Thursday, June 02, 2011

Balmy Evenings

Daubenton's Bat
I absolutely love this type of weather, particularly with the warm balmy evenings, when I can lay in bed with the windows and hatches fully open just listening to the wildlife.

Last night for example Dee and I lay listening to a Tawny Owl calling, a distant Curlew and at one stage the high pitch screech of Barn Owl was heard passing overhead.

Unfortunately, due to other commitments I’ve been unable to enjoy the current warm spell during the day, missing out on an adult Osprey at Brandon Marsh this morning, but I have managed a couple of evening walks around the marina grounds.

About an hour after sunset yesterday evening the Pipistrelle Bats were once again doing their level best to convince me that they were about to collide with me head on. However, I was delighted to come across another member in the order of Chiroptera, in the form of two Daubenton’s Bats. Daubenton’s bat is a medium-sized species. It has a steady flight, often within a few centimeters off the waters surface and is reminiscent of a small hovercraft.

Daubenton’s usually feed within about 6km of the roost, but have been recorded following canals for up to 10km (at speeds of up to 25kph). They usually take insects from close to the water and have even been seen taking prey directly from the waters surface, using their large feet as a gaff or the tail membrane as a scoop. I actually witnessed this first hand last night, definitely a sight to behold!

The Frogs were once again on the move with several seen moving across the paths and our resident Sedge Warblers were still singing from deep within the reeds. My first Hedgehog of the year was also making its way along one of the paths. The shock of the night though was when one of the moorers black cats suddenly pounced, frightening the life out of me!

This evening no signs of the Daubenton’s Bats but I did enjoy the song of a late evening Yellowhammer. Also seen earlier when I arrived back at the marina at around 6pm was a family group of six Pied Wagtails, plus two juvenile Tree Sparrows, which were being fed by an attentive mother.