International Bat Weekend, August 29th & 30th 2015.
by Sally Dalman
To celebrate International Bat Weekend, we decided to organise two walks for the public to join us, to share the batty love. As easties don’t like travelling west & westies not liking to travel east, we decided to hold one walk at Queens Valley and one at Val de la Mare, on Saturday and Sunday respectively. All with the kind permission of Jersey Water, of course.
Jane talking about Jersey’s Bat Species at Queen’s Valley – photo by Piers Sangan
As Henry was too busy to join us, he drew the short straw of dealing with the advertising side of things, and the boy did well! He was on Channel News, 103fm, BBC Jersey radio, in The JEP, and I saw it advertised on at least 8 different Facebook pages & groups; I don’t think there was a person left in jersey who didn’t know about the walks.
And that certainly showed in the number of people that attended; a new record of 88 on Saturday and 78 on Sunday, which blew last year’s figure of 71 out of the water.
Saturday night at Queens Valley was probably the balmier of the two evenings, the weather was pretty much perfect, a little bit muggy and clammy, so plenty of insects around, and the bats put in a very early appearance, whilst we were still talking about the different species. It proved to be a little windier on the bridge, which made talking to such a large group a little difficult, but we battled on through to the bit people enjoy the most, playing with the bat detectors. We heard at least 3 different species (I can’t remember which!!), and dashed back to the carpark to enjoy hot chocolate and biscuits.
Bat Talk by Sally at Val de la Mare – photo by Collette Bisson
After such a great turn out the previous evening, we thought Sunday would be a little quieter. No! Not only were there almost as many people, there were several familiar faces who’d enjoyed it so much on Saturday, that they came back for more! Personally, for me, that is the biggest compliment, so it was lovely to see them again.
The weather, unfortunately, was not quite so kind, with rumbles of thunder in the back ground, but we soldiered on. Again, the bats came out nice and early, as did the midges.
Talk on Echolocation by Miranda at Val de la Mare – photo by Collette Bisson
This time, we decided to change things slightly, and once all of the talky bits were done, we split into smaller groups, each ably lead by a JBG member, to play with the detectors and listen to the bats. The lightening show that followed was rather spectacular, but the ominous rolls of thunder promised rain, so we all dashed yet again, back to the car park for hot chocolate and biscuits. We also had a special treat from Jayne, double chocolate caramel, heart attack on a plate brownies which were divine, and some lovely nibbles from Alex who’s leaving us shortly.
I’d like to thank everyone that attended, we hope you enjoyed it and if even half of those that took membership forms actually become members, you’ll be more than welcome.
I’d also like to thank the group members that helped out, whether it was talking, bringing refreshments & bat detectors, media work, or just morale support, I couldn’t do it without you!
JBG & BATS ROCK!!