Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Long Eared Bats

In conversation with my brother Dougal it became clear that there might be bats in the outside boiler shed at my Mum's house in Norfolk as he'd seen one flying about last time he went in there. Hopeful that we might be able to again see them at close quarters we sneaked out to look, armed with a torch and camera. Opening the door of the boiler shed we didn't initially see any bats but then Dougal spotted three roosting on the wall above the door. Two were gripping on the rough block wall and one was hanging from the ceiling and all were looking at us, surprized by our intrusion. Not wanting to disturb them I held my camera firmly against the wall to get a few quick shots but within a minute of so two of the bats had dropped from the wall, flown around the shed and crawled out under the eves where they have clearly found a way in and out under the tiles. I read recently that the Long Eared bats have such long ears, not as I had thought to 'hear' moths more easily, but so that they can communicate with each other more stealthily and use quieter echo-location squeaks so that the moths can't hear them approaching. We left them to their roost and will keep an eye over them coming months in the hope that numbers develop as other bats discover this warm retreat and the cold of winter begins to bite.

The Long-eared bat.
Family: Vespertilionidae
Plecotus auritus

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