Sunday, 8 July 2012

Noctules and Moon

The moon and a Common 
Noctule, Nyctalus noctula,  over Warren Avenue Playing Fields.  This is a cheat, a combination of two different photos.  (If the bat is in focus, the trees should be also.)  1 July 2012.
The moon and a Common Noctule over Warren Avenue Playing Fields.   1 July 2012.

On just a few nights each year. our largest bats come to Warren Avenue playing fields to feed on Summer Chafers.  Swifts love these chafers too, and swoop around the trees until quite late, but soon after sunset the bats take over as chafer-depleters.

The word came from Ishpi, our local bat expert, that the Noctules had been seen, and I went the same night with my camera and a long lens.  Last year I just had my bat detector and a tiny camera, and I photographed a chafer; this year I wanted some actual bat photos.

The moon was looking very photogenic when I arrived, so I took some shots.   That proved to be useful, as I was never able to get a decent shot of the moon and a bat together.  The top photo is a cheat, put together later with Photoshop, but it doesn't represent anything that wasn't actually happening.  Here's a more honest picture:

Noctule, Nyctalus noctula, flying over Warren Avenue Playing Fields, feeding on Summer Chafers.  1 July 2012.
Common Noctule, Nyctalus noctula, flying over Warren Avenue Playing Fields.  1 July 2012.
That's the best I could get.  Those bats move fast, wheeling and darting, and it's not easy to keep up with them and work the controls at the same time.

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