Here you can clearly see the Bat-bug (Cimex sp.) on the bat's wing
And the other site? Only thirty bats emerged, suggesting that the maternity roost is probably somewhere else entirely. What we now need is someone mad enough to prowl the streets of Edinburgh at dawn for a few days, looking for a swarm of bats, to tell us where the maternity roost is! It's not that we really need to know, but it would be nice to find the missing jigsaw piece.
(Above) The roost entrance identified in May - the bats swarmed in front of this gable end and entered via the gap visible below one of the roof tiles
(Below) Droppings stuck to the timber facing below it, 3 weeks later
When I returned with a team of helpers at sunset last week, there were many droppings stuck to the wall around the access hole the bats had been using on the previous visit, indicating it had seen some use. However, at sunset no bats emerged from there. Instead, 118 bats emerged from two holes in the gable end of the main attic, right where I originally found piles of droppings within the attic. So, not only were we able to confirm the location of the maternity roost, the May visit enabled the identification of an intermediate roost, which wasn't apparent from signs within the attic.
Bats are always enigmatic and rarely give up their secrets easily. It's nice when, once in a while, we can see tiny bit more of their lives than the usual tiny snap-shots...
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