Saturday, September 5, 2009

Maulden Wood

It's just gone midnight and I've arrived home after a few hours in Maulden Wood with several members of the Beds Bat Group. Bob Cornes, our Bat Recorder, rang earlier and asked if I'd like to come....well, that was a no brainer!! 3 mist nets were set up along a couple of rides in the midst of the wood and, from 8pm until soon after 11pm, we sat and waited, chatted and checked the nets from time to time, and kept our eyes open and ears peeled for the sound of bats close by on the detectors. The moon was full & bright, so much so that there was no need for the head torches where the rides were more open. Maybe that's one of the reasons why we didn't catch anything this evening, or maybe the breeze didn't help. But we did pick up 5 species on the detectors: the 'slapping' Common (45Kz) & Soprano (55Kz) Pipistrelles (including several social calls), Brown Long-eared, a Myotis species (probably Natterer's) and, most exciting of all for me, a Barbastelle which buzzed as it presumably leap-frogged over the top of the net right in front of where we were seated! I ended up with Bat Detector's arm aching as a result of holding the bat detector rigidly for such a long time! As we made our way back to the cars, with a group of Tawny Owls calling close by, and a Muntjac Deer barking in the distance, I decided that I just can't wait to do this again!

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