This post is all about firsts. It started with me seeing my first hare (last week). Then filming my first badger in the garden. Then I had my first cold of the year and heard my first chiff-chaff and skylark, and today another first.
Common Pipistrelle Bat – Photograph supplied by Wikipedia (not by me)
Tonight at about 6.30pm, while I was putting some scraps out for the badgers and foxes, I saw my first bat of the year.
A tiny pipistrelle, flitting backwards and forwards over the lawn. Then there were two. Flying around the garden like their little lives depended on it. Which I guess they did, as tonight would have been one of their first feeds of the year (another first) since beginning their hibernation last autumn.
I don’t understand why people don’t like bats. I love sitting on the bench outside my back door on summer evenings watching them hunt down little knats and moths above the hedge and lawn. Sometimes I stand in the middle of the lawn and see whether they will bump into me… of course they never do. Tonight was a bit cold for hanging about but I did stop and watch them for ten minutes or so.
Tiny little bat – Photograph supplied by Wikipedia (not by me)
They are the UK’s tiniest bat (no more than about 4cm long with a wingspan of about 20cm) and they are our most common. They may have emerged today as it’s been a bit warmer. It’s still early for them to be coming out of hibernation completely. I’d get back in the warm little bat if I were you, and wait a couple more weeks!
Every year I think that I must put up some bat roosting boxes in the big beech trees at the end of the garden. Seeing them this early has jogged my memory and I must try and find some boxes for them on the internet. Maybe I can attract more than two into the garden this year. That would be a first!