Spring & Summer 2016 - Bat survey and trapping

Throughout the spring and summer of 2016 we embarked on a series of activities to ascertain health and diversity of the bat population. Working with ecologists from the Wiltshire Bat Group we sonar detected and then bat trapped. The trapping took place on 1st September.

Jan Freeborn took charge of the early sonar detection work and Gareth Harris (first left in the pic below) pulled together all the kit and people required for the bat trapping.

Conditions the night of the trapping were just perfect for this activity - warm, fine with very light winds - in fact it was windless.

We set up the following traps:

  • 2 mist nets
  • 1 high net
  • 2 harp nets

The result of the trapping and sonar detection was better than I had hoped for, and I even think, Gareth was impressed. There are 18 bat species in the UK so this list is heartening - Underhill Wood has a relatively diverse range of bats.

The list:

  • Common Pipistrelle
  • Soprano Pipistrelle
  • Lesser Horseshoe
  • Daubenton's Bat
  • Natterer's Bat
  • Whiskered Bat
  • Noctule Bat
  • Brown Long-Eared Bat

The highlight of the night, which ran from 19.00 - 01.00, was 987 bat flights, as opposed to individual bats, over the pond, over the course of the night. At one point we illuminated the pond and it was a meshed criss-cross of mostly Daubenton's, hunting over the water.

Brown Long Eared

Brown Long Eared

Erecting the Triple High net

Erecting the Triple High net


July 2017 Bat Netting

We held our annual Bat Netting session at UWNR mid-July, and unlike last year, with mixed results. This despite the fact that the conditions were close to perfect - very light winds, low cloud, mild temperatures all night and abundant airborne insects. We set the traps around 19.00 and worked through until about 02.00 the following morning. We set the following nets; 1x triple high net, 2x harp nets and a long mist net, on the bank of the lake. 

Gareth Harris, Will Ponting and Lisa Wade, all very experienced individuals from the Wiltshire Bat Group, ran the session.

The results were as follows:

Netted Bats:

  • 1 adult male Soprano Pipistrelle
  • 1 adult male Natterer’s
  • 1 adult female (non breeding) Natterers
  • 1 juvenile, female Whiskered

Heard on detectors:

  • Common Pipistrelle
  • Noctule
  • Serotine