I loved the unusual creatures in this world, and found little or no interest in lions or elephants that seemed to always grace the TV wildlife programs. Perhaps it was this interest in the less well known or understood creatures that sparked my interest in bats, for in my early teens I was obsessed with them. I used to watch them from my bedroom window, and with the advantage of youth, be able to hear them too (what I now know to he their social calls). I knew they were Pipistrelles, I could name all the diagnostic parts of their external anatomy, and recite all the then known UK species. But at the tender age of 11 all I had to enjoy these enigmatic creatures were my eyes and a copy of Which Bat Is It?... A bat detector was a dream. I even wrote to Dr Bob stebbings and asked for a circuit diagram in the misguided hope me or my dad could make one. He sent me one too, but it never did transfer off the paper into something I yearned for.. It would be 30 odd years later before I would be able to listen in at my leisure, and in the mean time all I could do was watch them.
And I thank the earth that I could, because watching bats is ace!
The above is an extract from the introduction to a wee booklet I am writing called "How to Watch Bats"