I've got bats in the belfry, well the garden actually, amazing creatures

Last night, just as dusk had fallen, I peered into the garden to see at least two bats flying around. They were flitting about everywhere, making little calling noises, feeding on the insects in mid-air and fascinating to watch.  I wondered where they had come from, the garage, the house, the summer house?  Or perhaps a couple of barns in the fields nearby. It was lovely to see them and I certainly hope they come again. Perhaps they are living in my house, it's a possibility according to the Bat Conservation website, which is well worth a visit.

I've featured a bat in one of my Inspector Andy Horton crime novels.  I won't say which one, why or how because I don't want to give the plot away.

This is Andy Horton country and the home of my marine mystery police procedurals. Above is a photograph of Langstone Harbour, about 200 yards from my house, looking across to Havant. Langstone Harbour features in a couple of Horton novels and in the forthcoming one Foosteps on the Shore. (Publication January 2011). It is also in my thriller, In Cold Daylight.

Langstone Harbour is a muddy estuary that attracts large numbers of birds all year round. The RSPB reserve occupies one third of the harbour and attracts lots of bird-watchers, visitors and walkers.Terns, gulls and wading birds breed on the five small islands in the harbour spring and summer, while thousands of waders and brent geese migrate from the Arctic to feed and roost in safety here. There is always something to see. Apart from a landing area for recreational boat users on one of the islands, access to the reserve is restricted, allowing birds to breed, feed and roost in an undisturbed state. There's a great walk along the harbour called the Hayling Billy Coastal Path.

I am fortunate to have an abundance of wildlife on my doorstep (as well as in my garden) which has included a Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Woodpecker, beautiful dragon flies and a variety of birds and sea gulls, not to mention foxes.  And now I can add bats to the list. Most of my friends have long thought me batty anyway, now they can say they've been proved right!

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