Bats, Derbyshire, Wildlife

My first swarming survey and other firsts

last night I was part of Derbyshire Bat Conservation Group (DBCG) swarming survey in a cave in Derbyshire. That was not my first for the evening. I have been working with bats now for nearly a year so I still have to meet all of our British Bats. I have to date seen the following:

  • Common Pipistrelle
  • Soprano Pipistrelle 
  • Brandts
  • Whiskered
  • Daubentons
  • Noctule
  • Leislers

But this is not all of them and I know that in Derbyshire we don’t get all of the UK’s bats but I was hoping to meet more of them.

So the idea was to set 3 harp traps and check them every 20 minutes and these were put just beyond the cave mouth. So the plan was to sit and wait, and wait until our 10:20 pm check when we got our first bats, Daubentons or Dawbie for short. Then my first new bat…….. A Natterers bat and what a lovely bat it has a great face and is quite a large bat, certainly bigger than a Pipistrelle. I tried to get a picture of it but it’s hard to take photos at night on an iPhone with a wiggly bat. So my next challenge will be to get a good photo of the Natterers. I must say that the Natterers has become my favourite bat it is a proper looking bat.


I am learning to notice the difference between the Whiskered and Brandts, they are so alike it really is hard to tell them apart but it can be done. More later when I get it right but it does come down to teeth and penis!

And then the bat I have been waiting to see I have heard it it a beauty and most see. The Brown Long Eared bat or BLE. Wow it has big ears! Which they fold into a Rams horn type pattern on the side of their head and the Tragus can be mistaken for its ears. I did get a good picture of him though as can be seen below


Granted it is cute but don’t you think it’s a bit too showy? Nope I think the Natterers is favourite 🙂

So I have now ticked 2 more bats off my list and learnt more about Brandts/Whiskered and it really was fun staying out till 4am! But without doing these surveys we will never find out how bats live we know so little about them when compared to other animals. 


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