September 4th

An update for you all.

On Friday evening, I went to a local heathland patch called Snelsmore Common where myself and 6 others went on a Bat walk. It was the first time I had ever gone on such an event and I’m very glad that I made the effort. The walk was led by James Shipman of Marula Services and boy, did he know his stuff. A fact worth gleaning from our batty exploits was that the common currently holds 7 or so species. This is impressive as there are thought to be only 17 breeding bat species present in the uk. James, also hopes to get permission to put up many more bat boxes which could further enhance the numbers. Also, did you know there are 3 types of Pipistrelle (I sure didn’t) and that the Common Pipistrelle eats 3,000 insects in one night, amazing.

My night didn’t end here though and I was lucky enough to view some moth traps in action. The traps were mainly manned by the Berkshire Moth Group and again the leader (whose name I forget) was a real expert. I firmly believe moth identification is a very challenging and difficult area of natural history to attempt to learn. However, some folk really put the hours in and with perserverance, anyone who is willing to learn, can get there. Anybody attempting the nuances of this subject may have a long way to go though, as there are over 2,400 species of moth on the British list. Of which, around 800 of them belong to a family called macro moths.

All in all, a thoroughly entertaining evening was had and it certainly proved a different way to spend a friday night.

Cheers

Tony Powell

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