Rooks and Bats

I’m regularly woken by rooks coming to my bird feeders at dawn, so decided to take part in the BTO’s Garden Rook Survey. I thought I’d have to count them, which would be difficult, but fortunately the survey is more about different behaviours than precise numbers of birds involved. They’re very wary - I only have to peep through the bedroom curtains at them and they fly off. When the rooks arrive, at about 5am, jackdaws soon follow and they will all feed together. Some of the rooks have learnt to cling to the pole and peck seed out of the feeder. They drop enough food to keep the other birds fed!

Sort the rooks from the jackdaws

Juvenile jackdaw begging from an adult

Rooks clinging to the feeder pole

On Wednesday evening I went to my first meeting of the North Yorkshire Bat Group. The meeting place was on Millennium Bridge in York and the plan was to walk around the adjacent Rowntree Park and along the river bank. I’d never been to a bat group meeting before, so didn’t know what to expect. Nobody else turned up. The weather was far from ideal, being cool and windy, whereas warm and still conditions would have been much better. However, I tuned my bat detector to 45kHz and before long started to pick up bat echolocation calls.

It was surprising just how many there were. I didn’t see most of them and would never have known they were there without the bat detector. I assume they were common pipistrelles, but as I’m a complete novice at bat identification I can’t be sure. It would have been nice to have some experts on hand to give advice. I enjoyed the bat group meeting (on my own) and will go again!


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