Posted by: kathandroger | July 21, 2019

Bats, Music and Physiotherapy!

I like bats. We have lots around here, almost exclusively the little Pipistrelle, who flits about the buildings in the early evening and sometimes shares the sky with the last swooping swallows. But again this year there seems to be a death wish for bats in our boiler room.IMG_0880I found this clump of animals in the sink the other day. They looked dead, but on separating them, only one had left this world, possibly suffocated by the others.IMG_0881Carefully carrying them out on a sheet of paper-I am a bit scared of being bitten- I released them in one of our out houses, and they were gone the next day. The same procedure was used for the several more we found over the next few days. This event has happened over the past few years, so I thought I had better investigate.

Interesting little things are bats. They hibernate in big colonies in winter, then in spring the females form large maternity colonies together, the chaps being banished from the area. Sounds like a good idea to me. Usually only one “pup” is born, and the nursing mothers send their offspring to the outside world in late July, and follow them to join the chaps. I reckon our bats are mostly mature females, but I am not good at sexing bats, and that they have left their maternity ward in the roof about the boiler room. But why they should target the sink in the room I have no idea. I have found others scattered about the place, but maybe the white sink reflects the light from the nearby window and it looks like an escape route. Anyway, the chaps by this time are flitting around elsewhere in their own little areas near the hibernation sites, and puffing their little chests out to attract a now available female. They emit low pitched calls, allegedly audible to humans. I don’t think I have heard mating male bats calling, but maybe I am a little deaf. Any way that is not all; the chaps modify their flight pattern to attract the girls, who have a vast choice of mates. Their testes enlarge during this time, and the demand for a mate apparently gets earlier and earlier each evening. I vaguely remember those day. And after the deed is done, those clever girls store the sperm until fertilisation in the Spring, individually and within that is, not in a huge vat!

I hope I have saved some of those struggling little females, and that the local bat population will survive and flourish.

 

My physiotherapy for the broken shoulder has nearly finished. I must have had about 30 sessions of half an hour or so. Here in France the system is excellent. Instead of being in a hospital, the therapists set up their own enterprises in their own buildings.IMG_0882Our local establishment is a converted residential bungalow, run by a husband and wife team, and crammed with all the required kit. They have too many patients, they tell me, and certainly there are usually four or five of us in there at the same time, with taxi ambulances arriving and departing continuously. For me it has been good fun and certainly effective, although I have learnt not to try to do too much during a session as the pain from overusing withered muscles was worse that the injury itself! What a pity the same system does not exist in the UK; it is effective, free, and fun!

Finally, with the long warm evenings, it has been a pleasure to attend outdoor musical evenings, which seem to be everywhere at the moment. Yesterday it was in a local restaurant with a performance of Celtic music from a group of friends.IMG_0886The venue was full, the ambiance good, and the meal a bit disappointing! But a nice evening with chums and a good celebration of summer.


Responses

  1. The bats might be seeking water. One of those in the picture looks very small, so presumably a baby. You can offer them a drink from a straw or dropper. Dehydration is a very common cause of death.

    • Thanks Susan, but the sink is dry. I will offer water if there are any more though.

  2. I agree with Susan… they are after water… the reason that they were all clustered/crammed by the plughole is that they can smell water… many animals can… including humans.
    And these little bats can smell the water in the sink’s u-bend.
    Current advice is to put water out in shady places for all animals in shallow dishes…
    I have two big ones near the backdoor… plant pot drip trays that I top up nightly… even though we have the river less than three metres away!!
    So, a shallow dish in the sink, topped up with water, will help any future water divining bats…. and other critters, too.

    • Thanks Tim, will do as you suggest. Vive les chauve souris!!


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