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Mull break and an unexpected bat encounter!

This week I headed up to Mull, to visit friend Pete Walkden. I love coming up to Mull and it is good to get a good dose of sea air and huge landscapes. Pete and I have been driving around, looking out for wildlife and just enjoying the huge vistas and small bursts of sunshine, although the winds have been pretty cold.

Today, as we were driving back home, we had a wildlife encounter that we would never have anticipated! As we neared Dervaig, a bat appeared out from a tree to the side of the road and flew along right next to the car... in broad daylight! Pete pulled the car up on the verge and we both leapt out with our cameras.... we couldn't quite believe it. It circled around and then alighted in a nearby tree....

It hung on the bark of this Birch for less than a minute before taking off again and doing a few loops nearby. It then landed on another tree, hanging by one toe from some lichen that protruded from the trunk. It hung there for about 30 seconds whilst we fired off more shots before taking off again.

This time, it flew further down, over the car and we followed it. It flew around over the top of the stream. Twice, it dipped down and appeared to take a drink from the surface of the water.

It then flew up and landed on the stone wall next to the water. For a minute or so, it sat on the top. Pete and I got as close as we dare, standing in the stream, and fired off loads of shots.... what a treat to see one up so close. We think it is a Daubenton's bat. It was a good size and pale underneath.

It seemed unharmed and in good condition. May be it had been disturbed from a roost, as I certainly would not expect to see one flying in the afternoon in April. The sun was shining, but it has been pretty chilly here, with a cold wind. We watched or for a minute or so, before it flew up the stream and disappeared.

We were buzzing! What an incredible encounter and a wonderful chance to photograph a rarely seen mammal.


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