A Bat-Filled Day

Wednesday, September 20th 2017

It’s rare to have a day at Foxglove where nothing happens and wildlife is not seen, and today was no exception! The day started with two happenings: The regular team of moth recording volunteers were identifying the moths caught overnight in the moth trap and licensed members of local bat groups, Bernadette and Barry, joined us to help with the annual monitoring of our bat boxes!

This year Bernadette and Barry kindly agreed to allow a small group of members of the public to come along for the morning.

It was rather an exciting event, with nine bats seen, and a chance to see bats in the hand. They included this female common pipistrelle, Pipistrellus pipistrellus. Bats are a lot smaller than some of the group had expected!

We also identified the bat that had been spotted in the Lake Hide in the past few days. It was a young male soprano pipistrelle – born this year. He was confirmed as a soprano pipistrelle, P. pygmaeus, by his wing venation. 

Common (P. pipistrellus) and soprano pipistrelles were only identified as being separate species in the 1990s, with the easiest way to tell them apart being through their echolocation calls; the common pipistrelle typically having a peak echolocation frequency of around 45kHz and the soprano pipistrelle at around 55kHz.

Elsewhere, cutting and raking up of some of our smaller meadows continued…

In the afternoon, the bat box checking carried on with the continued help of some of our volunteers – thanks especially to John – and we saw another bat! With the help of Bernadette and her endoscope we also investigated the possibility of bats in some likely-looking tree holes…

Meanwhile we also hosted a visit from the Yorkshire Countrywoman’s Association, giving a talk about the reserve and a short guided walk.

An unexpected bonus at the end of the day was them also having a chance to see inside a young stinkhorn fungi brought in by one of our fungi recording team. A strange looking thing!

Thank you very much to all who the volunteers who helped us today and particularly to Bernadette and Barry.

(1) Comments:

Janet Hutchinson responded on 21st Sep 2017 with...

Picture of Janet Hutchinson

Thank you all so much for a really interesting day.  The opportunity to see bats in the hand was rare indeed and all the information from the experts Bernadette and Barry was fascinating.  It is always a pleasure to be at Foxglove where the people are so friendly and the place is a haven.  Thank you again to the entire team.


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