Leazes Park Bat Walk

Leazes Park Bat Walk - 6th August 202

This bat walk was the first of a series being run on behalf of Northumberland Bat Group (NBG) in and around the area. Seven people were due to attend, but since we are all aware of the covid risks, two cancelled just in case their “feeling under the weather” was something else. A kind decision to make and I hope they can come on another bat walk soon.

So, we gathered in the Leazes Park car park, where a bat brief was given: how detectors work, the species present in the area and in the wider area; then a sample of bat calls played over a speaker. The strangest call being the horseshoe bat, not one we have in the north east, but it certainly makes an alien noise!

After the sanitized detectors given out, we started the walk. It was a beautiful warm still evening, so hopes were high that there would be many bats out. By about 9.30 pm (half an hour after sun set) a few bats could be heard, but not many. We walked the paths through the trees, hearing but not spotting them. Finally, we changed direction and headed back to the Leazes Park pond and there they were.

Leazers Park pond
Leazers Park pond with swans, moorhen and at night, lots of bats!

Generally common pipistrelle bats, calling at 45-50kHz, zooming around, seeming to do back flips in the air. They put on a nice show of their agility for us. Using the bat detectors to track the calls, it made it easier to work out where the bats were in the failing light.

At one point there were three pipistrelles foraging over our heads, almost seeming to zoom between, over and around our group. Our body warmth may have been attracting insects, which in turn were attracting the bats for a feeding frenzy.

From time to time a myotis (probably Daubenton’s bat) could be heard. A much drier faster ticking noise. One was spotted, flying about 1 metre above the water, but was gone as quickly as it was spotted.

All in all, a lovely evening walk, with lots of bats heard and seen. Who would have thought that such an urban park would support such an active bat population? Looking forward to finding out what the bat life is like in Jesmond Dene in a couple of weeks’ time too.  

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1 thought on “Leazes Park Bat Walk”

  1. My best friend has a flat in Walker and last August we noticed two bats darting around in front of her kitchen window. A few weeks later there seemed to be four or five of them. The others seemed smaller so we assumed they were babies learning how to feed themselves. We enjoy watching the air acrobatics. They are amazing. I’m pleased to say they are back again now once again. We are still unsure where their roost is but they appear every evening outside her kitchen window. Considering my friend lives in a block of 2 storey flats and she is on the ground floor they always seem to stay quite close to the ground flitting back and fourth.


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