Tuesday 30 October 2018

Bats in the Dells

This morning I joined Charlotte of Water of Leith Conservation Trust and Caroline of City of Edinburgh Council to walk along part of the river and survey the bat boxes which are positioned on several of the trees along the walkway. Caroline is licensed to handle bats, they're protected species so should not be disturbed at all without a licence.

First we had to find the bat boxes, some of which were more hidden away than others. Caroline then climbed into the trees to examine the boxes and clean them out

Several bat boxes contained lots of bat poo indicating that the box has been used recently, two contained birds nests and one contained a dead adult blue tit. It was only when we got to the final box though that we found bats, six pipistrelle bats to be exact. Caroline brought one of them down to show us - isn't it adorable!

She then gave it a quick health check, checking that it didn't have mites and then put it back into the box.

Although bats are slowing down at this time of year and will soon be hibernating, October is their mating season, the males will soon abandon the females who won't give birth until June (you can read more about the life cycle of bats here on the Bat Conservation Trust website).

I've been on several bat walks in Edinburgh, including a couple along the Water of Leith before but this is the first time in a very long time that I've actually been this close to one of these lovely animals.

For Nature Notes


David M. Gascoigne, said...

I have never had much success with bat boxes, so I am glad to hear that it works for someone.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I was still seeing bats as of a couple of weeks ago in my driveway. 6 in a box sounds amazing

Rambling Woods said...

I love that the bat boxes are there and one was used....very exciting to see be there to see that bat...Michelle

Lowcarb team member said...

How good that one was used, nice to read your post and see the photographs.

All the best Jan

betty-NZ said...

I had no idea that they were so cute!!