Friday, 24 June 2016

Daubenton's bat...

We have 16 species of bats regularly occurring in the UK and luckily Somerset is home to all of them. Most people are familiar with the Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus as it's frequently seen flitting around buildings and gardens and is, as its name suggests, very common. There are a number of other species that are probably seen and overlooked though including the mostly water-loving Daubenton's bat Myotis daubentonii, one of our native Myotis family members. Whilst bats of the Myotis family can be notoriously difficult to tell apart Daubenton's foraging behaviour along with it's echo location calls, help distinguish it from other members of the family.

Daubenton's can often be seen flying low over open bodies of water where they trawl for insects close to the surface using their feet and tail membrane. I was surprised to see such good numbers last night at Chard Reservoir - at least 25 of them in a feeding group close to shore and probably many more around the perimeter of the water. I shot the short video below on my phone just to illustrate part of the feeding group. The sound you hear is my bat detector going crazy and you may be better off watching this on YouTube to see the video enlarged.

Not easy to see but look closely...

And a sound clip of them at their feeding peek:

In addition to these there were also a few Soprano Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pygmaeus, Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus a single Noctule Nyctalus noctula at the res and two Serotine Eptesicus serotinus just along the road near Chaffcombe.

The Soprano Pipistrelle was particularly vocal:

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