Eight visitors enjoyed the first of our three Evening Bat Strolls planned for the local community this year.
In hindsight, last month we met a bit early at 8:45pm, especially as the cloudy conditions seemed to lift and the light levels failed to darken until a lot later! While waiting within the woodland we were joined by a fox who approached us with considerable courage on several occasions. We also discovered three of our bat boxes were occupied, one contained a bird, possibly a Blue-tit, but we were unsure of the other occupants as too high up within the box and our torches were not strong enough for us to identify them.
We were just about to leave as we had had no bat sightings and it was now 9:45pm when suddenly our bat detectors alerted us to Common Pipistrelle presence. We were then treated to 6 excellent sightings most of which were within the clearing itself with the bats flying across the wildflower meadow.
We then walked along the alleyways and into King George VI Park, but only saw a further 3 sightings. The best show was definitely within the woodland on this occasion! A very satisfying evening for all.
Our next Evening Bat Stroll is Friday 28th July at 8:30pm. We meet in the clearing at sunset (weather permitting) and then enjoy a casual walk around the woodland along the public footpaths to King George VI Park + back.
During our forthcoming work party, Saturday 5th August (10am – 12 noon) we shall participate in the Big Butterfly Count (this month 10 species have been seen within the woodland: Small and large White, Speckled Wood, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Skipper, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Common Blue). Visitors can also enjoy viewing the contents of a moth trap from the previous night. At last month’s work party, members were surprised by the sheer size and colour of a Privet Hawkmoth which had been trapped the previous evening close by, in a local garden.
Finally, on Friday 25th August we are delighted to welcome back the knowledgeable Shirley Thompson from Kent Bat Group who kindly led our inaugural Bat walk in August 2013. We all enjoyed this stroll so much it has become a regular summer event at Montefiore Woodland! Shirley also rehabilitates bats that are in need of specialist care and attention and during her last visit we were delighted she brought along a furry little friend for us all to see at close proximity. We are keeping our fingers crossed she may be accompanied again…..?
Please note all of our events are free although we are grateful for any donations. (NB We contribute data to the National Sunset Bat Survey).
For further information on all Activities and Events see our website for more details http://www.montefiorewoodland.org.uk/