bat detection

Threave (a National Trust Property near Castle Douglas) is a Bat Reserve and you can follow carefully laid out bat-trails. I do so, having borrowed a heterodyne bat detector from reception.

Following the signs in daytime, when all seven species of bats are in torpor, you get the feel of the sorts of places in which these creatures like to rest. A sign lets you know a roost is close-by.

A wet day – it’s easy to understand staying inside. But at night, where do they get in and out? I am given permission to look inside the potting shed, and at 2.45 pm look up in the rafters for signs of brown long-eared bats. The bat detector is quiet, no echolocation occurring. Of course, they are not hunting but are asleep. I can hear a fly, and an occasional walkie-talkie as gardeners do their work.

Between the sieves, in the corner of the white-washed shed, there is a quiet sign of bats’ presence – droppings caught in gossamer, testing the strength of spider silk.

A spider stands guard above this unsolicited harvest in her nets.



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