Last night, we headed back to Swineshead wood with the aim of catching and perhaps tagging one of the Myotis bats we heard earlier in the year. We were joined by Daniel Hargreaves who stopped off on his way to Luton Airport for a flight at silly o’clock this morning.We set up two harp traps and lures and settled down to wait. We didn’t have to wait long before not one but three bats entered the first harp trap. We caught a male Natterer’s and the first of four barbastelles in beautiful condition
But the third bag was the most exciting and indeed the most satisfactory in purely dramatic terms, for therein rested a male Nathusius. This is the first Nathusius we have had in the hand for twenty years. The only previous sighting was a single male who was found grounded and died soon after.
This bat had very large buccal glands as you can see in this photo and was in full breeding condition .
Swineshead is quite a way from the nearest large water bodies.Perhaps he was migrating in a quest for females.
One thing is sure, this really is an exceptional wood and like the Terminator we will be back.
Nathusius males sit in a suitable spot and call, often all night in the hope of attracting a female. You can see Daniel Hargreaves’ video of an advertising Nathusius on You Tube