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Friday, 16 May 2014

Nathusius the next chapter

What could be even more exciting than 2 Nathusius pipistrelles?

Last night we caught our sirt bat in our new herp trap.
We set up four harp traps and acoustic lure as part of the Nathusius Pipistrelle Project. There was an ecstatic reaction  when this beast fell into our harp trapLeisler wriggling

She was not best pleased to be caught and wriggled a ot – as this photo shows.

But we forgave her everything but she was a Leisler’s bat. This is the first time we have ever caught a Leisler’s in the county. We have thought that we have heard Leisler’s in the past, but they are very difficult to distinguish them from Noctule if you listen to the sonograms
Once she had settled down, Bob managed to get some better photos of herLeisler side view crop1

Leisler's bat. Photo Bob Cornes
Leisler’s bat. Photo Bob Cornes
We are over the moon – even if I have to writer a new page for the bats in Bedfordshire Section of the website
Leislers crop2

Nathusius Surveys

Last night we were joined by Daniel Hargreaves in order to harp trap near Biggleswade. Four harp traps and acoustic lures were set up and three of them caught bats.

Daniel returned from checking one trap bearing 3 bats with him.
Nathusius, Common and soprano pipistrelles. Photo Bob Cornes
Nathusius, Common and soprano pipistrelles. Photo Bob Cornes

You can see that the Nathusius is bigger and furrier than the other pipistrelle series.
This was the cause of much delight as it is only the second Nathusius ever caught in Bedfordshire.
Later that night a second Nathusius, also a male, was caught – much celebration followed. Both bats were ringed and a fur sample taken for DNA analysis
Since the  Bat Conservation Trust Nathusius Project began in April, Nathusius bats are being found all over the country. We have spend the last month looking hard, so it was great to catch one. Now we will be going back once a month to resample the site  (under the terms of the Nathusius project)
Nathusius pipistrelle. Photo Bob Cornes
Nathusius pipistrelle. Photo Bob Cornes
Nathusius pipistrelle3
Nathusius pipistrelle Photo Bob Cornes

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Last Hibernation Survey

This weekend saw the last hibernation surveys of the year. 

On Saturday 114 bats were found in total. Sundays results are not currently in, but an updated when they are. 


Friday, 31 January 2014

Hibernation update

Last weekend's hibernation survey has again broken records, with a total of 172 bats (previous highest 168 in Dec 2012). The December 2013 was 
106, possibly because the mild weather had not driven bats underground 
as early as the last couple of years. 

The January breakdown was:

119 Natterer's (previous highest 91). This is a dramatic increase.
38 Daubenton's (not exceptional - there were 44 in Dec 2012)
11 BLEB (down; the record was 22 in Jan 2011)
2 Barbastelles (there were 3 in December, but this is well down on 
recent winters. The record is 25 in Jan 2011)
1 Pip. sp. (the first recorded since Jan 2012)
1 unidentified

The significant changes were the increase in Natterer's and decrease in 
BLEB and Barbs. The only one of these which fits a consistent pattern 
over several winters is the drop in Barbs after mild winter weather so 
far. There is no obvious explanation of the changes in Natterer's and BLEB.


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

First Hibernation Checks

The first of three hibernation checks have been made and the following bats were found: -

106 bats in total:

61 Natterer's
26 Daubenton's
2 Myotis sp.
14 BLE
3 Barb