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What to Watch in Wildlife This Month - Bats

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Posted: Tuesday 1st August 2017 by WildBlog

August Bats
By Joe McSorley, Conservation Advisor

August is a great month to look out for bats as we’re often outdoors at twilight. Mild winters and a warm summer such as we’ve had, mean more bats are likely to be on the wing. More adults will have survived and this year's young will also be on the wing foraging for themselves.

There are millions of bats across the UK often foraging close to where we live and work. But their nocturnal habits and their favouring of areas with limited light pollution make them difficult to observe most of the year. In mid to late summer, however, they often congregate in maternity roosts and continue to frequent them well into July and August, which means that if you are in the right place at the right time you have a good chance of seeing them. 

Some bats such as the Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) are really small, weighing in at around 5g and with their wings closed - that's not much bigger than your average child’s thumb. Their petite size means that they tend to like areas that are sheltered from strong winds that can throw them off course. This means they’ll often frequent gardens, hedged lanes and sheltered areas near tall vegetation. 

Look out for bats along hedgerows at our Folly Farm nature reserve, along woodland edges at Browne’s Folly and Weston Big Wood where we’ve widened some of the rides to favour foraging bats. Or in your local park (Brandon Hill Nature Reserve next to our office is a good spot to try).

There are 17 species of breeding bat in the UK so if you want to identify what you’ve seen, then acquiring a bat detector that can tune into the frequency of their echolocation calls can be a good investment.

To learn more about bats and bat detection, please do join us on our Bat Walk at Elm Farm on Friday 11th of August at 6:30pm. Find out more information here.

Pipistrelle bat image credit:  Amy Lewis

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