Bats and Barn Owls

We've been so absorbed in the ecology survey season this year that we've not been able to update the website for ages. So what have we been doing?

Bats

We've been working on a large number of bat projects this year, which has meant a lot of time out in the field doing dusk / dawn surveys and activity transects. Not so bad this late in the season, but during June (with such long days) it does mean that we can often only get a few hours sleep between surveys (luckily I have a car with a big boot that has been transformed for most of this summer into a make-shift bed!). We've also had the automated detector out on site too, so that's a lot of bat recording analysis for someone to do over the next few weeks!

The projects have been really varied with Listed Building consents (a Rectory near Tavistock and a Church near Okehampton) and Planning Applications, mostly associated with barn conversions. The most interesting of these barn conversion sites has been at a green field site in South Devon where we identified Western Barbastelle during transect surveys. The Barabstelle is a medium sized bat and is one of the UKs rarest mammals so it was an exciting find. 

We've also been doing some more work for the Land Society CIC at a site in Plymouth, which is earmarked for a new self-build project.

Barn Owls

In between all the bat surveys we have also managed to do a bit of CPD training. I went on a 2 day Barn Owl surveying course with The Barn Owl Trust in Ashburton, it was a fantastic course. We visited some incredible sites close to the headquarters of the Trust with numerous Barn Owl signs (pellets, feathers, dropping stains and also nest debris). We were also lucky enough to see a Barn Owl fly from a barn we were surveying into a roost site adjacent to our survey area. 

Moving forward, we will also be undertaking some dormouse surveys for The Barn Owl Trust on land they own adjacent to their headquaters and carrying out a bat survey of their amazing 'wildlife tower' shown in the photo. Further information can be found here of this brilliant enhancement feature http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk/infopage.html?Id=202

I'm hoping to be a little more regular with our posts again now, and will be asking Laura to add to our news section too so keep checking!