It was another week of batty exploits, but with a difference.. Not content with just looking in a few bat boxes like last week, this time I was out at night..
I also had company, as I was helping a BBC film crew get the most out of the bat spectacle on offer on Brownsea Island..
Don’t get yourself too excited though, as I’m not about to spoil what will be a great programme by telling you everything that went on. Firstly because I’m not sure the Producer would be very happy about me doing a ‘behind the scenes’ blog about it all – and secondly because I didn’t take take many pictures anyway!
I’ll tell you what I can though – without giving it all away.. The series will be called Wild about Art, will be on CBBC starting in September, and we are on episode 5. There, that’s about all I can tell you!
Anyway, I did go over a day early to check out a few of the bat sites and make sure that we had the timing spot on for filming. This called for a 3am start to wander around with a detector to find out where the bats were feeding. It really is an awesome experience to be wallking around somewhere like Brownsea Island all alone in the dark -with just the deer, the owls and the bats for company.
Obviosuly no photos to show for that bit, but I did get a bit of video at the roost site – at 4.30am as the bats swarmed around the entrance before deciding enough was enough and going in for a well deserved kip.. (you might need to switch the HD off if it plays too slowly)
Heading back to the villa, totally inspired by experience of sitting amongst hundreds of bats flying around me – I almost missed the amazing sight over the lagoon ofthe sun peeking over the hill above Lilliput…
Two minutes later and the sun was too high for the full effect of the sunrise. Talk about perfect timing!
Back at the Villa, the Wildlife Trusts HQ on the Island, I had half an hour or so to spare before I got the first boat away -so spent a while sat at the bench to see what might turn up. I had an inkling that the squirrels wouldn’t stay away for long and sure enough, after about 5 minutes I had 4 of them scampering around to see what I was up to..
I headed off home for a couple of hours rest before getting back to the office by mid-morning -slightly fuzzy from lack of sleep, but looking forward to a good couple of days with the TV bods.
That evening saw me back on the Island, accompanied by the BBC bunch and also by Muckers and Emma B from DWT, who had both offered to help as well. I’m not sure I got any sleep at all, as we were back outside again at 1am and I seemed to be checking my watch every 20mins just in case I’d missed my alarm!
This is where I skip a lot of what happened, for fear of upsetting Auntie Beeb! Suffice to say, all went very well and I think we all left that morning pretty chuffed with our nights work.
So, that took us to Wednesday -when I made a bit of a mistake.. Determined not to upset my sleeping pattern I decided to get back to the office again by mid-morning, do a full day of work, go home and then stay up until at least 10pm before crashing out big time.. I managed the first few on the list – then got stuck into uploading some photos on to Flickr that evening, and before I knew it, it was gone 11pm. I had also promised to meet the Art Director at a field site the following morning – at 7.30am! Yes, I was a tad tired by then!
Not to worry I hear you all say, early night on Thursday will sort you out. Well, it might have done – but I had already been booked to do a bat talk and walk for the Friends of Stanpit Marsh! Yep, you’ve guessed it – another late night, collapsing into bed at almost midnight.
Friday was another early start as we all caught the ferry across to Brownsea again for another morning of filming. No, I won’t tell you what we did – you’ll have to wait and see.
Like I said earlier – Wild about Art, episode 5 on CBBC, should be aired in early October. Don’t miss it – it will be fab!