Regular readers will know we have been hunting for Bechstein’s in Bedfordshire. So far we have had no luck, but the weather has been awful. Lia is going to come back at the end of August, but she has just spent a week looking for them in Herefordshire and invited Bob and Jude down to play. We stayed in a lovely cottage and met up with some other bat workers who were helping her out. And what was that thing in the sky? That yellow thing that seemed to making the days warm?
As night fell the team headed out into a series of fairly local woods which had been selected as being possible A large amount of equipment was man/woman handled into the woods and set up. This included not just the harp trap but also songmeter detectors and video camera.
On the second night, permission hadn’t come through to access a particular site so we stayed in the cottage grounds. We treated ourselves to a leisurely meal and then set up a harp trap, a mist net and a double height net and set up a Griffin bat detector and waited for developments.
Bats soon found their way into the mist net by the hedge. This gave Jude her first ever sighting of a whiskered bat in the hand.
Because this wasn’t part of the actual project we were able to use this as an opportunity to give Heather and Lia a chance to take bats out of the net, By the end of the evening we had done rather well and on listening to the Griffin we picked up horseshoes as well. How very different from life in Bedfordshire.
One of the bats we caught was a most unusual looking brown long eared bat. Brown long eareds are normally very cute creatures, but this beast was somewhat different.
In the following three days, three more woods were visited. Bats, I am convinced .have a sense of the dramatic. So it was not until midnight on the very last night that the story reached its climax; a female Bechstein’s came into the harp trap. Lia was delighted, but I think the rest of us were even more excited that all her hard work and patience had finally paid off.
We are now hoping that when Lia comes back to Bedfordshire at the end of August, we will succeed in finding one here.