27 Jul 2017

27 July 17 - Young Pipistrelle Bat?

At the moment, I'm working at a company with offices set in fairly extensive grounds on the downs outside Winchester. This is a great site to walk around at lunchtime & has a reasonably good selection of wildlife within the grounds. Today's walk was nearly over & had been fairly uneventful for interesting wildlife, when I saw a small & presumed Pipistrelle Bat fly low over the grass, before landing at head height on a small tree. As I approached I could see it climbing up the trunk, until it froze as it saw my movement. There was time for a few quick photos on the iPhone before leaving it in peace.
Presumed young Pipistrelle Bat sp.
I am presuming it is one of the two abundant species of Pipistrelle Bat. Until the 1990s, it was thought that there was only a single species of Pipistrelle Bat in the UK. Then studies confirmed there were two abundant & widespread species: Common Pipistrelle & Soprano Pipistrelle, as well as, the rare Nathusius' Pipistrelle. These first two species are best told by the frequencies of their echolocation calls with the strongest calls being around 45kHz & 55 kHz, respectively. Obviously, I didn't have an Bat detector with me, but then it probably wasn't calling whilst clinging to the tree. Therefore, it's identification will probably remain a mystery, unless there are any Bat experts out there who can help to identify this Bat. I was expecting it to have grey brown fur, so was surprised to see the grey colouration of the bare skin. I am assuming it is a young Bat that has only recently learnt to fly & hasn't had time for the fur to grow.