|safely tucked up behind one of our shutters|
Pretty tiny in size, these are a very common bat; nevertheless like all bats they are a protected species. So as much as we'd love to have a good photo of them we've resisted folding out the shutters. We don't want to distrub them if we can help it. This morning we, oh so gently, cracked the shutter open a tiny bit and took a very quick photo. A better photograph is courtesy of Tees Valley biodiversity's website [below].
|droppings evidence last summer|
One of the shutters they use is the right-sided one on our south-facing living room window. If we're sitting out there as dusk falls with an aperitif chances are we'll have our heads skimmed by the bats as they leave to feed.
Apart from being rather cute they do sterling service as insect control, an average pipestrelle devours about 3,000 flying insects a night [small gnats, moths or mosquitos].
|tiny pipestrelle bat|
Of course, they are also of interest to our cats as we wrote about here. Looking at it from their point of view the bats are no more than entertaining 'mices with wings'. Thankfully, over the course of last summer, the bats have seemed to have learnt to roost higher up between the shutter and the wall where the exploratory paw can't reach, so we did not have a repeat of the bat saving exercise of April! Hopefully we won't have to go into bat saving mode this year either.