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Bat night led by John Dobson, 1st July.

Can't say the sun was shining but the moon was. It was a dry pleasant evening. Twenty three members and guests turned out. We walked from the car park along the edge of Hatters Wood and as we approached the Cow Pond the first of six Noctule Bats appeared flying roughly north to south. John Dobson was of the view that these bats were probably leaving a communal tree hole roost to the north of the Cow Pond. One of these appeared to be attacked by a Hobby which twisted and turned in pursuit in the twilight but failed to collect any reward for its efforts.

We moved on to the Lily Pond, but were disappointed with no contacts. After ten minutes or so, we headed back to the Green Pond where a couple of anglers were somewhat surprised to be disturbed by two dozen bat watchers. Numerous Pipistrelle bats were located and seen around the Green Pond. I suspect the fishermen were wondering what all the fuss was about; they must have sat and watched the bats on numerous occasions. John was particularly interested to locate Daubenton's bat on the Green Pond, but if they were around, we never saw them. Daubenton's are often seen in South Weald Park taking insects off the surface with their feet. Anyhow, we left the fishermen in peace at about 10. 30.

A very enjoyable evening. The Friends are extremely grateful to John Dobson for coming over from Danbury and giving us an insight into these fascinating flying mammals.

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