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Summer 2020 update

The first results of 2020 from the joint monitoring programme with the Moors for the Future Partnership are in. Joe and his colleagues have recently recommenced some limited fieldwork so I posted the detector to him last month. The first deployment was for two weeks at a flow monitoring site on the moors near the source of the River Derwent and right on the border with Yorkshire. As you can see from the photograph above it’s a bare, treeless landscape at an altitude of 485 metres – the highest site we’ve monitored so far and in a tetrad with no previous bat records.

Over the course of 16 nights (the Anabat Express detector batteries are lasting much longer since it was repaired over the winter) 11 bat passes were recorded; 3 noctule, 7 common pipistrelle and, most surprisingly, a single brown long-eared bat pass on the first night, the 9th June.

As might be expected given the remote location of the site most passes were late in the evening, all bar one noctule pass being recorded at least 2 hours after sunset. The nearest copse of trees is 2 km to the north-west in Longdendale but whether the bats are roosting there or somewhere further afield and whether they were commuting through or foraging in the habitat remains unanswered for now. No feeding buzzes were recorded but the call structure of some of the pipistrelle calls indicate that they were probably flying close to the ground, there being no other obstacles in the landscape that would cause a large FM (frequency modulated) component in the call.

Alan Roe



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