Bechstein's Bat Returns!

The Collin Park Wood bat box checks are usually fairly reliable in terms of which bat species are encountered where and when.
It was therefore a very pleasant surprise, four summers ago, when a male Bechstein's bat (above left picture) was found in one of the many boxes checked monthly through the season by Gloucestershire Bat Group members. However, this bat has kept with tradition and appeared on an annual basis until this year where he's been found twice so far.
Whilst we could originally only speculate that the same bat was being found each time, last year it was ringed and we can now know for sure that the same male Bechstein's is returning to the wood. So are there any others and where are they??
Thanks to David Worley for leading another successful check, as the maternity colony of Natterer's bats (above right picture) was also refound.
David sends out regular emails to members announcing the visits so keep an eye on your inbox if you're eager to join us.
Images copyright: I. Szaboova

Gloucestershire Bat Group Make an Appearance at Highnam Woods Family Fun Day (17/7/16)

On 17 July, the RSPB held a Family Fun Day at their Highnam Woods reserve near Gloucester. With guided walks and natural history activities it was a perfect place for the Bat Group to engage with some wildlife enthusiasts. Former Chairman and stalwart 'batter' David Priddis spent a hot afternoon manning a spot at the event to chat to people about the work of the group, bat projects in the county, and bats in general. A number of families were entranced by the bat specimens on show and no doubt learnt a lot. Thanks to David for giving his time and expertise. If you or your organisation would like to learn more about bats please get in touch.

December 2015: Underground Section Membership Now Open for 2016

Gloucestershire Bat Group members can now sign up to join the Underground Section and participate in upcoming counts of hibernating bats. A number of sites will be visited (mostly in the Forest of Dean) and led by experienced cavers and bat workers. The trips are a good opportunity to see hibernating bats with a focus on counting our rare horseshoe bats. You should now have received an email inviting you to join up.

How it works: Underground Section membership for 2016 is ₤20.00 (same as last year). This comprises ₤3.00 for the Bat Group and ₤17.00 for BCA insurance. If you have your own separate caving insurance you still need to join the Underground Section, paying only the ₤3.00. Please note the update to the constitution on page 2 of the membership form which clarifies the membership period (calendar year from 1st January).

Please send the Application Form to Haydn Brooks, the Underground Section Officer by the 31st December.
The Visit Leaders arrange and lead each visit underground, and if you require it, may be able to provide some necessary equipment - please ask in advance. There are usually about 15 visits between January and April. You can choose to go on as many as you like.

Once arranged, they will send out invitations for visits to Underground Section members direct. They will make it clear who you need to book with for each visit - you must book with them in advance. It is no good phoning other committee members. Visit Leaders need to know exactly who is going underground so that they can organise equipment, permits etc, and inform people of any cancellations.

After booking, they will ask you to phone them a few days before a visit to ensure that it has not been cancelled (a rare event). Please remember, you cannot just turn up on the day. Also, please do not bring extra people on the day - they will not be able to go underground.

To go on a visit you must have underground insurance arranged in advance. This is obtained through the Bat Group or direct with a caving organisation (you will need to prove to the Visit Leader that you have this insurance).

Hope to see you there!

September 2015: Another Great Morning at Collin Park Wood:

On Sunday 6th September, members of the Gloucestershire Bat Group, led by David Worley, met for the monthly bat box checks of this wood near Newent. We were treated to several occupied boxes (one unfortunately by hornets) and many more containing bat droppings. The bat species found were noctule (1 male), Natterer's bat (remnant maternity colony and another small group in an adjacent box) and low and behold, a male Bechstein's bat. This is only the third record of this species at the wood so there was much excitement. Keep your eyes peeled for the next outing to book your place.

Bat Group Newsletter Published:

Follow the link to see the latest newsletter. It contains reports from the groups various activities over 2014 as well as the minutes of this years AGM. GBG News July 2015"

Norfolk Bat Project on Springwatch Extra (09:50 into recording).

Innovative Dutch Bridge for Bats

New evidence for Nathusius' Pipistrelle migration

BatSound Workshop a Success!

This Saturday (23 November 2014), 21 merry bat group members met at Standish Village Hall, with laptops at the ready, to receive tuition on bat call analysis and sonogram identification using the BatSound software. Dr Kate Barlow of the Bat Conservation Trust was on hand to introduce attendees to the software and explain principles of sonogram analysis, with examples from British bat species. After a short presentation and demonstration (and a break for tea and biscuits of course!), members got stuck-in to the practical element of the day using their new skills to identify bat calls.
Overall, it was a very successful day. Keep an eye out for further opportunities in the future!

Anthropogenic noise alters bat activity levels and echolocation calls

Woodchester Mansion records 'biggest' greater horseshoe bat

Bat Atlas Published!
The Cotswold Water Park Bat Initiative, now in it's tenth year (!), has produced its first formal publication presenting the interim results of survey and monitoring work undertaken so far in the region. The CWP Bat Atlas is a detailed and well presented document providing information on the survey methods used, species recorded in the Water Park and interesting distribution maps for each.

Follow these links to find out more information about the Atlas and to open an online version of it.

Sea crossing by bat is first from UK to mainland Europe

Bats thrive on British waterways