Nathusius’ pipistrelle hunt 2016 – the story so far

The mission continues…… as regular readers will know, this is the third year South Lancs Bat Group have participated in the Nathusius project.  We want to know – where do these rare bats live?  Do we have maternity colonies in our area?  Are they resident, migratory or both?

Our licence allows us to harp trap and mist net bats at specific sites in May and then again towards the end of the summer after this year’s young have “fledged”.  We hope to catch Nathusius pipistrelles and ring them in the hope that recaptures will give us important information on what this species is doing.  We also very much hope to catch female Nathusius pipistrelles and radiotrack them to find maternity roosts.This year we are surveying at three sites in Cheshire in partnership with our friends at Cheshire Bat Group.

I attended four nights of survey in May which were a mixed bag, with 9 bats captured on the least successful night and 69 bats on the most successful – the latter being notable for the extremely high level of midge biting activity :/  If you ever wanted to know, yes, midges will bite all night long !!

Sadly we weren’t successful in capturing any Nathusius pipistrelles, but we did record some flying about using bat detectors at Tatton Park.  And we captured plenty of other bats, including common and soprano pipistrelles, noctule, Daubenton’s, whiskered and Brandt’s bats.  And a long-eared owl, for a change from mammals:

Long-eared owl photographed by Adria Lopez Baucells

Long-eared owl photographed by Adria Lopez Baucells

 

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