14th May 2015 - The Bat survey season is upon us!
With May underway we find ourselves busy conducting various bat surveys most nights of the week. With a range of projects and clients, we are looking forwards to a varied summer of bat surveys. We’ve got many interesting projects this year and plenty to get our teeth into; be it advising on a project along a river corridor which Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats use, or surveying for a development scheme proposed close to an Ancient Woodland where Barbastelle may be present. Some of our sites have roosts of multiple bat species, testing our ecologists ID skills which they have been honing over the last month or so in preparation for the bat survey season.
In addition to classroom based training, we have conducted training surveys along a stretch of the River Itchen close to Shawford. This chalk river which is designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) due to the amazing freshwater habitats, and the presence of numerous species including Southern Damselfly, Bullhead, White-clawed Crayfish, Brook Lamprey, Atlantic Salmon and Otter. There are also plenty of bats around which provides a great opportunity for our junior staff to hear a variety of species in quick succession and try to split them apart. It also gave one of our work experience students their first glimpse of bats in the wild. We all enjoyed watching the Daubenton’s bats complete their figure of eight loops, only changing course to snag an insect here or there. The bats sometimes get so close to the water that we were able to see the ripples on the surface as the bat takes it prey.
If you think you may need bat surveys for a project, do get in touch. The active bat survey season has begun and lasts until the end of September (although the optimal season for roost surveys ends in August). We advise spreading surveys out as much as possible through the survey season, so it is important to get your first survey booked in now before diaries start to get booked up.