The Weird and Wonderful World of Bat Noises
OK, you’ve been looking at pictures of bats on this blog for at least the last 6 months – so I thought it was about time you actually heard one as well.
One of the pipistrelle bats we found on an Autumn Bat Box check near to Corfe Mullen
Now, unless you are a small child with excellent hearing (which I doubt many of your are!), you’re unlikely to be able to hear bats (funnily enough I was one of the few who could hear bats when I was young and was always fascinated that no-one else could … it was like the bats were “talking” to me and nobody else!).
Sadly those days are long gone and I’ve become totally “bat deaf”. I hate this and for a long time have been umming and arhhing about buying a bat detector and recorder. They aren’t cheap but I’ve told myself that if I’m going to take this bat malarky seriously I need to buy them.
A week or so ago they were delivered. I recorded myself stomping through a snowy wood, the sound of a winter stream and a very tuneful robin…. but no bats. However, I didn’t have to wait long and by 21 February I’d seen and heard my first bat in the garden and could once more immerse myself into the batty world of squeaks, clicks and slurps with my bat detector. Trouble was I hadn’t worked out how to record the little blighters!
By the 26 Feb I’d sussed it out and while the dinner bubbled on the stove I ran for the back door and was hit by the sound of bat echolocation calls on the detector before I’d even got into the garden. My little batty visitor couldn’t have been more co-operative and circled round and round a foot from the ground on the lawn in front of me.
The dinner boiled over but did I care? My first bat echolocation recording was in the bag. Here’s a short snippet of my very first recording – just click the arrow to play
I think this is a pipistrelle bat (our most common bat in the UK). The bat detector was set at 40kHz and I’m sure some of the experts out there will tell me if I’m right.
I promise you much, much more on bats in the months to come… this could become an obsession! (now there’s a surprise!)