Sunday, 14 June 2009

Bats At Castle Ward

I enjoyed an al fresco barbecue yesterday evening at the Barn on the Castle Ward estate in County Down. Craig advised us to bring the meat and drink; and he had organized everything else, including the new barbecue, coals, bread rolls, salad and sauces.

The weather was fine: sunny, dry and mild, if not exactly warm. We initially met at Terinichol and travelled the short distance to the Barn - now the wildlife centre - where we set up camp at the grassy area outside. We numbered about ten; and a good evening was had by all. I stuck to some sort of fizzy white grape juice frappé for the evening; the baby two-seater deported herself well on the journey.

Our main purpose of the evening was a Bat Count. The barn boasts an itinerant population of roughly 103 bats under the roof; and we viewed them all coming out through sky-lights at dusk. We had special high-frequency meters to hear them. Craig explained the various types of bat on the Estate; but I cannot remember which ones we saw. Craig is very knowledgeable about these little creatures; seemingly their young are known as pups.

Later on we strolled over to Temple Water to have a look, but couldn't really see anything at all.

At about 12.20 am we decided to pack up and head for home.

No comments :