jeremyr's picture

Flint Farm Bats

Observed: 6th October 2012 By: jeremyrjeremyr’s reputation in Mammalsjeremyr’s reputation in Mammalsjeremyr’s reputation in Mammals

I did feel a bit silly standing there in broad sunny daylight holding a hissing Bat Detector. But the moment the sun's disc slipped below the horizon, though still perfectly light, a thin bubbling sound began, coming from one of two old cottages beyond a garden with trees. I think this was the bats emerging, and that I've found my first roost. Then they were all around, tree-top height at first, which seemed quite reckless as birds of prey, and Gulls, will take them. As it got darker they flew lower at a more usual height of about 6-10 feet above my head

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No interactions present.


noelbats's picture

Common Pip

its your notes on the echo location that make this one certain.
Wet noises peaking at 45kHz is going to be Common Pip.
From the pics it could have been Noctule or Leislers or one of the other Pip spp.

jeremyr's picture


Noctule and Leisler's outlines are very different from each other and from Pipistrelle. Natterer's is quite similar. Also the flittery flight with irregular twists and turns described is diagnostic of this genus. (I got my bat-outline chart from a workshop so I'm not sure of a book to recommend.)

You do however raise the point of the over-reliance on pictures for identification sometimes, when other less tangible factors are actually more apparent - I've not seen many Nightingales presented on iSpot, for example.. it's a shame there isn't a 'listening' section

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jeremyr's picture

id notes

as mentioned, the irregular twists & turns and the wet slaps identify Pipistrelle (plus it's tiny size). I know Serotine very well, it's my favourite bat (along with Horseshoes) and usually survey plenty of those at the Lee Valley reservoirs several miles away, but I've not yet detected one round here. Pips and Natterers are the main bats at this location. It's a great call though isn't it? Like a 'bad jazz drummer', or a good one backwards..

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sarahannebutcher's picture

id notes

They are lovely bats! I'm lucky in that I can watch them most nights nearby. I love the way they trundle along yet suddenly dip and dive...

The comments above show how you need more than just a photo to ID bats (and they're lovely shots-I know how hard bats are to photograph after hours in the field) but for anyone interested BCT do a nice sheet with bat silhouettes on them. It can be found on the 'Roost Count-how to separate bats using a bat detector' leaflet. If you sign up for the Roost Count they even send it in the post.