Bats at Wimpole
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Wimpole Estate has a number of very good habitats for British bats and the number of species present reflects this here. In total eight species are confirmed through visual identification and by some of the characteristic echolocation calls.
The bat detectors we use not only help monitor species at Wimpole far more easily and with greater confidence but they are also used on our spring and autumn evening bat walks.
These bats are by far the most common bats.
Soprano piperstelle have an echolocation at 55 kHz. It is not all to clear as to the habitat preferences, but they do like water bodies and the edge of woodlands at Wimpole.
These bats are reasonably common on Wimpole Estate.
They will roost in buildings with large clear attic spaces such as the Hall, the Old Rectory Restaurant and farm buildings.
These bats will come out very late at night to feed on insects, particularly yellow underwing moths, which they mostly catch by pouncing on them when on the tree foliage.
Having caught the moths they then usually have a temporary roost site to eat them such as in the Stable Block.
These bats have been identified in the woodlands at Wimpole.
These are very rare bats, to date less than ten sites are known were this bat lives in Britain and very little is known about them.
However, they like woodland with an under story and feed mainly on very small moths (micro moths), they will also travel large distances to find the right type of prey.
On bat detector their echolocation is easy to identify at 32 Hz and a distinctive tack tick tack tick.
These are woodland bats feeding above the woodland canopy on large insects with their roost sites mostly in old trees, which have cavities to roost in.
Their call is loud and reflects the need for these bats to locate their prey from up 100 to 200 metres away.
A single male Natterers bat was found in the old smithy at Wimpole in 2001.
Male bats tend to be solitary and only seek out the females in September to mate. These bats will hunt at distances of 1 to 5 metres away from their prey, usually in woodland but small ponds and rivers may attract them too.
A rare species that hunts over open pasture catching large insects like the dung beetles, plentiful at Wimpole because of the livestock.
Their main roost sites are nearly always in large old buildings so Wimpole Hall is an ideal roost site.
These bats were once called the water bat because they are almost always found skimming the surface of most water bodies.
Their feet have grappling like claws, which also enable them to catch the emerging insects on the water.
The Capability brown lakes can have large numbers of them skimming the surface in broad arcs catching aquatic insects.