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Bat Box Joy!

I received a text from a friend this weekend, to say her husband had found two bird boxes in a pile of rubble where he was working and he had bought them home for me…. would I like them? Needless to say, I popped in the car and nipped over to her house. I was amazed when she opened the boot of her car and there were two Schwegler bat boxes… I was thrilled obviously!

I recognise them as rather ‘top of the range’ boxes:

The world’s best nest boxes  Schwegler boxes are designed to closely mimic the properties of natural nest sites, making them especially suitable for conservation work. Schwegler boxes have been proven to have the highest occupation rates of all box types.

What is WoodcretePLUS™? WoodcretePLUS™ is a natural material made from a mixture of 75% wood sawdust, concrete and clay. This special material allows natural respiration, stable temperature inside the box, and exceptional durability.

Exceptionally long-lasting WoodcretePLUS™ boxes are extremely durable, rot-proof, predator-proof, and can be expected to last 25 years or more with no maintenance required.

I took them straight home and took them up into my ‘workshop’… ( my greenhouse that is now full of wildlife bits and bobs!!) I hope that the residents of these boxes had left for their winter quarters before they had been removed and put on the rubble pile!. I decided to open them to look for any evidence of bat occupancy….

These boxes are different models. The larger one is a general purpose box attractive to the smaller British bats. It is similar to the smaller one I have, with the addition of a roughened wooden panel inside the box to simulate a crevice. The larger one was full of insects (mostly dead) and not much other evidence of occupancy. The smaller one, however, had a bird nest inside!! I was surprised as the entrance slit is tiny…. about 1.6cm. I could only presume it was a wren. On closer examination, I could see that there was a skeleton of a bird… probably a fledgling. I managed to get the skull out and then some of the body feathers. They looked quite grey, with creamy flecks…. could it have been a blue tit squeezing in there?

I have cleaned both boxes out and will be putting them up ready for next season. I haven’t got any bat boxes and we get a lot of pipistrelles round here, so they are a very welcome addition to the WildlifeKate Patch… especially as they were going to end up in a tip….  a big thanks to Paul and Nova for thinking of me!


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