Wednesday 11 December 2013

Fat Bats?

It’s that time of year when bat people go into the mine adit beneath our drive in the Maentwrog nature reserve to count the hibernating bats. The adit runs 200 feet into the mountainside with waist deep water at the entrance, best not tackled in leaky waders. 150 feet into the adit you rise out of the water and that’s where the lesser horseshoes start to be found.

Lesser horseshoe
The highest number recorded in recent years was 116 but today it was just 25 plus a solitary (and very rare for these parts) greater horseshoe.  Is it the same one as last year? Is it a he or a she? What are the chances of he or she mating?

It’s been an exceptionally mild autumn / winter to date with only one night going slightly below freezing and this morning it was 3° outside and 10° at the far end of the adit. Six lesser horseshoes were seen flying at Plas Tan y Bwlch the evening before so maybe the bats are enjoying a much longer feeding season. Will this mean fat bats next year?

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