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Archived News & Events

This page contains archived items from 2014.

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19th December - Bat News Article

Both DBCG and BCT were 30 years old in 2014 along with several other bat groups. We were invited to write a short piece on the past 30 years to be included in this edition of Bat News. You can read the article by hovering your mouse over the image below.
Bat group members can download the entire magazine in our members section.
Article for Bat News at 30

1st December - Analysis Workshop

10 members have deployed the group's new AnaBat Express bat detector around the County in the summer of 2014. The data has been collected and saved ready for analysis and so on the last day of November, 6 members met to go through some of the recordings made.
Data from 7 previously un-surveyed 1km squares were analysed with 8 species of bat found, including some new Nathusius' pipistrelle records. A total of 24 squares were surveyed and nearly 100 new records were generated for the bat group database!
Members in computer workshop

Thank you

Thank you for your continued support - it really has been another fantastic year and to have such support in our 30th year really is special. We hope you will continue to support us into 2015 and to make renewal of your subs even easier at many of your requests, we will have 2 additional ways to pay. You will be notified from the membership secretary when your subs are due.
Bat Group Christmas Wishes

24th November - Record find at Elvaston

The record for the largest number of bats found during a bat box check in Derbyshire. An eye-watering 67 bats were found on the day!
See the full story on our Events page
Members look on as a box is checked

25th October - Breakthrough at Findern

We've had a breakthrough at the bat box scheme owned by Findern Footpaths Group in the south Derbyshire village. We found 4 Leisler's bats in one of the boxes with evidence in others.
See the full story on our Events page
Leisler's bat at Findern

Exciting News - serotines roosting in Derbyshire

DBCG can confirm a tenth breeding species in Derbyshire at a site north of Derby following confirmation by DNA analysis. An emergence survey on 9th June 2014 recorded six serotine bats leaving the roost site. Weekly monitoring confirmed maternity status, with one pup seen following mum in mid-July. The future of the building is uncertain, but it is perfect for this species, as is the matrix of habitat surrounding the location.

We have been confident of the presence of this species in the county since 2000 mainly on the Calke estate, but also at Willington, Kedleston and probably Breadsall. However this is the first confirmed roost site. We believe it may be the most northerly roost site in England for the species (Sam Dyer's Gwynedd site is the UK's most northerly). Given climate changes and the degradation of suitable habitat in the south of England and the increase in bat detector records, some significantly further north than Derbyshire, it's was only a matter of time! So keep your bat detectors at 27kHz and listen for a rhythmic call unlike the two-part call of noctule and Leisler's (but beware Leisler's calls peak at a similar level).

Alan Wragg,
Chair, DBCG.

19th October - Derbyshire team catch barbastelle on LRWT Nature Reserve

As part of the same project below (see post immediately below), a remote recording SM2Bat+ detector was placed on the site to see if any possible Alcathoe bat recordings could be obtained. During the analysis process, a Trust staff member Nathalie found several dozen barbastelle bat recordings.
Some of these recordings were quite early on in the evening and so a team of 4 from Derbyshire & Leicestershire went on Friday 17th October and set up mist nets in the area the recordings were made. At 21:25 a female barbastelle was caught! She was a healthy bat and had bred this year.
This is the first confirmed record of a barbastelle bat from the site and is a fantastic end to the surveys that have been taking place there this year.
Barbastelle Bat Copyright Garry Gray

5 Sept - New Bat Species for Leicestershire

During an autumn swarming survey by Leicestershire & Derbyshire bat group members on 31st August 2014 at a Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, a small Myotis bat was caught amongst 633 other bats. Measurements during the biometric measurement process suggested it was an Alcathoe bat (Myotis alcathoe) and so detailed information was collected and sent to Daniel Whitby (a UK expert in this species) for confirmation. Daniel has confirmed the species as an Alcathoe bat! This is only the third county in the entire UK which has a confirmed record for this species. Prior to this record, the species was only known in the UK from Yorkshire and Sussex. Further works are now taking place at the site as part of the licenced works. It suggests that Alcathoe bats are indeed spread wider across the country as thought by UK bat workers.
How exciting!
Alcathoe's Bat Copyright Steven Roe

July 2014 - Bat Care

The group has a number of bat carers who look after grounded & injured bats to nurse back to health and release back into the wild.
Below is a whiskered bat having his supper, having been picked up exhausted in Brailsford and handed in to a vet.
He'll be released where he was found as soon as he has recovered.
whiskered bat in care

June 2014 - First Baby Bats in Derbyshire Confirmed

Juvenile Daubenton's bats have been spotted at one of our known maternity colony roost sites in the county during one of our monthly surveys.
Juvenile Daubenton's bat inside maternity roost'

July 2014 - Haddon's Hidden Residents

In mid-July we counted out the roost of soprano pipistrelle bats at Haddon Hall. The count this year was 237 and you can see some night vision footage by clicking the photo below.
Night Vision Footage

October 2014 - A Breakthrough at Findern

On 25th October, four of us went along to check the bat box scheme owned by the Findern Footpaths Group. The scheme is now several years old but new boxes were recently added in 2012. Species found using the boxes in the past have consisted of common and soprano pipistrelles along with brown long-eared bats, Nattererís and Daubentonís (part of the scheme is next to the Trent and Mersey Canal).
During the check an exciting discovery was made with one of the boxes containing 4 Leislerís bats! Two other boxes had Leislerís droppings inside them so hopefully this means they have taken up residence. This species has been recorded in the village before but only as nocturnal observations and not in this particular square.
Results: We had 11 bats (4 Leislerís and 7 soprano pipistrelles), 74% of the boxes had evidence of use by bats and 16% were occupied by bats on the day.

Leisler's bat

Above: A Leisler's bat showing the hairy underside of the wing, hence the folk name 'Hairy-armed bat'.

Box of Leisler's bats Leisler's bat in hand

Above: The box with Leisler's bats in-situ and one being processed.
Below: Lucy holds her first soprano pipistrelle and the wing venation of the same bat.

Lucy holds soprano pipistrelle Wing venation of soprano pipistrelle

August 2014 - Whitwell Bat Box Check

On the last day of August, we undertook the first bat box check of the new season. A good number of bats using the boxes with 54% evidence of use and 31 bats found on the day (Leisler's and soprano pipistrelles).

August 2014 - Monsal Bat Walk

We changed the location of our monthly meeting for our August meeting so that we could head out afterwards into the beautiful Monsal Dale valley. The meeting saw 12 members discussing recent surveys and events together with discussion about the exciting news of the county's first serotine bat roost (see the news on our homepage).
We headed out into the twilight afterwards and worked our way down through the woodland where we picked up pipistrelles and a foraging whiskered bat, before moving onto the Monsal viaduct where we had fantastic views of foraging noctule bats for several minutes. Once they had moved off we carried on down to the river where there were Daubentonís bats picking up insects off the water surface.

July 2014 - All-Nighter survey

In mid-July each year the group undertakes an All-Nighter survey. This year the group surveyed Peak Village near Bakewell which is a known bat roost site to the group. Click the picture below to view a video of the event!
All-Nighter 2014 Footage

July 2014 - Haddon's Hidden Residents

In mid-July we counted out the roost of soprano pipistrelle bats at Haddon Hall. The count this year was 237 and you can see some night vision footage by clicking the photo below. Haddon love their bats and we are working with them to create a bat display board to be placed in the porch area of the chapel to inform visitors more about these creatures of the night.
Night Vision Footage

June 2014 - Members Field Trip

The second weekend of June saw 13 bat group members car-share their way down towards the Malverns to visit Worcestershire Bat Group. We went to help them count out their lesser horseshoe bat roosts (yes, plural) at Croome Court, a count they undertake annually for the Bat Conservation Trust's National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP). We met in a pub (all good field trips start in a pub) and after some great food and drink took a 5-minute drive to the site. A good summer in 2013 combined with a mild winter meant that numbers of lessers seen so far elsewhere in the UK were up, so we were hopeful the same would be true here. Indeed, a record count was obtained with 91 bats emerging from the Orangery below and a further 80 from the RAF building! The evening was topped off with a glow-worm sighting and during a return visit to the pub for a final round of drinks we caught sight of the ISS travelling overhead!
A huge thanks go to Worcestershire for hosting us for the evening - a return visit is already on the cards for later on this year.
Watch the night-vision footage of the bats emerging!

Worcs_Derbys groups before the survey

Above: Worcestershire and Derbyshire Bat Group members getting ready to start the survey.
Below: The Orangery building at Croome, home to lesser horseshoe bats.

The Orangery at Croome Court

June 2014 - Castles in the Air

Our June meeting was headed by guest speaker Colin Morris from the Vincent Wildlife Trust. Colin gave us a fascinating and entertaining view of the many bat box check data both he and the VWT have collated over the past 20 years. Detailed analysis of 'best type of box' and the aspect most favoured by bats was discussed and all those who attended found it a really interesting talk. A huge thanks go to Colin for coming all the way up to Derbyshire from Dorset!

Colin Morris delivers talk Typical Members Meeting

June 2014 - Members Field Trip

Read about our visit to Worcestershire Bat Group to count out lesser horseshoes!
Worcs_Derbys groups before the survey

May 2014 - Two new species of bat for Nathusius' project

Two new species of bat were caught during one of our trapping sessions for Nathusius' pipistrelle this week. Take a look at our Nathusius' pilot survey news page.
Noctule bat takes flight during release

May 2014 - First Nathusius' pipistrelle of 2014

On Sunday 11th May a Nathusius' pipistrelle was recorded at Melbourne Pool on a handheld bat detector foraging around the edge of the lake. This is the first record of this species for Derbyshire in 2014 and we hope to get the landowners permission to undertake our Nathusius' pipistrelle pilot project participation at this site.

May 2014 - Members bat walk

Eight members went for an evening stroll with bat detectors on the 30th May around the footpaths of Hognaston village, near Carsington with Julia Jackson, one of the villagers. A nice warm and still evening meant there were plenty of insects around and we had great views of pipistrelles and detected several Myotis species, likely whiskered or Brandt's. Whilst we were surveying the surrounding countryside, we had placed our new AnaBat Express detector in the churchyard so we could take a look to see what species of bat make use of the wildlife-friendly area.

Group shot at the end of the members bat walk

May 2014 - Radio Tagging a Leisler's

The first weekend of May saw 4 members tag a Leisler's bat as part of our ongoing studies. A bat box which historically has been known to be used by a small number (2-3) Leisler's bats was checked. Approximately 13 Leisler's were found to be in occupancy and a female bat was chosen to have a radio-transmitter attached to her back. The battery in the tag will last around 2 weeks and was attached with gum-glue which will allow the tag to fall off the bat once the battery has failed. The bat will be tracked for the next two weeks which will hopefully allow us to establish where the bat forages and if she uses any other roost sites in the area.

Colony of Leisler's bats in a bat box

Above: The box with a colony of Leisler's bat inside.

Radio Transmitter is Activated Leisler's bat before radio tag attached

Above: The radio transmitter is activated and the Leisler's bat before the tag is attached.
Below: The bat with the tag attached and Bill checks the transmitter is working correctly.

Leisler's bat with tag attached Bill checks the radio tag is working

May 2014 - Nathusius' pipistrelle project

To watch progress of the Nathusius' pipistrelle pilot project we are taking part in, take a look at the Nathusius' pilot survey news page.
Harp Trap with Acoustic Lure in place
Harp Trap with Acoustic Lure in place.

May 2014 - Partnership Group Renewal

At the May meeting, Lisa Worledge, bat groups officer at the Bat Conservation Trust, came to renew our partnership group status. Before the meeting started she gave us a fantastic talk about the research and projects that the Bat Conservation Trust are involved with. It was great to be updated and to know that as well as our regular NBMP sites, we are also taking part in exciting current research by taking part in the Pilot Project for Nathusius' pipistrelle bats (see below).

Lisa Worledge speaking at bat group meeting

April 2014 - Nathusius' pipistrelle Pilot Project Survey 2

On Wednesday 30th April the second trapping session for Derbyshire took place. Below Bill processes a pipistrelle bat we caught.

Harp Trap with Acoustic Lure in place

April 2014 - Nathusius' pipistrelle Pilot Project

DBCG are taking part in the Bat Conservation Trust's pilot project to survey for Nathusius' pipistrelle bats. Derbyshire is working alongside Nottinghamshire bat group at various sites in both counties.
On Monday 28th April the first trapping session for Derbyshire took place. The photos below show one of the harp traps in place with an acoustic lure, both used under licence from Natural England to help increase the chances of bats being caught in the nets and a Daubenton's bat we caught.

Harp Trap with Acoustic Lure in place A Daubenton's bat we caught in one of the Harp Traps

April 2014 - South wood Bat Box Check

12 members enjoyed a sunny spring bat box check on the 27th April. 24 soprano pipistrelles (below) were found on the day and 46.2% of the 52 boxes checked had evidence of being used by bats. The woodland is owned by the National Trust.

One of our younger members checks a bat box Soprano pipistrelles and a hornet found in one of the bat boxes

Above: One of our younger members checks a bat box and soprano pipistrelles together with a large queen hornet in the roof of one of the woodcrete boxes.

April 2014 - Midlands Regional Conference

9 bat group members from Derbyshire attended the third Regional Conference for the Midlands. Lisa Worledge from the Bat Conservation Trust did another excellent job of putting together a really great conference which was enjoyed by all delegates. We had a display stand in the foyer for people to look at during the coffee break which attracted lots of attention and we got to use our new floor-standing banner. Each bat group from the region gave a 5-minute update and you can see Derbyshire's on our Video's page.

April 2014 - New Video

The group purchased new night-vision recording equipment in the new year and the first roost count using it was undertaken just before this Easter bank holiday weekend. The Daubenton's roost in south Derbyshire is going to be monitored every month this summer and so this video will be updated as the year goes on. For now, take a look at the footage; how many bats can you count emerging?
Elvaston Castle Boathouse Daubenton's bat roost

April 2014 - Findern Footpaths Group Bat Box Check

We went to help Findern Footpaths Group to check their bat boxes which are located on the edge of the village next to the Trent and Mersey Canal. The site is now showing signs of a well-established scheme. 2 soprano pipistrelles (below) were found on the day and 28% of the boxes had evidence of being used by bats.

Woodcrete bat box being checked Soprano pipistrelle found in one of the Findern village bat boxes

Above: One of the Findern village bat boxes being checked and a soprano pipistrelle being processed for biometric information.
Below: A second soprano pipistrelle tucked away in the lid of a bat box.

A soprano pipistrelle tucked away in a lid of a bat box

March 2014 - Spring Wood Bat Box Check

On the last Sunday of March, nine volunteers went to check the bat boxes at Spring wood, a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve). The first boxes went up in 1993 and some of these boxes still exist 21 years later! 34 soprano pipistrelles were found during the check and excitingly, evidence of brown long-eared bats was found in the form of bat droppings in one of the boxes. If long-earedís are present, this would be a new bat species for this scheme.

soprano pipistrelle in Spring wood Volunteers check bat boxes in Spring wood

Above: A soprano pipistrelle being processed for biometric information and volunteers check a bat box.
Below: Andrew and Birgitta check a bat box and two soprano pipistrelles inside a wooden bat box.

Andrew and Birgitta check a bat box Two soprano pipistrelle bats in a wooden bat box at Spring wood

March 2014 - Carsington Water Bat Box Check

14 volunteers went to Carsington on the first weekend of March to check the bat box scheme on the eastern side of the reservoir. Despite the drizzle, we found 31 bats of two species; 27 noctules (see photo below) and 4 soprano pipistrelles. 24% of the boxes had been used by bats in the past year and 8% of the boxes were occupied by bats on the day. We also checked the ice house but no bats were in-situ on the day. The ice house site is part of the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) run by the Bat Conservation Trust.

Volunteers check bat boxes 23 noctule bats in a large bat box at Carsington water

Above: Volunteers check bat boxes at Carsington and 23 noctule bats hibernating in a large bat box.
Below: One of the noctule bats found in the large hibernation box above & a cluster of 3 soprano pipistrelles in a standard bat box.

Close up of noctule bat in bat box at Carsington Soprano pipistrelle bats in a bat box at Carsington

March 2014 - Spring Clean

The largest known brown long-eared bat roost that is monitored in the UK resides in Derbyshire. Over 250 bats can make quite a pile of droppings so two volunteers from the bat group helped the roost owner clear the growing pile of droppings from the roof void. Thin plastic sheeting laid throughout the void at the time of the last clean meant that the old polythene was bagged up and brand new sheeting laid within half an hour.
Below: one of the smaller areas of droppings before and after.
brown long-eared bat droppings from a large roost in a Derbyshire roof void

New polythene plastic sheeting after the bat droppings were removed from the roof void

February 2014 - Cave Hibernation survey

5 bat group members went underground in the Peak District to survey 5 caves in the NT White Peak Estate for hibernating bats. 11 bats of 4 species were found on either side of the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border, including at Foxholes Cave pictured here.

Surveyors around entrance to Foxholes Cave in Derbyshire

Searching for bats inside Foxholes Cave, Derbyshire

February 2014 - NBMP Hibernation survey

14 volunteers donned their underground gear to undertake the February check for hibernating bats at Ticknall Limeyards in a mix of disused underground structures including limestone mines, lime kilns and a tramway tunnel. This survey is part of the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) run by the Bat Conservation Trust. The mild weather meant we found just two bats in two structures; a brown long-eared and a Daubentonís. There was evidence that the bats are moving around during this mild winter in the form of winter foraging signs. The photo below shows Herald moth wings which have been discarded, presumably by a brown long-eared bat, at a feeding perch (a ledge in the roof of a limestone mine). We also found fresh droppings in several locations.

Tricky access to a mine Volunteers in dripping well

Above: Tricky access to a mine entrance and inspecting a limestone mine.
Below: Crawling through a lime kiln and 42 discarded Herald moth wings below a feeding perch in above mine.

Narrow crawl through a lime kiln Discarded Herald moth wings

February 2014 - Guest Speaker

Bristol MSc student Phil Brown came to our February meeting to give us a talk on his research he carried out in the summer of 2013, some of which was here in Derbyshire. His research is looking at the distribution of whiskered, Alcathoeís and Brandtís bats across the UK and the DNA results from the bats caught were hot off the press.

Guest Speaker Phil Brown at our February 2014 meeting

February 2014 - Hibernating Brandt's

A hibernating Brandt's bat found hanging exposed on a wall during an annual survey of an underground site in mid-Derbyshire.
Hibernating Brandt's bat

February 2014 - Winter Foraging

Our February NBMP survey of underground sites in the south of the county found evidence that the bats are moving around during this mild winter in the form of winter foraging signs. The photo below shows Herald moth wings which have been discarded, presumably by a brown long-eared bat, at a feeding perch (a ledge in the roof of a limestone mine). We also found fresh droppings in several locations.
Discarded Herald moth wings

January 2014 - Poker's Leys Bat Box Check

14 volunteers enjoyed the warm January sunshine on Sunday 19th to check the scheme at Calke Abbey Park. 43 boxes were checked and 34 bats were found including soprano pipistrelles and Leisler's bats (both below) 28% of the boxes had been used by bats in the past year and occupation of boxes on the day was 21%. The box below is part of a tree trunk which has been hollowed-out with a chainsaw to replicate a natural roost site. You can watch a video from this event here.

Bat box being checked

Leisler's bat in a bat box 5 soprano pipistrelles in a bat box

Above: Leislers on the left and 5 soprano pipistrelles in a bat box at Calke Abbey.

January 2014 - Trainers Meeting

Trainers and representatives of the West Midlands bat groups met in Birmingham on Saturday 11th January 2014 to discuss the training of future bat workers. Several topics were discussed, including the new class licensing system and the inclusion of endoscopes on the voluntary roost visitor licence. Several plans were made and Derbyshire members will be kept updated with news between now and the Midlands Regional Conference in April.
Note: Derbyshire is officially an East Midlands bat group but historically has been a West Midlands group and due to the strong links with Staffs and south-east Staffs, continue to support both regions.
Trainers of the West Midlands Meeting