What a wonderful turnout. All the planning and volunteer support of many weeks, culminated in approximately 70 adults and children having a splendid evening on Saturday, 21st March 2015.
In the south east corner of Dendy Park.
Batting4Bayside (B4B) is a project which aims to survey microbats in Bayside and engage the local community in learning about the habitat and habits of some of our elusive flying mammals.
Friends of Native Wildlife (FoNW) set up a triangle of 3 tables, displaying brochures, anabats, bat boxes and our amazing banner. The weather was kind to us this month, cool but pleasant with little wind. It was exciting to see local residents strolling over from nearby homes to see what the B4B project was all about.
Once the registered participants had signed in, they moved around the different tables. Firstly they saw how we use an endoscope to unobtrusively check a bat box attached 3m up a gum tree for any microbats and also to learn about the microbats' roosting needs. They saw a number of bat boxes and were talked through the making process. Quite a number of residents have asked either to buy a bat box or are happy to support a working bee to put some together to help our ongoing project.
After an explanation of how microbats catch their prey and move about in the night sky, 4 groups walked out among the trees and experienced sighting their first microbats at dusk. The children and young adults showed off their superior sight and excitedly pointed out the swooping bats to the adults. Once it became too dark, even for healthy young eyes, the FoNW's Anabats took over, beeping wildly whenever microbats came within the 30m range. Although the Anabats we are using are very old, the B4B project is hopeful that three brand new ones on order will eventuate by April when manufacture of the new models is expected to be complete.
Once we have our own quality Anabats, we will be asking for volunteers to survey their local parks and streets for us. We are training up students and interested volunteers to also analyse the bat calls which is a fascinating project on its own.
Thanks to Adam, Jinnie, Sally and Tom for their impressive support and to the Committee for all the hard work. Graham and Geoffrey are planning a bat box working bee soon and with a bit of extra help they hope to make enough boxes to cover your requests plus a number for your local parks and gardens.
Thanks to everyone for attending. Spread the interest for us please and let us know if you wish to help in any way-we are very accommodating.