NEW CUT HERITAGE & ECOLOGY TRAIL GROUP
Evening Bat Walk – With Harold Green & Cheryl Knott
Saturday 13th August 2016
Meet at 7.30pm – Front of the Dog & Partridge, on Old Manchester Rd WA1 3TZ
Good sturdy footwear, good coat, torch required & insect repellent advised.
The Walk will be augmented by the use of bat detectors to aide in the location and identification of the species prior to hopefully spotting the individual.
The evening will commence with a brief discussion and familiarisation with some of Harolds rescued bats prior to crossing over into the Ecology Park & heading off through Woolston Park South & then along the river bank.
The evening may well continue for a couple of hours into the dark (depending on success and weather etc.). Safe passage at appropriate intervals back to a lit street environment will be provided to anyone wishing to leave earlier, who may be unfamiliar with Paddington Meadows.
It’s free to come along and enjoy and learn about these fascinating mammals. An optional small donation would be appreciated to assist in the running of Harold’s Bat Hospital.
What may we see?
Common Pipistrelle Bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) one of the most common species.
Head & body length: 35mm – 45mm
Forearm length: 30mm – 35mm
Weight: 3g – 8g Colour:
Medium to dark brown. Face and around the eyes usually dark
A tiny bat; they are common throughout Britain. Like other bats, pipistrelles are nocturnal.
They emerge at dusk to feed for a couple of hours before returning to their roosts.
In the winter they hibernate in trees and buildings. In the summer they use trees, buildings and bat boxes to roost. Pipistrelles are agile, fast fliers.
During the breeding season males defend a territory, Females visit these territories and after mating give birth in June and July, usually to a single baby. Bats are mammals and feed their young milk. After about three or four weeks the young bats are able to fly and leave the roosts in August.
What does it eat? Small insects, such as moths and gnats. A single pipistrelle can eat 3,000 gnats in one night.
Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii) a hunter over water
Daubenton’s bat is a medium-sized species. It has a steady flight, often within a few centimetres of the water surface and is reminiscent of a small hovercraft.
Head & body length: 45mm -55mm
Forearm length: 34mm – 41mm
Wingspan: 240mm – 275mm
Weight: 7g – 12g
Colour: Fur red brown, pale underneath. Pinkish face, bare around the eyes.
Daubenton’s bats usually feed within about 6km of the roost, but have been recorded following canals for up to 10km (at speeds of up to 25kph). They usually take insects from close to the water and have even been seen taking prey directly from the water surface, using their large feet as a gaff or the tail membrane as a scoop.
Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula)
The noctule bat is one of the largest British species and is usually the first bat to appear in the evening, sometimes even before sunset.
Noctules have broad brown ears and a distinctive mushroom-shaped tragus.
Vital statistics Head & body length: 37mm – 48mm
Forearm length: 48mm – 58mm
Wingspan: 320mm – 400mm
Weight: 18g – 40g
Colour: Adults sleek chocolate brown, juveniles and some females dull chocolate brown
Noctules have a characteristic powerful, direct flight on narrow pointed wings.They fly in the open, often well above tree-top level, with repeated steep dives when chasing insects.
Noctule bats can fly at 50 kph. Most food is caught on the wing and eaten in flight but occasionally prey is taken from the ground and in suburban areas noctules are attracted to street lamps to feed on moths.
During spring noctules will feed mainly on smaller insects such as midges, changing their diet to take beetles and moths later in the season. They forage mainly at dusk for up to two hours and for about half an hour at dawn. They are known to fly over 10km from roost to feeding areas.