Bats on Bookham Commons
Bookham Commons is a fantastic location for bats with at least 12 of the UK’s 18 bat species having been recorded here. All of the following images were taken during annual surveys carried out by the Surrey Bat Group.
Featured in the header image, Brandt’s bat, Myotis brandtii, is a small bat that tends to feed low to the ground near water sources. Typically, they can be seen between April and October. They can live up to 40 years!
The Whiskered Bat
The Whiskered Bat, Myotis mystacinus, is very similar to Brandt’s bat and can often be found roosting in the same habitat. This bat is very small and challenging to identify – experts can conduct this through measuring inner ear and forearm length.
Natterer’s Bat, Myotis nattereri, emerges just after sunset and can be seen between March and November. As a species, they are quite scarce in the UK”.
Daubenton’s Bat, Myotis daubentonii, is also known as a ‘water bat’ as it is commonly found near water sources. Here, they use their large feet and claws to pluck insects from the surface of water.
The Common Pipistrelle Bat
The Common Pipistrelle, Pipistrellus pipistrellus, can be found in woodlands such as the Commons. Hibernating all winter, these bats come out during the warmer months – typically around sunset.
The Soprano Pipistrelle Bat
The Soprano Pipistrelle bat, Pipistrellus pygmaeus, and the Common Pipistrelle have minor visual differences, however, they can be distinguished by the frequency at which they call. This is something which can be picked up with a bat detector.
Nathusius’s Pipistrelle, Pipistrellus nathusii, is a migratory species, often covering great distances. Due to this, they are usually ringed as part of a national study to track their movements.
The Serotine Bat
The Serotine, Eptesicus serotinus, has large teeth, which it uses to tackle beetles, which are a favourite prey. They are one of the first bats to appear in the evening, often coming out while it is still light.
The Brown Long-eared Bat
The Brown long-eared bat, Plecotus auritus, is easy to identify due to its large ears which can grow up to 4cm in length. They can be seen between April and October with a noticeably slow and fluttery flight pattern.
The Noctule Bat
The Noctule, Nyctalus noctula, is one of the larger UK bat species and often emerges well before dark. It is one of the few UK species which have calls audible to the human ear.