RSPB NI: Join the RSPB NI’s Bat Walk this month at Long Point Wood, part of the Lough Beg Nature Reserve

There are eight species of bats in Northern IrelandThere are eight species of bats in Northern Ireland
There are eight species of bats in Northern Ireland
​​September is a time for change in the natural world, with crisp sunny mornings encouraging us to soak up the last moments of summer warmth. For the natural world, it’s also an important time of transition, with many birds talking to flyways, and animals stocking up for the colder months.

At RSPB NI’s Belfast’s Window on Wildlife reserve, September is a great time to see flocks of Lapwing in flight around the reserve, and numbers of Godwits, Curlew, Redshank and other waders are coming into feed. It’s also your last chance to spot terns, Sand Martins, Swallows and Swifts as they prepare to head south for the winter.

As ‘Spooky Season’ approaches, many of us are enjoying seeing bats flitting across the evening skies. Not just an incredible sight to behold, bats are a valuable part of the natural world around us and can be a very welcome visitor to your garden, for those who are lucky enough to have them roosting.

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Did you know, we have eight species of bats in Northern Ireland?

Sadly, they are becoming increasingly rare across the UK. A gradual loss of habitat and roosting sites means their numbers are declining, but there are things we can do to help!

Bats roost in a variety of places, from holes in trees, to churches and other buildings. Making sure our gardens are thriving insect-rich feeding grounds for bats can help them a lot and so can providing alternative roost sites in the form of bat boxes.

Bat boxes are easy to make or widely available to buy. By hanging one in a suitable location, they can help local populations of bats, giving somewhere safe to roost in during the day.

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This September, I am looking forward to attending RSPB NI’s Bat Walk at Long Point Wood, part of the Lough Beg Nature Reserve.

On Thursday, September 21, RSPB NI Warden Cathryn Cochrane will be separating the facts from the folklore, with a guided walk around Long Point Wood after dark, to look for native bats around the woodlands.

Participants will be provided with bat detectors, to listen for the calls of the bats as they forage in the forest. Grab your torch and join me!

If you are interested in attending the event, more information and tickets can be found here: bit.ly/LPWBatWalk