Surrey365; Day 81. Beryl and Boris are ready for release!
Bat news today, and there’s sad news and good news.
Sad news first; little Pipsqueak the Soprano Pipistrelle died from his wounds on Friday night. 😦 Sadly, they can’t all be saved, and they are so very tiny that the pressure of a cat’s jaws can easily cause crush injuries that aren’t recoverable from, even if the puncture wounds are.
Now for the good news. Beryl and Boris the BLEs are ready to go back to the wild. 🙂 They’ve been leading me a right merry dance, over the last few days. Beryl escaped upstairs and I couldn’t catch her for 45 minutes, which reassured me that she is VERY ready for release. The following night Boris did much the same thing, and caused me a complete panic because some of the windows upstairs were open! 😱 I had no idea he’d got upstairs (he had breached my security measures!), so was searching for him downstairs when my daughter, who was lying in the bath reading her book, shouted “MUM!! There’s a bat in the bathroom!!! and he was whizzing round her head.
20 minutes later and I still hadn’t caught him, and as I sat on the stairs watching him explore every inch of the landing, the closed doors, etc etc, I was thinking (amongst other, less repeatable things 😉 ) ‘well, at least this demonstrates that he can easily fly long enough to be released…’!
We don’t know where Boris was found, as the finder wouldn’t leave details with the vet. It’s ideal for a bat to be released exactly where they’re found, because they navigate using known landmarks like trees, hedges etc. In this case, though, we know that there is an established roost where Beryl was found, and since they’ve bonded, we’ll release them together. Hopefully he will then follow her and benefit from her knowledge of the area.
When I fly them together, they are very aware of each other; when one lands, the other then hovers near them on each circuit, and will then land next to them. In fact, Boris’ escape upstairs came about because I got Beryl out of their shared flexarium – not because I intended to fly her (she was in disgrace after the previous night’s debacle 😀 ) but because I couldn’t tell which one was which until I got them out. She wriggled out of my hand and took off, so they were both flying. She landed quite quickly and I returned her to the flexarium, but they were ‘pipping’ at each other – a high pitched social call – and he started circling the flexarium, spirally slowly downwards with each circuit. I was watching this feeling all sentimental and ‘oh look how he’s communicating with her because she’s shut in and he’s out; that’s so sweet…’ when he disappeared. He’d got so low that he’d spied the gap at the bottom of the sheet that hangs over the doorway/archway, and made his escape! 🙄
Of course the main point of all this mischief is that they are both feeling fighting fit again, and are very ready for their freedom. It’s been a bit of a struggle to get Boris eating, and I’d like him to have a bit more weight on him, but he’s been eating ok for the last week, has gained weight, and I think being released with Beryl will be the best thing for him. Beryl has been eating like a champ (though she still turns her nose up completely at mealworms and only wants waxworms) and is a really good weight. Here’s the video of them, and a picture of the cheeky monkey Boris. He looks like a little gremlin. 😀