Last week, the Llanafan ‘Wildlife Where You Live’ group held a Bat and Moth evening in their village.
Armed with torches and bat detectors (fully equipped with bat-teries of course!), members of the North Ceredigion bat group took ten enthusiastic attendees on a walk around the village. We saw -and heard- a large number of pipistrelle bats feeding along the road under the trees and learned that one pipistrelle can eat 3000 midges a night. The group also heard Natterers bats near the church, and a large noctule bat flying over. The echolocation calls (which the bats use to find food and identify their location) were accompanied by a number of ‘wows’ from the group as a variety of slaps, crackles and chip-chops emitted by the bats were picked up on the detectors. The group was really thrilled to discover bats emerging from a previously unknown pipistrelle roost in one of the buildings.
The group then had a look at the moth trap set up by Liz from the Ceredigion Moth group – and had a close-up view of a black rustic moth. Over a welcome cup of tea and biscuits (no bat-tenburg available), Liz showed the group some fantastic moth photos – unfortunately there wasn’t quite enough quite time to see all 2000 UK species!
Elephant hawk moth (photo: Butterfly Conservation)
Our bats are making the most of these warm evenings, and an evening walk will often reveal them emerging from their roosting places to find food (and a mate!), before the winter sets in. Planting wildflowers which flower September/ October in your garden will help to encourage insects, and provide food for these fascinating creatures. For loads more information on how to help the bats where you live, go to the bat Conservation Trust’s website www.bats.org.uk