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Dreel Woods Bat Walk

The Dreel Woods Bat Walk, held on Sat 16th Sep, proved to be a very popular event. Around 50 people attended the workshop which began with talks in the Dreel Hall by Dr Alison Hannah from CIEEM and Dr Maarten Zwart from University of St Andrews. Alison told us about the various bat species that live in the UK and introduced us to bat detectors and the different bat calls that we might detect later. Maarten then explained how bat echolocation works and described the extraordinary levels of processing that go on in a bat's brain, allowing them not just to detect and catch prey but to identify what the prey is using ultrasound alone.

We then headed out to Dreel Woods to look for some real live bats. Hand held bat detectors were distributed among the group, and then Alison and wildlife expert Jenny Paterson took us off to some areas of the woods where bats might be hunting. Nothing much happened for a while, but then as dusk slowly fell at around 8pm we saw and heard our first bats - the common pipistrelle and the soprano pipistrelle. It was a very exciting moment to hear the bat detectors clicking into life and watch the sonogram images appear on screens!

To watch a short film about the event click here.

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