After the extremely mild and spring like conditions of the last week, it was back to winter with a changeable weekend weather wise, rain then wind on Saturday and then more rain and wind on Sunday! So with no chance of doing any bird ringing I headed down to a small barn to check on the local bats. I have been keeping an eye on this barn (well its bats) since 2007, and have recorded five species, Brown long-eared, Common and Soprano Pipistrelle, Serotine and Natterer's, during that time. The bats use the barn in different ways, with the Pipistrelle's tending to use it for hibernation and the Long-eared's using it mainly for breeding, with a few staying on to hibernate.
The last time I looked in the barn was January 2012, when I located single Brown long-eared and Serotine bats and seven Pipistrelle species. This time I located 13 Pipistrelle bats, which is the most of this species I have ever recorded in the barn. I have previously left a remote bat detector in this barn and have found that of the two Pipistrelle species, the Common Pipistrelle is the most regular and therefore I suspect that these bats are all that species.
|Pipistrelle Bat (most likely Common Pipistrelle)|
All of the bats were located in small crevices in the lower part of the barn, and were very awake, which is probably a result of the recent mild weather, although they will be in for a shock if they venture out tonight!!
|Two Pipistrelle bats in a small Crevice|
The bats were mainly clustered together in small groups with the largest group numbering four bats, but the most visible were a group of two just inside the entrance door. The Common Pipistrelle is one of the UK's commonest bats which on average can weigh between 4 - 8 grams and has been recorded living to the grand old age of 12 years.
|Colour-ringed Oystercatcher, Bunny Meadows|
By the time I had finished in the barn the weather had cleared and the sun was shining, so I popped down to Bunny Meadows. It was bitterly cold so didn't stay out too long, but did find a colour-ringed Oystercatcher on the inter-tidal. Two of the rings were discoloured but I think I eventually managed to get the correct combination. All of the previous colour-ringed Oycs I have seen here were originally trapped at Hamble Point on the other side of the water, so I am guessing that is where this bird was ringed.....but I will keep you posted.