Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Waiting for a kingfisher made me batty

Where do we get these ridiculous titles... well let me explain.

Today I needed some Nature Therapy to cure me of some, what is beginning to feel like, terminal stress. I headed off to the river, part of the Kingfisher walk we did last Autumn and plonked myself down on the river bank in the glorious sunshine and made ready to wait for a kingfisher. I saw some lovely grey wagtails, black headed guls, oyster catchers, dippers, pied wagtails, huge leaping salmon, goosanders, mallards- not a kingy in sight or sound.

Then I noticed something flying strangely near the woods and over the river. It was quite a way away so I couldn't id it through lens even - though quickly suspected something batty by the movement and the occasional quick twists and turns.

Lo and behold it was a large bat flying on its own around the woodland edge and over the river and back. Occasionally it flew low as though checking me out as I sat trying to photograph it. It was very clearly a reddish goldie brown in the sunshine and much bigger than the little pipis we get flying out of our roof at dusk in summer.

Anyway I sort of fell in love with it.. got some nice shots but missed a cracker where it swooped down to drink some water. :-(

Anyway my guess is a Noctule (one of the larger UK bats, known to be out earlier in the evening than other species, though this was about 1.30pm today - an in March so clearly out of hibernation and enjoying some warm sunshine!)

Okay now I'm setting myself up for a slap by our(so far) one and only commenter... my Sis Jess who is working on her PhD in Aberdeen (Yoh Bobs!)and is a bit of a clever dick (know-it-all!!!) What say you lady? Noctule? Female? Aged 14 months? In 2nd trimester of her first litter? Seriously -please comment anyone and let us know your differences of opinion on the species.


  1. I would agree with your identification. The apparent large size (though difficult to see scale against a big blue sky!) and the narrow pointed wings and described location would all point to it being a Noctule - I'm not going to attempt to sex it though without a much more magnified photograph! I say get yourself a bat detector so you can I.D. any bats you see by their echolocation frequency.

  2. Ta bobs

    Are you sure in one shot you can't see a willy?

  3. On closer inspection I think you are right - you can! Male it is then!