I recently travelled up to Scotland to attend a Bat Handling Course run by Echoes Ecology in Polmont. The course was an opportunity to refresh and practise my bat handling skills as well as gain more experience in the techniques used to capture bats.
The course involved two nights of trapping. On the first night we used a hand net to catch soprano pipistrelle bats at a roost near to Loch Lomond. The small size of this species requires care and delicacy when handling to ensure that their wellbeing.
The second day was spent in the Echoes Offices with presentations on handling technique, bat identification, health and safety considerations and licensing. The atmosphere was relaxed and informal as well as informative, with discussion between candidates and course leaders.
On the second night, we went to a viaduct site to capture Daubenton’s bats leaving a roost in the side of the viaduct wall. We also set up a mist net and captured a soprano pipistrelle foraging beside the canal.
I have put together a short video of the harp trapping at the viaduct, including some trailcam footage of bats exiting the roost and encountering the harp trap. This was using the ‘Field Scan’ setting on the Bushnell Trailcam as bats do not seem to trigger the unit in my experience.
I hope you enjoy the video below – if you would like further information on the courses run by Echoes Ecology, which include ornithological courses as well as bat courses, visit their website or their facebook page for more information.
Nice video 🙂 I’m really looking forward to my bat handling course in August near the Forest of Dean. Last year was brilliant and I got to see my first horseshoe bats! This year is to keep honing and refreshing skills since it’s a while since I handled bats.
P.S I passed Grantham on the way up the A1 (M) last week – I finally know exactly where it is!
You should get some brilliant bats in the Forest of Dean, fingers crossed for Bechstein’s and Barb’s? I think they get lesser’s there too right?
I once had a chance to hold a lesser horseshoe, it was a beautiful little creature! Sadly not resident around Grantham so their wierd alien warbles very rarely crop up on my detector…
We had greater’s and lesser’s, but no barbs or bechsteins 😦 Not seen or heard the latter two – yet!
Unfortunately I can’t make it to that course now, but I am going to Ikaria in September for a week of studying bats, so that should make up for it 😉