Well, we have reached the end of the bat season! I never cease to be amazed how much we manage to fit in. I’m now busy cleaning out the bat cages and getting ‘Brummie the Bandaged Bat‘ kits ready for tomorrow’s AGM at the Wildlife Trust, where I’m giving a talk about our very busy bat care year. When October rolls around, I often end up thinking about my favourite batty moments. This year was full of wonderful events, like the release of Cain & Abel – our first ever double-bat release, and the release of Daz, the little pipistrelle who had been injured by a wind turbine and survived, against the odds, to be released.
But bat care aside, my absolute number 1 moment was on a bat walk at Beacon Quarry in Walsall – a group of over 20 people were gathered at the base of the Triassic Sandstone quarry face (The trapped still air in the quarry make it a great place to see bats foraging!). I was talking about feeding buzzes, when two pipistrelles flew overhead – the urban glow against low cloud made it easy to make out bats in silhouette against the sky. The two bats were both echolocating at 55kHz, soprano pipistrelles, and they were clearly flying together – when I realised what looked strange – one bat was 1/2 the size of the other… We were watching a mother bat teaching her pup to fly and hunt!
What a real privelege it is to see moments like that, and to have these beautiful, feisty, characterful little creatures in my life.