Over a thousand bat calls recorded near the eco lodges

Our 2020 bat survey results are back. We had just 6 different types this time. But the equipment recorded well over 1000 calls. Of those, more than 900 were myotis sp, a group that might include several similar species.

The survey equipment we put out in August was loaned as part of the Devon Wildlife Trust’s Greater Horseshoe Bat project. For 3 nights, the recorder monitored bat activity around the big wildlife pond below Balebarn Lodge. Overall, it picked up 1103 calls.

That’s not necessarily 1103 bats, of course, but it’s a good number, though not the highest we’ve had in recent years.

And of those 1103, 936 were from the group ‘Myotis’, which are hard to tell apart from calls alone, but include Alcathoe, Bechstein’s, Brandt’s, Daubenton’s, Natterer’s and Whiskered bats. Previous surveys have picked out Daubenton’s bat and Whiskered/Brandt’s bats here, so maybe they were present this year too.

Overall, it looks like at least 9 bat species have been regularly using Wheatland Farm in recent years. Here’s a summary or Wheatland Farm’s results from within the multi-year survey :

Myotis spp16320936
pipistrelle spp.2510
common pipistrelle3149811839
soprano pipistrelle1211291444
whiskered or Brandt’s29
Leisler’s or Noctule11
Long eared1242
Summary of bat calls recorded during annual 3 night bat surveys at Wheatland Farm 2017 to 2020 incl.

Of course, the weather and the temperature, the time of year etc will affect year to year numbers, so even with four years of Wheatland Farm data, we can’t be sure of trends and patterns. It would be nice to have found Daubenton’s bat more often, but we’re pleased that long eared bats have been detected in three of the four years