Beautiful last couple of days – what a contrast to Wednesday! Had a very pleasant and enjoyable day leading a basic campfire course for teachers and early years practitioners at a local school so didn’t see much of the reserve but I know that adder and grass snakes were seen, as were peacock and red admiral butterflies, but the highlight has to be the bats!
Both yesterday afternoon and this afternoon there have been at least a couple of bats feeding over the centre car park and glade adjacent to the Woodland Hide. They’re feeding on insects relatively high up above the canopy so could be easy to miss, hence my giving them a mention on a quick post so if you are visiting you know to look out for them as it is brilliant to be able to see them fly and take in just how fantastic they are at it in a way that you can’t truly appreciate at night when it is dark and you can’t see them! I believe they are probably soprano pipistrelle’s and although it is not uncommon to see them during the day at this time of year it is usually as a result of their having been disturbed either directly by another animal or indirectly by an increase in temperature making them too warm and leaving to seek a cooler cavity to rest up in. These bats are however very much making the most of the abundance of small insects that the warmer spring like weather is generating and really putting on a show for us rather than just zipping out and off for an alternative roost site.
Also of interest, and rather unseasonal for Blashford, is a small (500-1000?) murmuration of starlings which is gathering to the north of the reserve towards the end of the day. By no means the spectacle it was a couple of winters ago there are enough to give a pleasing performance and unusual in that they normally only gather like this in the local vicinity from November to December.