Bats in my Belfry

I don’t actually have a belfry, but I do have bats. They have been regularly hunting in the garden for many years. I have managed to count at least three individuals at any one time, but there may be more.Photo of bat

I am making the assumption that these are pipistrelle bats, as they are the most common UK bat. Bats are protected and it is illegal to disturb them. Photographing them in their roosts or as they emerge would certainly count as disturbing them. These are urban bats and used to lights and they continued to hunt after I had used the flash to take a few photos. However, even we don’t like camera flashes going off in our faces so I wouldn’t make a habit of it. I am glad to say that it didn’t put them off and I took some video of them a few nights later, which you can view here.Photo of bat

The pipistrelle, Pipistellus pipistrellus, is the commonest of the UK’s 17 species of bat. They are also the smallest with a body length up to 4.5cm and a wingspan of up to 25cm, with reddish brown fur.Photo of bat

They are very agile in the air as they hunt insects using echolocation frequencies between 45 and 76Β kHz. They can eat up to 3,000 insects each night.Photo of bat

Bat populations have declined dramatically in recent years. We can help to encourage them into our gardens by putting up bat boxes for them to roost in. We can also plant trees, shrubs and night flowering plants to encourage the insects that they hunt on.Photo of bat

For more information about British bats and how to help them the Bat Conservation Trust has a lot of information on its website.

Here is a much better photograph of a pipistrelle bat taken by someone else.

Photo of pipistrelle bat in flight

By Barracuda1983 (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


19 thoughts on “Bats in my Belfry

  1. A small box device that detects and identifies each type of bat through their echo-location frequencies can be bought. We found two types of bats in our garden by using it. The Bat Conservation group will have Bat Walks. The Exmoor National Park – Exmoor being Bat rich with 16 types – runs Bat Walks several times in the summer.

  2. You did well to capture these photos πŸ™‚ I love to watch bats – and at my brother’s house in the north of England they had them living in the eaves and hundreds flew out at dusk!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.