A fortnight ago Stockgrove Country Park was seething with bats.This time the combination of the sky failing to darken and a colder wind made for less excitement bat wise, but there were other things to entertain us
Geraldine takes up the story
We had some excitement of the wrong kind to start with, we arrived to find that only one of the double parking bays was accessible. The other 4 cars had to be parked further down the road. Bob very kindly acted as a taxi service, bringing the bat group members from there down to the gateway, and at the end of the survey drove them back so they could collect their own cars.
Soprano Pipistrelles were the first species to be heard, doing a few passes near Tree 5.
Noctules had taken up residence in Tree 7, Mark and Gill stayed to watch the emergence and record the times and numbers. They had 24 bats fly out
within 11 minutes.
We went on to check the low roost which was the next on the route, and from there to the boxes. Plenty of droppings still to be seen in the low roost. Sadly none of the bat boxes had occupants. Bob guided Yan Yee and Alex back to Tree 7 hoping they could get there in time to watch the Noctules depart, but by the time they reached the tree the bats had flown. Dick and myself remained by the old boathouse, and were rewarded
by a Noctule doing 20 passes over the lake, with feeding stoops. Out of the corner of my eye as we watched the Noctule’s flying display, I saw a bat flying low over the water, yes we had Daubenton’s out and about as well.
We only counted 17 passes by Daubenton’s bats through the torch beam over the lake, but of course after that was finished a lot more bat activity took place.
Thanks to Jude, Bob, Gill, Alex, Yan and Mark for their company.