Friday, 7 December 2007

Missing Wildlife

As expected, my post on squirrels has caused a bit of a stir but although this is my most recent wildlife visitor by no means have I shown all the wildlife that visits my garden!

I have shown birds and hedgehogs but there have been other tiny visitors that are very difficult to catch on any kind of film – one being the field mouse. Sorry, I have no videos or photos here but I am tempted to try and video the next best thing – the cat that watches them in the dark! It watches like we would the tennis ball in a tournament match. Back and forth goes its head and in all honesty I would love to catch this on film. However, I am making a link here to…


Bats in Zoo enclosure, video 0:48 with background music, try 480p quality.


The Pipistrelle bat has been a visitor to my garden since we moved here. I have sat in my garden just before dusk and watched it sweep around the side of my house and along the length of my hedge with a quick turn as then it disappears out of view. I have to say I found them both fascinating and peaceful to watch! The speed and turn they have is absolutely incredible! Like the squirrel I am sure they too are not the most popular of visitors. The diet of this bat is insects but I still don’t like to watch them out in the open in my garden – I prefer to have a wall behind me!

I bet you are impressed
by the video above – that is if you think I have captured this in my garden! However, although I have sat many nights this summer, in my garden, behind my video camera I have not succeeded in capturing any footage that will process in any viewing quality – even in the 0lux settings I have used for the hedgehogs. I have to say showing video online is not as straight forward as showing photos.

Berlin Zoo, July 2004, is where I filmed the bats above and I am finding it very difficult now to identify exactly what bats I have captured! However, I am thrilled to be able to share this piece of film. I had no idea at all when I took it that I would show it online over three years later! The Pipistrelle bat is really tiny but I love to watch in my garden especially when there are pairs as they fly around each other with such incredible speed and dexterity that my eye has difficulty following it! Isn’t nature amazing?

Finally, if you would like to read more about the bat that visits my garden here are a few links:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/291.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pipistrellus_pipistrellus
http://www.ypte.org.uk/docs/factsheets/animal_facts/pipistrelle_bat.html

The video shown above was filmed by Shirl in Berlin Zoo during July 2004.

11 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am always thrilled when I see a bat in our garden. We see them at dusk most evenings when we are outside at the right time. I have no idea what kind they are. They are so small. I even put up a bat roost on our little barn but haven't had any bats claim that space. We have so many insects here I would welcome a bat or two living here.

Mike @ Fenphotography said...

Great video Shirl, we get a few bats that fly up and down the trees behind my house and like the cats that watch them you would certainly need their reflexes to try and film them or photograph them.

Its a challenge I might take up myself next summer. Mike.

shirl said...

Hi again, Lisa and Mike :-)

Lisa – how interesting to hear that you enjoy bats visit your Indiana garden too - are they common throughout America? We didn’t see any in our last garden but there are a number that fly around here – although not at the moment as they will be hibernating. They are a protected species here in the UK and the house opposite had them in their attic but when they finally had enough of them they had to get experts in to remove them as you are not permitted to close off an entry hole once they use it.

Mike – Thanks! I had been meaning to upload this piece of film for ages. I have so many video tapes that I really must sort! I have some more interesting stuff from Berlin Zoo but I don’t know if it will process well or not. Gosh photographing bats – yep I would agree that is a challenge but perhaps an impossible one. I did get them on video this summer but only as solos – I was looking for a pair spinning around each other which would be much more interesting to see. It wasn’t a good summer of course so we weren’t sitting out in the evening to see them. Good luck with your challenge next summer :-D

Barbara said...

Unfortunately bats are very seldom to meet here. In our village, there is just one place - a very old farmhouse - where you can watch them sometimes in the evening flying out and around. They are so quick and smao that it is difficult to take pictures.
Great video, thank you for sharing!
Have a nice Advent Sunday!
Barbara

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think bats are fairly common in our area. Bats are also protected in certain areas of America. I think here in Indiana the Brown Bat is protected.

At a big house that was being remodeled here in town they had to have someone come remove all the bats and a professional cleaning company clean the attic space it was so full of bat dung.

Jayne said...

Very cool video Shirl! We see the bats come out at dusk, but I am not sure exactly what kind of bats they are. Thanks for stopping by to visit me. I've added your beautiful blog to my blogroll. :c)

st said...

Another link for you

http://bats.org.uk/

shirl said...

Hi again, Barbara, Lisa, St and Hello Jayne :-)

Barbara – Yes I guess that the bats like the older buildings better where there is space for them. I love to watch them in the evening especially as they almost dive into my hedge – I’d guess there are plenty insects there. They really are small and quick for photos I only had them in silhouette when I videoed them this summer. Thanks – I hadn’t looked at my video since I filmed it and it was quite a surprise to see the ‘trapeze’ bat! We had a good Sunday – hope you did too :-D

Lisa – I expected you probably would see bats but I did wonder if they were localised. Interesting to here that you have protected bats too. Yuk – what a thought to have your attic full of bat dung. I wonder if my neighbour had that!

Jayne – Thank-you! Yes, dusk is when we see the bats in our garden. You are welcome - I enjoyed my visit to your blog and I will return to see more activity at your wide range of bird feeders. Thank-you for adding my link and once I catch up with my comments I will add yours too – I like your recent woodpecker shots :-D

St – Thanks for the link – I have that one on my sidebar but please do continue to pass on links. Was that a Sparrowhawk in your garden? We had one sitting on a perch right beside our feeders last Sunday – I haven't noticed them in my garden for a while now. Thank-you, I see you also have my link on your sidebar. Once I get some more time I will add yours too :-D

Jane said...

This is fantastic video Shirl. I wish I could get something like this in my loft... although I'd have to have a license to get anywhere near them. I've seem the odd bat shooting past my night CCTV camera, but they are so quick! Thinking about joining the local Dorset Bat Club, which may get me a bit nearer to filming them!

www.inspiredwritingresearch.typepad.com said...

aren't we privileged to have bats to watch - oh dear i was hoping you could tell me which mine are - they are smaller than sparrows, light gingery in colour and a zigzag flight - any ideas

shirl said...

Hi there Jane (sorry I missed this comment) and hello inspired :-)

Jane – Thanks, don’t know if I would! In fact I know I for sure that I wouldn’t. Yes, they are so quick and this year I hope to catch them flying around my garden too. Joining a club is a great idea. I will guess you did and have lots more people to share your love for wildlife with now :-D

Inspiried – We certainly are. Sorry I’m not sure I can help with an ID but perhaps a local Bat or Wildlife club could give you some ideas. I sure they would be delighted to help you :-D