As part of the Great Somerset Wildlife Count, the bat group launched our new community bat mapping project the Big Bat Count, to help people to find out about, and count the bats in their local area,.
Around 120 people took part across 5 big bat counts in 2022, adding about 650 bat flight records to iNaturalist (including 75 in BANES)
Sat 13th Aug 2022 – Castle Cary
Five teams, 11 people in total met in the George Hotel in the middle of Cary. A warm night meant there were 80 bat records added to iNaturalist. Doubling overnight the previous number of Somerset bat records. A Serotine roost was also spotted by Adel in the middle of town.
FRI 26TH AUG 2022 – TAUNTON
The public launch of our Big Bat Count was held in central Taunton as part of the Great Somerset Wildlife Count. It was a great success, with over 50 people taking part:
- Eight survey groups went out to different areas of Taunton and recorded 216 bat flight records (casual) to iNaturalist in just 90 minutes. Doubling again the number of Somerset bat records in iNaturalist.
- Meanwhile, Adel and Bindi lead a guided survey of 22 people in Longrun Meadow, also adding to the iNaturalist records.
TuEs 30th Aug 2022 – Kingsdon
A warm still night meant over 20 people in eight teams recorded 128 bat flight records.
Common Pipistrelles were the most abundant, followed by Soprano (Pygmy) Pipistrelles.
A first quick analysis of the recordings shows:
- A lesser horseshoe bat was recorded in the far north at the edge of the woods, and not ID’ed by the detector at the time.
- Unfortunately, many of the noctules that were auto-IDed turned out to be noise files.
A big thank you to everyone who came out and made it such an enjoyable and well-organised night!
Weds 14TH SEPT 2022 – GREYFIELD WOODS
A great turnout of over 20 from the High Littleton and Hallatrow Environmental Group, saw three groups log 75 bat records. Our first foray outside Somerset, this was a joint Big Bat Count with Avon Bat Group, and we were pleased the welcome their ex. chair Dave back to the bat world!
Noctules were seen straight after sunset, with common and soprano pipistrelle also frequent. Daubenton’s were also seen near the Cam Brooke.
TUes 20th Sept 2022 – Wiveliscombe
After several postponements due to rain, we finally got a dry night. Seventeen people in 7 teams recorded 106 bats.
- a new common pipistrelle roost was found
- and a rescued brown long-eared bat released itself!
Common pipistrelle was by far the most abundant, but also recorded were soprano pipistrelles, serotine, myotis (species) and one faint lesser horseshoe recorded by the old brewery.