Turning out in the dark listening for bats and trying to sight them is not everyone’s idea of a way to spend Saturday night but that is just what nineteen amateur ecologists did in August. Led by bat expert Harold Green of the Merseyside and West Lancashire Bat Group and using high tech frequency detectors, four species were definitely recorded and identified.
The species identified were Common and Soprano Pipistrelle Bats, Daubentons Bat and Whiskered Bat whilst other sounds recorded were too faint to clearly identify. There was activity both on the canal and nearby Paddington meadows. Bats, depending on species, can travel between 5 miles and 50 miles to feed and take up to 3,000 tiny insects in an evenings activity.
Anne Price, Press Officer New Cut Heritage Trail and Ecology Group, said ”It is delightful how so much wildlife has colonised what was a derelict industrial site with a canal bed, heavily contaminated from the industrial revolution and a Victorian waste tip all within 200 yards of an extremely busy main road. Everyone is optimistic that there are more species to be discovered living there”
Willow Tits thriving
Experienced ornithologists have monitored the willow tits nesting amongst the tree canopy growing from the bed of the canal and have now found that a second pair of birds has taken up residency and both pairs had offspring this year. It is believed that the young birds fledged successfully and left the nests although there is concern that a family of mink seen recently a short distance down river could be a threat to these rare birds.
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