Last night the Barn Owl Trust held its first evening Bat Walk event. It was attended by 5 lucky people plus Devon Consultant Ecologist and bat expert Louise Woolley. The weather couldn’t have been much better with a warm day followed by a clear still night and an almost full moon. The evening started with tea and biscuits and a presentation on UK bat species, identification, their ecology, habitat, diet and threats. Just after sunset, the group headed out onto the fields with a heterodyne detector to see what they could find.
Common Pipistrelle were both seen and picked up on the bat detectors. Meanwhile, in the LLP, a higher number of myotis species were recorded on the detectors. Pride of place and the star of the evening however, must go to the two passes over Corner Wood and the Holly Hedge by at least one Barbastelle, one of the rarest UK bats with an estimated population of just 5,000.
If that wasn’t enough, and as the group walked down the long path towards Kiln Close a Nightjar floated past low over the grassland, visibility aided by the near-full moon.
(Right: A Barbastelle Bat – image from Wikipedia)