Using a Bat Detector to listen out for flying friends



Believe it or not, it’s Autumn, you’d be forgiven for thinking we were still waiting on Summer, but I’m afraid for this year, that’s your lot!  You can see signs of the change all around, Trees beginning to change colour, a scattering of birch leaves in the wind, a heavy dew in the morning.

One of the most noticeable signs is the change in light levels, the nights are definitely drawing in, bringing an end to the long summer days we’ve been enjoying. This always make me feel a bit gloomy in myself, but it does actually bring with it one big advantage – the chance to see bats!

Many bat species are most active around about dusk and dawn, using their incredible echolocation abilities to hunt moths and other flying insects in the near darkness. In mid-summer you have to wait until nearly midnight if you want to go bat spotting, but at this time of year we can go out looking and still get to our beds at a decent hour!

This is an important time for bats, September is the peak month for mating activity and the males are out working hard trying to impress the ladies with special calls and flight displays. As well as mating, bats at this time of year have to put some serious effort in to put some on some weight, building up their fat reserves which will allow them to sleep away the winter.

Cumbernauld Living Landscape will be running a bat walk on the 18th September at the Community Park where we’ll take a walk with special bat detectors to see what we can see and hear flying around. If you’d like to join us you can find more details on our facebook page or events calendar.


Paul Barclay