South Lancs Bat Group have some harp traps borrowed from the Bat Conservation Trust and we are determined to make sure they see as much use as possible over the summer of 2014 ! Our target species is Nathusius pipistrelle, as we are part of a national project gathering data on this small bat about which little is currently known. There is a known bat hibernaculum in the Edgworth area, so we are surveying some of the local reservoirs in the hope of catching some interesting bats – tonight, Entwistle.There are records for Nathusius pipistrelle scattered all over mainland UK, but only a few maternity colonies have as yet been discovered. These bats used to be confused with the two other kinds of pipistrelle bat occurring in Britain, the soprano pipistrelle and the common pipistrelle, but since it became apparent that they are more widespread than we thought, bat workers are making a real effort to look for Nathusius pips and find out what they are up to. Surely there must be maternity colonies elsewhere, or why would random individuals be turning up all over the place ??
Steve and Fee, Leanne, Gail, Joanne and Martin, Daniel, Heidi and Poppy the dog arrived, armed with two harp traps, on a mission to trap and record Nathusius pipistrelles.
Weather conditions were superb as we arrived, with the reservoir calm and the warm overcast weather attracting billions of midges (or future bat food, as I prefer to think of them):
We set up the traps in full expectation of catching something – perhaps some Daubenton’s or a soprano pipistrelle would be nice, since we were by the water ? We settled down on a convenient pair of picnic tables, got the coffee out and waited. And waited. And checked the traps some more. And checked the traps again. We had bat detectors out and were hearing and seeing bats around, but was there anything in the traps ? Nope.
A disappointing result, but we plan to trap at various other sites over the summer and may yet get lucky 🙂
PS – If you decide to visit Entwistle at night – do use the car park on the left as you arrive, as the car park on the right seems popular with people partaking in non-bat-related nocturnal activities 😉