Bats at Ten Acres

The annual follow up to Court Hey Park just down the road at the island woodland of Ten Acre Pits was just as enticing as the walk a few days earlier. The turn out was also good with a similar number of people arriving. Many regulars and returnees from the previous years along with Brian from the Friends checking in for most of the night to keep us in check!

Ten Acre Pits is a fascinating piece of woodland. Small and surrounded by housing it should surely be ruinous from disturbance and mis-use. This is not the case however, the Friends group have kept the park welcoming, clean and accessible throughout. There is a surprising diversity here too with many plant and animal species recorded from previous surveys. The park has been allowed to develop a fairly good under-story of woodland wildflowers, shrubs and small trees. On this night however we were here for the bats! The trees on site are large and there are several good clearings within it. This was a particular bonus that Friday night as the wind had picked up, this has the unfortunate effect that insects are blown into shelter and the bats must work harder to feed, sometimes if the feeding has been good this might mean that they don't bother coming out at all...

We were in luck however! Within a few minutes of walking into the wood we detected ourselves a Bandit Pipistrelle. This gave me a chance to do the usual talk around bat feeding and general behaviour, why they were here and the types of things that might threaten them. Inevitably the bat farts became a special point of interest (re: feeding buzz). A particular surprising aspect of the walks at Ten Acre Pits is that almost every year we have had not only Bandits but also Soprano Pipistrelle, rarely the case at Court Hey Park. We weren't disappointed.

To my understanding Sopranos are more often associated with woodland around water bodies and water bodies themselves but there is nothing at or near Ten Acre Pits that would fit this. I can only assume that we have some more or less resident Sopranos that are just happy where they are!