The bat recording of a lifetime

Bob and I have been listening to bats for over twenty years, but last night was a new experience for us in Britain.

We took the Echometer Touch out with us because Bob wanted some calls for a course he is running for the Jersey bat group next weekend. So I settled down  as the temperature fell and waited. The first half hour all I was aware of was how cold it was after the beautiful warm day we had had. Then at 8.30 I heard a Noctule and for the next hour the duet by my side crackled and chattered ceaselessly. It was almost impossible to make out individual species, so I watched open mouthed as the display of the Echometer dashed pass. The autoID only recognises one species per call, but there were rather more present than that. At one point we watched Leisler’s and Noctule put on a display which lasted for what seemed an eternity. Then the local Serotines joined in. The Daubenton’s on the lake were not to be outdone nor were the pips – all three species eventually joined in.

When we got in we downloaded the files and were stunned by what we saw on  Audition. We now need to find time to go through a hundred plus recordings (BaClassify does not separate out  big bats).

Yeh, I know 100+ files don’t usually take that long, but an awful lot of them look like the screen grab below.

How many species can you see? (c|) Bedfordshire Bat Group

How many species can you see? (c|) Bedfordshire Bat Group

Initial glances don’t seem to suggest a vast number of of feeding buzzes, so we are left with the question – what was going on. Answers on a postcard please In the past we have heard a very occasional Leisler’s call but nothing like this – as we explained to some new members who had joined us. It was a very excited group who left the site that night – and to cap it all Dave and Mark think they have found a roost

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