roaming the wilds of south west Surrey
Last night I flight tested the bats I have in care. The BLE, Nipper, who I’ve had all winter, hasn’t done too well on this or the previous occasion I flew him. He takes off, but only stays up for a couple of minutes, spiralling gradually lower until he lands on the ground (and runs under the woodburner – which is not on, obviously! – and up the wall behind it). I’ll keep flying him regularly and hope he improves.
My pair of pips, on the other hand, were raring to go! I was intending to fly one at a time, and after weighing Batmatix (and finding him quite sleepy), I held him to warm him up after releasing Lynx (who was very lively when I weighed her) to fly around. Batmatix managed to wriggle out of my grasp and joined her, though, so we had a double batty flypast, which I filmed a little clip of.
They both stayed up for around half an hour, so are fully fit to go. Batmatix has gained almost a gram – from 3.8g on arrival, to 4.7g last night – and Lynx has gone from a fairly respectable 4.8g on arrival to 5.6g last night (she is probably pregnant). It’s a lovely example of how just a little TLC can rehabilitate two bats who would almost certainly have died; one on her back on a path, unable to right herself, take off or avoid predators, and one in cold water, too weak and sodden to drag himself up the sheer sides of the container. Without the sharp eyes of their finders, they wouldn’t have stood a chance!
Terrible photo, but the first one I’ve ever managed to get a shot of. I’ve seen them on the Lammas Lands (the watermeadows in central Godalming) a few times, but they seem to fly off as soon as they see a person. Love the huge yellow foot!
This makes me laugh – when he drops the mealworm and I pick it up with the tweezers to give it to him, he bares his tiny teeth like a badass vampire. 😀
He was another super-fast feeder; he was lunging and biting anything that came near him, so after he’d savaged the pipette of rehydration fluids a few times, I offered him the squidgy bits of a mealworm. Like Lynx, he immediately grabbed and ate it. If only all bats were this easy to get eating… BLEs, I’m looking at you… 😀