First bat trapping session of 2015

After an interminable wait for our harp trapping and mist netting licence for the Nathusius Project, we finally got started.  In time for the weather to turn wet and windy :/  Amid the cancellations though, there have been some great sessions in May, and I went to Alderley Park mid-month, where we harp trapped and mist netted 19 bats in one session, and I personally handled and processed 2 soprano pips and a brown long-eared. 

obligatory sunset with harp trap and lakeIt was lovely to have a newbie at the session and he soon proved expert at passing the calipers and releasing bats once processed.  As always, though, I seem to be the poster girl for how not to process a bat…… It must have been evident to the first bat that I was a bit out of practice as it was distinctly unco-operative, particularly when I wanted to measure the forearm.  I really don’t know why, but this is always the trickiest part for me – ID is usually ok (unless you give me a small Myotis), sexing easy enough, adult/juv not too bad, and I’m even getting better at finding the nipples (!), but measuring the forearm seems to result in the worst squirming and escape attempts every time……. it was also pitch black at this point, hence no pictures of the “difficult” individual but let’s just say this soprano pip lived up to the species’ reputation for being, well, feisty.  The second soprano pip was pretty relaxed by comparison and the brown long-eared – which usually hate me and try to bite me – was seemingly quite happy to be inspected.  All flew off strongly.

South Lancs Bat Group are planning many more harp trapping sessions for the Nathusius Pipistrelle Project, so if you would like to help us learn more about the ecology of our native species, now would be a good time to join in 🙂  Surveys will take place in Greater Manchester, South Lancs and in Cheshire in partnership with our friends at Cheshire Bat Group.

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