Children watching bats in Wolfbad

Holiday fun in Radeformwald
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Visit “Batman” and Company.

As part of this year’s holiday fun, about 40 curious adventurers came to Uelfebad’s “Batman Night” late Thursday to see the bats. There they also examined crayfish.

Well-equipped with weatherproof clothing, a forehead and flashlights, nearly 30 children, accompanied by their parents and grandparents, prepare Thursday evening at the edge of Uelfebad to go on an expedition. It’s 9:30 PM, it’s still light, but it’s already getting dark on the horizon. “When will we finally see bats?” A little boy wants to know as he anxiously holds his mother’s hand. “Soon.” She reassures him and points her index finger at a man standing in the middle of the group greeting the adventurers. It’s Tom Klinkenberg, Vice President of the local Radevormwald Society in Bergischer Naturschutzverein, the bat expert and guide for this special evening.

“What do you know about bats?” Klinkenberg wants to know, preferably from his younger guests. Some look shyly at their comrades, unsure whether they should dare to reveal their knowledge in the large crowd. “Come on,” the father encourages his daughter. you answer. “Bats can fly and eat insects,” it explodes at lightning speed. Klinkenberg shakes his head in appreciation. “Yes, that’s right. What else do you know?” replies a boy. “Bats move with sonar.” The expert smiles and nods. “Yes, you can say that.” Small flying animals make ultrasonic clicks to explore their surroundings. Klinkenberg explains that bats can use reflected sound waves to orient themselves. As a vivid example, invite the children to the game “Bat and Moth”. Everyone who imitates a bat is blindfolded. On the other hand, moths are given sound sticks that draw attention to themselves. Then the bat only has to use its hearing to catch the prey. So that the bat is not loaded into the Uelfebad water, the parents and accompanying people form a protective circuit where the moth and the bat can release steam. After the first hesitant attempts, more and more children dare to slip into the roles of bats and moths, and the role of moths seems to be becoming more and more common. “It’s not that easy, is it?” Klinkenberg tells the kid his blindfold was removed. Now little adventurers can better position themselves in the grueling lifestyle of flying animals.

But the children became nervous. They finally want to see a live specimen. To this end, Klinkenberg directs the expedition through the restaurant in the direction of the forest. On tall trees, curious children and interested adults appear where little water bats live. Small wooden boxes high in trees serve as a safe haven for small flying foxes. Suddenly I heard a loud scream. “I saw one! Here it is! Over there over the water!” shouted a boy excitedly. Almost everyone checks out the Uelfebad’s smooth surface. At dusk it’s not easy to see anything, but once your eyes adjust to the light, you’ll actually see rapid movements above the water, then wings flapping. Bats move so quickly that they are difficult to identify and look like small birds. “But the birds are no longer outside at this time,” explains City Environmental Officer Regina Hildebrandt, who is accompanying the expedition.

Finally, on the bridge, Klinkenberg unloads a bat detector that can be used to track down tiny flying mice. “When one passes by, the detector makes a cracking noise.” The small, easy-to-use device rotates in turn. Everyone listens carefully. Indeed, some crackling sounds can be heard. Children try to shine the spotlight at a distance, perhaps also they can see an audible example.

Nine-year-old Harris is taking part in a bat ride for the first time. Although he already knows a lot about animals, he finds visiting the bat zone very exciting. He is not afraid of bats, although now he has learned that there are real vampire species. “But they live in South and Central America,” Harris says. Mother Mary, 38, also finds the evening trip enjoyable. “I also think they are very cute and I always see some of them flying in front of our window.”

Finally, Tom Klinkenberg draws his guests to the river and asks them to shine their lamps in the water. “If you’re lucky, you might spot some lobster.” Kids rush to the beach and light their flashlights inside. Then Klinkenberg brings a small sample to the beach. Everyone lights up with enthusiasm. The little animal flicks its claws and retreats. “Mom, look, lobsters,” says a young boy, smiling a few smiles. “Ui, he wants to catch her,” said a girl. Another girl said, “I find it scary.” The amused father asks, “Will you still be able to sleep peacefully tonight?”

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