Bat Detecting at Wheatland Farm’s Devon Eco Lodges

Great news! With lock down easing the bat surveys across Devon are back on, with help from the Devon Wildlife Trust.

We’ve borrowed the kit again, and have set it up just near the main wildlife pond in the field below Balebarn Eco Lodge – we’ve recorded here before and it seems like a good mix of hedgerows, open water, and woodland, all of which bats like to use as feeding habitat. Let’s see what turns up this time.

In 2019 we had the survey in April, and put the bat detector on Popehouse Moor, near the magic pond (with some help from our eco lodge guests – it cost them a welly, eaten by the bog monster). That survey didn’t show up anything new from earlier surveys.

In 2018, a 3 day September survey recorded several new species for Wheatland Farm (Daubenton’s bat, Long-eared bat and Serotine bat) when the data came back in November, taking our total to at least 9 species. The bat survey in 2017 picked up 6 species – Common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle, Noctule, Natterer’s, Wiskered / Brandt’s, Barbastelle, Leisler’s / Noctule bats.

We’re certainly seeing plenty of bats flying in the evenings, and there are lots of insects for them to eat. By this stage, we’re not really expecting to find any new species for our Devon farm, but it’s great to be part of the survey anyway. The county is divided into 1km squares, and if your square hasn’t already had a 3 day survey this year, you can book out the kit and find out what’s flying around at dusk!