Well..... a couple of hours in the evening anyway!
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of joining a band of hardy souls from the Suffolk Bat Group for an evening survey at Holbrook School, south of Ipswich. I had not been to this location since an ill-fated trip to play rugby in the region of 30 years ago - we were thrashed if I recall correctly.
This time, the visit was far more rewarding - the school has an enviable position, located adjacent to the Orwell estuary and it looked extremely picturesque as the sunlight faded and the first hints of dusk tempted bats out to forage.
The bat survey involved recording bat activity at a series of locations around the school grounds - I took up a station within a stand of mature broad-leaved woodland next to an open area of canopy that had been selected well - the woodland edge habitat offering a good prospect for bat foraging, with plenty of insects attracting bats close to and among the trees.
We were not disappointed - there was a regular passage of common and soprano pipistrelle bats, two very similar species that were until recently considered a single species - but now distinguishable by the frequency at which they echolocate. However, the undoubted highlight was a single, but unmistakable call of a Nathusius' pipistrelle. This species is considered rare in the UK, although may well be under recorded. It was great to record this species!
This is intended to host my articles on ecology, news about what I am up to, and general musings or ramblings about things that concern me....