This is just a short follow-up post to a recent interview I had with Neil Middleton of The BatAbility Club. Anyone interested in bats should definitely have a look at the website. If you are a Bat Worker, Researcher, Ecologist, or work with bats in any capacity: then you simply must visit! The sheer volume and variety of resources is astounding - you’ll be glad you did!
I thought that I’d take this opportunity to elaborate further, on some of the topics mentioned:
While the microscopy image was up (abdomen of an earwig); I mentioned the insect’s nerve structure. Unbeknownst to me at that time, Neil was in fact moving his mouse pointer over the exact area where some nerves were visible.
As for the number of visitors my Bat Detector Reviews blog receives: As I said, it is typically between 2,000 and 3,000 per month. And it is sometimes double that, during bat detecting season.
Another example would be my life-long interest in the local fauna; which compels me to be a naturalist, in general. I’ve been interested in animals from a young age.
Back in those days, Bronx New York wasn't nearly as developed as it is now. A kid could have success finding amphibians, such as the red backed salamander - as well as the occasional garter snake. These days one would be hard-pressed to find any sizable area not covered in concrete.
From a very early age, I enjoyed spending time in the back garden. I spent countless days observing the myriad of insects and arachnids which lived among the landscaping (hedges) and flower pots.
I found it fascinating and completely engrossing; I never got bored. Couple this, with a serendipitous visit to a local pet shop; and my fate was sealed. I convinced my Mom to go in… My first time ever in a pet shop.
It was pleasingly cool and (almost) dark. Walls were covered with rows of individual fish tanks. Each beautifully illuminated with slightly-so-bluish fluorescent lights. The ethereal beauty of the tropical fish contained within. The sheer number of glass tanks...the reptiles and amphibians… I could’ve stayed there all day! The name of the shop: ‘The Water’s Edge’
Psychologists have said that it is usually sometime before the age of 8, when a child comes across something which leaves a lasting impression on them. Many times, it is this chance encounter with something (whatever it may be) which ends-up influencing the child’s career choices as an adult, etc.
As is the case with too many people, I did not end up making my avocation my vocation (or linking them, as Robert Frost wrote). Rather, I chose a path which was expedient and lucrative.
More recently, I’ve become fascinated by the lives of famous Naturalists, Biologists, and other Scientists whose lives proved this “theory”.
Below is a short list of some of my favorites, in the off chance that some of my readers may be familiar with the biographical accounts of those mentioned. Each of them became fascinated early on, with the subjects they would later work in...and master. Each of them made astounding contributions in their fields - and I find it remarkable.
Brian Grieg Fry
So, back to the interview - Neil asked me an excellent question about which bat detector I have in my hand when I go out to my back garden, to detect bats.
At the time, it was very convenient to choose detectors, from those shown in the collages, which happened to be up on the screen. And I stand by those recommendations. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to mention a bat detector which (sadly) I hadn't thought of at that moment. It is The AnaBat Walkabout from Titley. Not only does it offer world-class performance, as far as sound recordings and spectrograms go…it also boasts more features than several other bat detectors combined. See my detailed review, for more information & specifics.
The name of the bat detector developed by dodotronic (which was discussed) was called the Dodoultra.
As for The Batango: See this active page (on the Dodotronic Site) which provides all the details, for anyone who is interested. As of now, it is an open source project.
There are also some excellent advantage's as a result of my unique role as a reviewer of bat detectors: firstly, I get to find out about new bat detectors months before the General Public. Sometimes, many months. I also occasionally get to test and evaluate samples while they are top secret.
Bat detectors which only a few people even know exist. These people, of course, are the designers and creators. In fact I have a prototype of one bat detector here which is still top secret. And I am one of only a handful of people who are even aware of its existence. I consider that to be a really cool perk! Many bat detector manufacturers have the utmost confidence in my discretion, and professionalism. I am very fortunate and grateful.
It is my sincere hope, that this short post has helped to clear up anything which may not have seemed clear during the interview.
Happy bat detecting!