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. 


Life is busy and other stuff

So I am back after taking time to canvass for the Labour Party’s local candidate Kevin Gillot since December it was a sad day to see the country not only not become a Labour run country but sink back to the despair last seen in the 80’s under the Tories. All those who voted against Labour because someone left a note to say “no money left” or because Ed cannot eat a bacon sandwich or because it was Labour who ruined the world economy I hope you enjoy the next 5 years. It will all start on the 8th June when the chancellor will unveil his cuts he says is to Whitehall but will mean the public service, shares have risen in Capita and Serco on the news the Tories got back in and are rubbing their hands and the prospect of all the services that will be sold off.

Well Cory and I are now ready to help with bat care this summer after both completing the rabies jabs. We are really enjoying working with the Derbyshire bat group with the bat box surveys, bat box erection in a new scheme and a bat walk. Very busy times but it is great to be able to join in and help this creature. The bats are very active at the moment and we are hearing them on the detector in the back garden, a single pip at the moment but we are going to wonder around the village this weekend and see if we can fin some more.

Check out and see the latest tree shears! This complements the crushers they do and is all part of the site clearance machinery they develop. Plus some great videos of heavy machinery!

Well I hope to upload some more photos of the bat work in the next few days. Keep watching.

Bats, Derbyshire, Family, Wildlife

Bat worker training

So for the past few weeks I have been doing bat box surveys with the Derbyshire Bat Conservation Group (link here) and getting more involved with the group. As such I am looking to do the bat worker training so I can work towards bat care. I have started to read the bat worker handBook and today I go for my first rabies vaccine jab. There are 3 of these to have over the next month or so!

So far the bats I have seen are both pipistrelle, the common pipistrelle and the soprano pipistrelle. The Noctule and the Leisler’s. Pervious pictures of them have been posted here but for more pictures check our the ones on the DBCG webpage. Next event will be at carsington water where in the past I have been sailing with my day and where Cory and I first got interested in bats when the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust held a bat safari.