29th September 2023
Friends of Queen Elizabeth Park wish to thank local bat expert, Chris Doubell of Hampshire Bat Group, for running two fantastic Bat Walks for us during September. Despite the threat of rain, forty super-excited bat fans turned out over two evenings of bat-spotting. They certainly weren’t disappointed!
Chris kicked off the evenings with brief talks about bats, and reminded us how lucky we are to have these very special twilight visitors in our park. He then delighted everyone by showing two of his rescued bats - a common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus and a serotine Eptesicus serotinus. As part of his work with Hampshire Bat Group, Chris answers the Bat Helpline which people can call if they find an injured bat. He is also licensed to nurse injured bats back to health. Chris also reminded us that it is illegal to disturb bats in their natural environment.
When the sun began to set, Chris handed out bat detectors to each family group, and after a quick lesson in how to use them, we all set off in search of the bats. The detectors work by picking up bats’ call frequencies and changing them to frequencies that are audible to the human ear. While walking through the park, we saw common pipistrelles and were also treated to sightings of the smaller soprano pipistrelles Pipistrellus pygmaeus.
At one point on the South Path of the park, much to one group’s delight, a line of soprano pipistrelles flew over our heads chasing each other! We couldn’t believe our luck and it was fantastic to hear their audible trail.