End of the bat season 2015

It was a hectic October for me and South Lancs Bat Group, trying to squeeze in as many surveys as possible before the end of the bat active season mid-month.  I did eight nocturnal surveys in the space of eleven days, harp trapping & mist netting at five different sites and also a church survey !  Meanwhile, it was still busy on the Batline with numerous cat casualties coming in.

Highlights included:

Even more Nathusius pipistrelles – here’s a female who was so disgusted with her new bling ring that she played dead – she soon got bored of that and flew off, but it makes an interesting picture:

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We also learned in that same week that a Nathusius pipistrelle ringed in Latvia had been captured at Rye in Sussex – where they were catching more Nathusius pips in a single night than we had done all year!  Nathusius pipistrelles have now been recorded in the UK throughout the bat active season, and it seems virtually certain that they are actively migrating here during the autumn – but where are they going?  So much more to discover about this intriguing species.

It can make us bat carers feel strangely hopeful to find healthy, free-flying, normal weight bats with holes in membranes and other injuries – it proves the amazing healing and adaptive capacity of these animals.  Here’s a pipistrelle with a holey and scarred tail membrane trapped at Tatton Park – perfectly healthy and an excellent flier:

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Finally, no season would be complete without an end of season party, which of course for South Lancs Bat Group consists of a picnic.  In the middle of nowhere.  In the middle of the night.  On a theme of cheese.  Obviously.

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There’s no real relationship between bats and cheese, it’s just that we happen to like both.  A lot.

Looking forward to hibernation counts in December and beyond……

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