30 Days Wild – Day Five


Friday 5th June:

I’ve already written about how I really enjoy working on University Park Campus. It’s a beautiful green campus with plenty of wildlife. There are coots, moorhens, great crested grebes, Egyptian geese and of course mallards, all nesting on the grounds. On our lunch break a couple of weeks ago, a colleague and I spent some time watching the common bream interacting with carp in the shallows of Highfields Lake. The other night when I was cycling home from work I saw a little bunny munching on the grass and another ran out on the path near me. It really is a lovely place to be 🙂

I’m on the evening rota this week, 6pm-10pm each night. I took a couple of evenings off to go and visit my mum (who is now on her way back from hospital as they deemed her well enough to recover at home) but I had to be back in Nottingham for my shift this evening. Obviously I spent a good part of the day travelling but I was pretty tired and again, I didn’t really notice much in the fields around the railway – disappointing.

Work was uneventful. It was the final day of exam period today so most of the students have finished up and headed back to their hometowns for the summer. The library is really quiet, I suppose that is how libraries should be but it feels a bit cold and lacking in life at the moment.

At 10pm I headed down to the lake to catch bus home. At this time, buses are less frequent so I knew I would have a a few minutes to nose around near the lake. So, here is a rather dark short video that I shot with my mobile phone of 3 wonderful bats hunting in the ‘dimpsy’ (to use one of Springwatch’s Springwords)

It’s actually a lot more difficult to see on here than I thought it would be but the bats are there, I promise! The best way to identify bat species is with a bat detector. A bat detector enables the human ear to hear the super high frequency calls that bats make. The bats can hear these calls bouncing back from their surroundings, including prey items like moths and they use it to pinpoint their location. This is similar to the process that dolphins and whales use underwater and it’s called echolocation. Different species of bats use different frequencies of call and when we use a bat detector to find the range of frequencies a bat is making, we can identify the bat species we are listening to. Unfortunately, bat detectors can be pretty expensive and I don’t have access to that equipment so I can’t tell you what kind of bats these were! Although I know that Daubenton’s Bats hunt over water, and I saw these next to a lake…

A colleague of mine works with the charity MenCap and she recently made bat boxes with her service users which the university bought to put up on the campus so it’s really nice to see some bats around that are hopefully using them! If you are interested in learning more about bats, the Bat Conservation Trust have a really good website (and membership scheme) with lots of educational resources, including what to do if you find a distressed bat and information on submitting your own bat sightings to their national survey.

All images subject to copywrite. All opinions expressed on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the view of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for whom I volunteer, or any other organisation.

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