Tuesday, 21 June 2016

#30DaysWild Day 21 – Scottish Bat Survey

A BBC News item caught my eye on my phone this morning – “Volunteers sought for Scottish bat survey”. Now, that’s something I haven’t done this year - sit on my arbour seat and watch bats fly around the garden as the sun sets. Note to self – a plan for tonight!

Volunteers are being sought for a Scotland-wide survey of bats.

The Bat Conservation Trust is asking people to note sightings at sunset and before sunrise in an effort to gauge the health of bat populations.

The surveys involve spending an hour looking and listening for bats and entering the results online.

Anne Youngman, Scottish officer for the trust, suggested volunteers could incorporate their surveys into a "romantic sunset saunter".

The UK is home to 18 species, including brown long-eared, common pipistrelle and Daubenton's bats.
BBC News, 21 June 2016.


Bats have been seen flying along the length of our hedge over many, many years. They turn tight at the bottom corner and that’s where I tried to get photos tonight. No luck though. They were too fast, no surprises there, and the light went low too. Bats first appeared tonight at 10:20pm. These long bright days may be turning back now, but there’s still time to get out and make the most of them yet :-)

I suspect the bats visiting my garden are Pipistrelles, but I don’t know that for sure. Some are quite small (I’m guessing young ‘uns). They get very, very close to my arbour seat. I can’t deny I felt a little uncomfortable tonight as they got rather close to my head as I stood beside my tripod.

The sights and sounds from the garden tonight included songs from a Dunnock and Blackbirds. Woodpigeons clapped their wings as they flew over (three) and Swifts screeched (group of ten) as they circled the sky above me. Before the bats came out something caught my eye and I got up with my camera.


At 10pm a large bumble bee was seen feeding on a globemaster allium flower


Returning to arbour for bat count, water lily flower buds were spotted.


Thankfully this large snail was feeding on an already decaying leaf.


Uploading night photos, I came across another bee visitor from this morning.


I nearly forgot I had breakfast with a Greenfinch this morning :-)


The Greenfinch was being watched by a Goldfinch juvenile too :-)
When the Greenfinch left it went down to the feeder tray mentioned previously.
The timing for this tray going up has has worked out really well then :-)


Pottering around my garden at sunset can have bats skirting over my head too. Ha-ha... I wonder if that is something that appeals to you? Alternatively, you could always sit indoors by a window to count bats as you would birds for the RSPB Bird Count :-)

Tonight I counted two bats, although there was a ‘maybe’ three. They are so very quick in the air. There was plenty other wildlife to catch my attention while I waited. I absolutely recommend siting outside and soaking up the atmosphere in the garden before sunset. Dawn is probably good too - although I’ve never done that yet! Have you? Do enjoy your evening garden, be it pottering or wildlife watching :-)



This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in June 2016.

5 comments:

Janneke said...

I even never tried to photograph bats, I think too difficult for me. I like watching them in the evening and sometimes when I toss a pebble they are diving to the pebble.

Sue Garrett said...

Unfortunately we don't see any bats around our house. When I was teaching we did take the children on a night bat watch. The guide used one of those bat detectors so that we could identify the types of bats that we saw. It was very interesting. A close encounter that we once had was in a park in Perpignan where we stood on a bridge over the stream. The bats came flying down the stream and parted either side of us as they flew over the bridge. Very exciting.

Midmarsh John said...

Used to have regular visits from bats here. Fascinating to watch, also interesting to observe how some moths avoid being caught by suddenly dropping a foot or so as a bat get close. Must put some new batteries in my bat detector and see if they are still about.

Pauline said...

We have Pipistrelles here which zoom around the house and another large bat that we only rarely see during the daytime. I bought my husband a bat detector for his birthday to try and find out what the large one is, but no luck so far!

Shirley said...

Hello again , to you all, thanks for leaving your comments, I’m having a job keeping up with this myself :-)

Janneke it is only wishful thinking on my part that I could ever capture any clear image of bats. I like the pebble trick. Enjoying watching a playing catch with your evening visitors 

Sue, that’s’ a shame, I wonder if bats buzz around your allotment in the evening. I’ve been a parent helper on similar evenings. Wow, that does sound an exciting encounter – they part over my head but I think of it as a narrow escape always fearing they could get caught in my hair :-)

John, ah, a bat detector, I do remember you blogging about that in the past. I hope you capture lots of visitors. Ah, the moths need to learn a trick or two I’d guess – very interesting to see as you say. I’ll look out for that.

Pauline, ah, great, another bat detector. I hope you manage to ID your bigger bat, what fun trying :-)