of prey when they feed. The adroitness it showed in shearing off the wings of the flies, which were always rejected, was worthy of observation, and pleased me much. Insects seem to be most acceptable, though it did not refuse raw flesh when offered: so that the notion that bats go down chimnies and gnaw men’s bacon, seems no improbable story. While I amused myself with this wonderful quadruped, I saw it several times confute the vulgar opinion, that bats when down on a flat surface cannot get on the wing again, by rising with great ease from the floor. It ran, I observed, with more dispatch than I was aware of; but in a most ridiculous and grotesque manner.
Bats drink on the wing, like swallows, by sipping the surface, as they play over pools and streams. They love to frequent waters, not only for the sake of drinking, but on account of insects, which are found over them in the greatest plenty. As I was going, some years ago, pretty late, in a boat from Richmond to Sunbury, on a warm summer’s evening, I think I saw myriads of bats between the two places: the air swarmed with them all along the Thames, so that hundreds were in sight at a time.
I am, etc.