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Barton Meadows Bat Survey

By Belinda Baker, Parish Clerk Headbourne Worthy Parish Council

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

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During the summer of 2019, bat surveys were carried out by the Ecology team from HIWWT to establish how bat populations were using the reserve. Twelve bat species were recorded at Barton Meadows, with five of these being conservation priority species. The species recorded included pipistrelles, serotines, noctules, long-eared bats and one recording of a barbastelle. These initial surveys show that Barton Meadows Nature Reserve is an important site for bats, both in providing suitable habitat for foraging individuals, and for providing sheltered treelines and hedgerows for bats using the reserve to travel to other destinations.

A total of 4206 bat passes from 12 different species were recorded during the two week period. The base level of bat activity seems to be constant with no fewer that 153 bat passes recorded on a single day and the mean number of passes being 263. Total activity peaked twice, once on July 2nd and once on 6th July. There is no clear explanation dor this as climatic conditions remained consistent throughout the survey period, with no rain or other extremes of weather recorded. Bat activity was highest in two windows as expected at dusk between 21:30 and 23:00 and at dawn, 02:30 to 4:40. The species with the earliest peak activity were the comon and soprano pipistrelles at 22:0, folllowed by serotine, noctuleand natterer's bat at 22:30. Natterer's bat and common pipistrelle showed a second peak in acitivty at 03:00 and 03:30 respectivley, whist the other three species were less active during the second window.

Twelve bat species were recorded in close proximity to the treeline; five of these were UK BAP Priority species and two were Habitats Directive Annex II species. This indicates that the treeline provides an important feature for a wide variety of bat species within the landscape. During the treeline passes surveys, common pipistrelles, soprano pipistrelles, serotines, noctules and Myotis sp. were directly observed using the treeline, foraging and feeding on invertebrates around the vegetation. In addition, these species were also observed commuting along the tree line both in a west and an east direction. Bat foraging activity was also recorded around the perimeter of the site and along the main hedgerow which bisects the site splitting the west and east sides.

Contact Information

Belinda Baker, Parish Clerk

  • 07770 406607

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Headbourne Worthy, Winchester, Hampshire

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