Friday, 18 July 2008

There's something of the night.....

....... about me. I do seem to spend a lot of time wandering about in the night, always have done as long as I can remember. As a child I often woke at dawn and wandered the fields before coming home, breakfast and off to school. Could never understand why my school friends stayed in bed all weekend, to me there was so much to see.

Anyway this morning, up at 4, so thought I'd put the washing out on the line, may be dry enough to iron before work. Border Reiver is a martyr to domestic chores, I must spend ohh at least 10 minutes a week doing housework.

So off I popped into the galloping dawn only to be hassled by a bat. Pipistrelles moved into the estate as soon as the houses were built. I noticed the first spring I lived here they'd come out at dusk. I've not actually worked out where they are roosting exactly, but guess in the sofit boards, of my house and those around me. These are summer roosts, as the Pips are never seen in the winter here, though they will readily fly on warm winter evenings. I remember walking at dusk at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire on Boxing Day, and there were loads of them flitting through the ruins.

And a sign of a wildlife obsessed man, the pegging up of the washing was abandoned, as I thought, wonder if I could photograph this little fella me lad (actually there were 2 of them). Well that was the thought. In reality, a hand held camera and a fast moving flying mouse proved more difficult than I thought. These three photographs were the result of over 30 taken. I'm sure the bats must have thought they were celebrities, the amount of flash-light going off. But I will try again in a more organised way one day.

What's interesting is the bats were following a fairly steady figure of 8 line between the trees and next door garden. Now of course they were hunting for tasty morsels on the wing, but if the above photos are enlarged, go on you know you want to, the number of flying insects picked up by the flash, above the two branches is quite staggering.

Sadly though these photographs will not be winning any wildlife awards, but I don't care, they're my bats, so that's all that matters !!


  1. Really good photos of something so fast moving. Did your neighbours wonder what was going on with lots of flashes going off in the night!?!

  2. I'd love to photograph "my bats" but just haven't worked out a way of catching them in motion. Maybe I should try to film them... but still the same problems. I think you did incredibly well to get what you got...

  3. I have to agree, there is nothing like being out and about in the very early morning. Seems the world is yours at that time. I too could never understand how people can sleep in, in the mornings.

  4. It wasn't just the neighbours Goosey, strange flashing blue lights in the sky too hee hee.

    Jane : I'll have another try and see what can happen, it was tough though. Normally to do that one would need an infrared trigger and camera set-up. But I tried.

    Oldcrow, I couldn't agree more