A hibernation survey organised by the Bat Conservation Trust has revealed a thriving colony of bats that call the Normanby Hall grounds home.
During the survey, conducted by the Lincolnshire Bat Group in January 2020, 56 hibernating bats were identified (a record number for the 300 acre country park), including the species pipistrelle and brown long-eared.
Roosting in crevices, tree holes and in buildings, the pipistrelle is a prolific hunter. Often emerging from their roost around 20 minutes after sunset, they search the skies for their insect prey. Amazingly a single pipistrelle can eat up to 3,000 small flies in one night.
Flying closer to the ground, brown long-eared bats are known for their huge ears, which give them exceptionally sensitive hearing to identify their prey – mainly moths. They can even hear a ladybird walking on a leaf!
Anna Moody, of the Lincolnshire Bat Group, explained:
“Lincolnshire is home to 11 species of bats, nine of which have been identified at Normanby Hall Country Park. To record 56 hibernating bats, mainly pipistrelles, is impressive and encouraging. Although pipistrelles are the most common species of bat in the UK, they are not usually found during hibernation surveys so it is great to find them hibernating here. I’m looking forward to returning to conduct another hibernation survey in February”
If you would like to find out more you can visit the Bat Conservation Trust website, which contains information about all the different species and recordings of their calls.
For information about bats in Lincolnshire and how you can get involved in surveys, visit the Lincolnshire Bat Group website.
Photograph of the pipistrelle in flight (©Hugh Clark / Bat Conservation Trust)