Yesterday evening, we met up with Madelein and her kids at the Kloofendal Reserve in Roodepoort for a bat evening. Yes, an evening about bats. After having an evening picnic, we signed in, and we treated to 2 hours of fascinating info about bats.
It was awesome!
Friends of Kloofendal organise talks and walks through the reserve regularly, and this one is run by the Gauteng Bat Interest Group. They’re a non-profit organisation run by volunteers who are passionate about bats and their habitats.
While we waited for nightfall, we listened to a talk by Erna and Julio. I’m also glad to report that the kids also found it fascinating, and Bradley and Connor haven’t stopped talking about bats today… reciting all the facts they heard last night and also checking out our trees and the roof to see if they can see any bats nesting. We do know we have bats in our garden, because we see them when we sit outside at night.
While the adults listened to the more technical echolocation lecture, I went outside with the kids, and they were treated to seeing, and touching two bats caught by the group the night before.
First they got to see and touch a yellow house bat.
Look how tiny this bat is… we couldn’t hear it screaming although we could see it’s mouth opening.
Then we all went out to see the various methods used to catch bats. This is a harp net
It was now dark, and I was using the high ISO on the camera 🙂 I love Bradley’s finger… Erna is holding a gadget that detected ultrasonic calls made by the bats… and you could hear them fly past, and in fact you could even hear them eating mid-air. Fascinating!
Then we went to the mist net, which they allowed the kids to touch ever so gently. It was amazing to watch this one. They’d put it in a pathway, and it nearly caught a bat while we were watching it.
Then everyone went back inside to see more of the bats they’d caught the night before… before they gently released them into the night 🙂
We loved having the bats in our garden before this… and now we love it even more 🙂 they’re quite welcome in our garden… especially ‘cos we now know the ones we get eat all the insects!