evening visitors

18 July, 2008 at 11:38 pm ()

Whilst I’m in Oxford, I am spending my evenings in the Botanical Garden to make more recordings of the bats, and as such think that I am beginning to understand their behaviour a little more – not that this will necessarily be consistent throughout the season, but at least I have something to build on.

They appear to come out around 15 minutes after sunset, and in the area just above the Spring Walk but over the River Cherwell – one or two first of all, then three or four, but probably no more than about eight at peak.  These bats fly mostly between three and five metres above the water, swooping to catch the insects.

Then, as the evening goes on, there is more bat activity further down the river towards the lower end of the Spring Walk and the greenhouses.  The bats that first appear here skim along the surface of the water – two or three at first, and then eventually joined by the swooping bats as mentioned above.

Within about three-quarters of an hour this first rush of bat activity appears to die down and then the bat visits become more occasional, and also involving different species.  Over the next weeks or so I will have a listen to my recordings and see if I can use these to identify what’s visiting, and when.

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