Trapping at Tiddenfoot

After a poor night trapping last night we headed back to Tiddenfoot, which has had spectacular displays of bats both times we went.  The chief bat lookout trained her binoculars on the car park and watched as ten of us arrived and unloaded a ton of gear.

Word spread like wildfire and the bats headed off to the far side of the lake. Meanwhile, unaware of theiir treachery we set up two harp traps and settled down to wait. We had been joined by John and Vicky from the Greensand Trust (who manage the site) and Ann(e) a long standing member of the friends of Tiddenfoot. She was extremely knowledgeable about the site and told us something of the history of the location and pointed out a couple of buildings which might house bats.

Noctule decides not to fly. Photo Jude Hirstwood


We lent her a detector and she was soon hooked! Before she left, we were able to show her a female soprano. which we had caught. Time passed, but alas very few bats did. The silence was eerie, but it was a lovely night and wepatiently settled down to wait. Time passed. Python jokes were exchanged and cake was eaten.

We managed to catch another three female sopranos

Eventually we were rewarded with  a male Noctule. He was very vocal in expressing his displeasure for being caught, but a few gentle words from Bob eventually calmed him down ,Having measured and weighed him, he was handed over to Phl, who got his first chance of handling a Noctule.

When the time came to release him, Phil was given the honour.

Phil tries to release the Noctule. Photo Jude Hirstwood

Phil tries to release the Noctule. Photo Jude Hirstwood


By now the Noctule had decided we were actually all tight and refused to budge – even when we took his photo Eventually Bob took over and bullied him into flying away.

Noctctule 5

THe Noctule with no intention of flying away. Photo Jude Hirstwood




Noctule deciding Phil's glove is the place to be. Photo Jude Hirstwood

Noctule deciding Phil’s glove is the place to be. Photo Jude Hirstwood


This photo is an usual view of a Noctule. Note the beautiful long fur, the bear like ear. You might also get an impression of just how strong he is.










We eventually left at about 12.30 am – with a determination to have another try later in the year. The bats watched us leave and doubtless flowed back to the lakeside.

We do entreat them not to avoid us when we do a work for the Friends of Tiddenfoot in June


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1 Response to Trapping at Tiddenfoot

  1. Ann May says:

    Thursday- a regular angler was very excited this morning to tell me about the spectacular display by bats swooping across his ‘swim’ where he was fishing on the north side of Tiddenfoot Lake. In particular there were 5 bats which patrolled and crisscrossed in front of him as he sat inside his ‘bivi’ (which acted as a hide?). He described how there were 2 pairs which worked as partners and a singleton weaving with agility feeding over the lake close to him and low above the surface of the water. And all this started as dusk became night and continued for hours.
    I caught his enthusiasm and thought I should feed his description back to you while it is fresh.
    He is keen to have the type of bat seen identified and learn what they are called.
    I look forward to hearing from you and meeting at the Bat Walk!
    Ann May

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