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South Derbyshire experienced quite a range of weather conditions in January with hard frosts mid-month, some storms with high winds, then milder conditions with sunset temperatures up to 12.3°C in the latter part of the month.
Bats were on the wing on 17 nights during January with three species/species groups recorded – common and soprano pipistrelles and Myotis bats. This is the highest level of January activity I have recorded in five years of monitoring. Feeding buzzes from common or soprano pipistrelles were noted on four nights, indicating that they were finding insects on mild evenings. Social calls of common pipistrelles were recorded on six nights.
The coldest bat was a common pipistrelle recorded flying at 00:51 on the 18th in a temperature of -7.8°C (yes minus 7.8!), the lowest temperature at which I have recorded a bat on the wing in five years. Storm Isha didn’t deter bats from emerging either - a common pipistrelle was recorded on the 22nd at half-past midnight and again at 3 am, with winds gusting to 25 or 30 mph!
On the 24th two common pipistrelles were flying together at 6:30 pm, there was also a soprano pipistrelle around at the same time so at least three individual bats were on the wing over the garden that evening. The 29th saw a common pipistrelle on the wing social calling from half-past midnight until 4 am.
Alan Roe

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