2017 Season yet to be arranged.
The first bat walk of the year was on
Friday 1st April.
We were joined by James Goldsmith, our ‘bat man’ to help us listen to the bats and see them flying around.
No bats yet at the maternity boxes but good numbers starting to appear around the lake and woods.
A good walk around the lake, trying no to stand on the numerous frogs along the path.
The second walk was on Friday 22nd April at 8pm. Despite a count of 108 bats from the boxes the week before the weather turned cold for the bat walk and we only counted 9 bats brave enough to come out. Still good numbers around the lake though.
Several more bat walks and bat events have seen up to 250 bats emerging from the maternity roost. Not as many as previous years, but still reasonable numbers.
Most of the bats seem to have departed for pastures new now, getting ready to hibernate – lets hope they join us again next year.
April 25th 2015
Our new maternity bat box arrived and was put up next to the old box. Our experts advised that bats were already back in the old boxes.
On the evening of April 25th I then carried out a bat count.
I arrived at the box at 8pm. At 8.15 the first bat emerged from the south box. I stopped counting at 8.45, when most of the bats had emerged, although I could still hear a little chattering from the box.
South box = 96
East box = 22
Total bat count of 118.
Lets see if any of our bats decide to explore the new box.
Bat count Thursday 7th May
First bats emerging at 8.40pm.
South box = 181
East box = 27
Total bat count of 208.
No bats in new box yet.
The Bat Walk on Friday 8th May – 8pm start.
Despite the rain the children counted more than 60 bats emerging from the maternity box. We then had a walk around the lake and saw numerous bats, of several different species feeding over the lake and river.
We were also lucky enough to have our own bat expert, James Goldsmith to answer all our questions.
Bat count – Thursday 23rd July
South box – 298
East box – 35
Plenty of activity, looks like the babies are about and flying now.
The last bat walk….. of 2015
We had our last bat walk at Taverham Mill on Friday 28th August, with plenty of bats to see coming out from the maternity boxes.
We even had some coming out of the new box!!
We also watched the Daubenton’s bats circling over the water, taking the insects from the surface, just feet in front of us.
Looks like most of our bats have now left us to get ready to hibernate. One the odd one or two left in the box now.
Hopefully they will be back in numbers again next spring to get ready to have their babies.
Taverham Mill Bats
This box was one of six established in the autumn of 1993 by several members of the Norfolk Bat Group.
It is the longest running, used colony box in the UK as far as we know.
The colony used to be in the Anglian Water managers house, but the lady was not happy with it and in 1992 she contacted English Nature for an exclusion notice.
The colony, then being around 300 females plus young.
During the winter two boxes were built and placed on the outbuilding, one east facing and one south facing.
Once all the bats had left the cottage during the winter the bats were blocked out.
The bats then appeared in the bat boxes in the first spring following erection in 1993. These 2 boxes have been in use every year since.
The east facing box is used at the start of the season, then they move to the south facing box during the main summer period. The colony size seems to have remained stable, with about 300 females plus young.
Normally the colony has moved on by mid-August, however we counted 136 bats out of the box, at dusk, at the end of August, which may mean that one of their alternative sites in the valley is no longer available.
Over a few weeks in August – September 2014, we conducted several bat walks around the reserve, seeing/recording large numbers of Soprano Pipistrelle and Common Pipistrelle, around the visitors centre and lake.
We have also recorded and seen a few Daubenton’s and Noctule bats around the lake.
The Daubenton’s were also putting on quite a display over the water surface just above the weir, where we watched them circling and grabbing insects from the water surface, just after dusk.