Tuesday, 15 July 2014


I know that many people have a thing about bats,the creatures that are a sort of halfway thing between mammals and birds.  They don't bother me, but I can well understand why people cringe and shrink away from them as they seem to flutter perislously close to one's head.  The fact that they are out and about at night and one can neither see nor hear them approach only makes matters worse.  As I say, they don't bother me, but my cousin-in-law Julian (he's married to my real cousin) has a thing about them.  Only his 'thing' is that he's keen on the critters.

There's a bat roost in an old, large house just up the lane from Julian's farm - greater horseshoe bats, I believe.  Now what many people don't realise is that bats have a very strict routine.  When they leave the roost in the late dusk, they don't simply scatter to hunt insects.  They all follow a predetermined route to reach their preferred hunting ground.  The Brockley bats enter Julian's garden at one end and fly along the path between the hawthorn hedge and the magnolia trees before crossing in front of the house and dispersing across the fields.

Julian, bat-lover that he is, has bought a gizmo that captures the calls of the bats and alters the frequency to one audible to the human ear.  On a number of occasions I have been in the grden with him to listen to the bats as they pass through on their way to the hunting grounds.  More recently, he has acquired the photographic equipment to take the pictures posted here today.  Quite amazing, aren't they?


joeh said...

They may be creepy, but the do take care of insects.

Buck said...

Quite amazing, aren't they?

That they ARE.

Apropos o' not much, I was once called upon to rid the house of a bat that managed to wander into our bedroom in the middle of the night. The Second Mrs. Pennington cowered under the covers (peeking out occasionally and emitting a shriek or two) while I attempted to bring the intruder to ground with a tennis racket. I was ultimately successful in that lil endeavor but much less so at getting back to sleep.