June saw the first of our BCT Colony Counts as we headed out to Whitewell in Bowland to monitor the pipistrelle roost at the Inn at Whitewell. This is an interesting site as the roost contains both Common and Soprano Pipistrelles.
We first noticed bats entering the roof of the Inn after being rained off during our summer surveys in 2009 for Lesser Horseshoe bats. We’d popped in for shelter, a quick review of the previous weeks recordings and, ahem, some refreshment. One week later we were back to count the emergence and quickly discovered we’d just found one of the largest roosts in Lancashire.
The last few years of surveying have returned fairly stable numbers of bats usually circa 650. This year with permission to survey the full exterior (we’d been tipped off by staff that bats were also exiting the roofspace over the river at the back) and with the aid of our infrared video equipment we’ve got a much better picture of the roost size.
First count in June resulted in a count of 839 bats out.
July count (still being confirmed via video footage) is looking to be over 1000.
Update: Total July count is 1132 bats