BATS ARE FASCINATING mammals thanks to their ability to fly and echolocate. They often roost in houses and other buildings and forage within villages or towns, so everybody has the chance to see them.
THEY USUALLY HIBERNATE
at this time of year – it’s easier to see them in summer. But if it is a warm winter, with day-time temperatures over 10°C, some species such as the common pipistrelle ( right) and noctule may be on the wing, hunting insects near bodies of water.
hibernating or roosting bats – they are protected by law.
TO SEARCH FOR BATS
you need a good torch, a bat detector to hear their calls, a notebook and a field guide.
THE BAT CONSERVATION TRUST
has details of friendly local groups as well as a Big Bat Map of hotspots and sightings: www.bats.org.uk.
are the authors of Bats of Britain and Europe (Bloomsbury, £30.00, published 28 January 2016): www.bloomsbury.com