Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A 'Batty' Thing Happened...

We were sitting at home the other evening, the lights turned down low. Colin was watching television and I was reading and dozing in equal measures, when Colin exclaimed:

"There's something flying round in here!"

And from that moment chaos reigned...

A bat was swooping and whirling its way round the living room, missing us by inches with each turn.

Both the doors leading out of the living room were closed and we opened the French doors at the back of the room. Waving our arms, we tried to alter its course, but it was obvious this was having no effect whatsoever.

I grabbed the first thing to hand - a cushion - though what I thought I could do with it, I'm not sure!

And so we spent the next five minutes trying to keep up with the speed of its flight, and using my cushion to waft it towards the doorway!

What a pair we must have looked...

Thankfully it eventually left of its own accord. We had been too preoccupied to ask for its ID, so we can only guess that it may have been a common pipistrelle.

As the outside doors were closed and there were no open windows, the only explanation we can think of for its presence in the room in the first place is that it could possibly have come in, sent off course, the night before. We had the French doors at the front of the room open to watch the fireworks after Braye's Fete Champetre du Bois du Temple.

A study by Gareth Jones and Emma Stone of Bristol University has shown that bats have a natural aversion to lights and research by Schaub et al in the Journal of Experimental Biology concludes that bats avoid loud noises. Possibly, therefore, the bright flashes and loud bangs and echoes of the fireworks may have affected the bats usual flight path round the house. In this case, it must have flown through the open door and roosted in the room until the following evening when the level of light fell sufficiently to alert it to hunt again.

It really was a case of Batman & Colin... or should that be Batwoman?

1 comment:

Jean said...

I'm not sure I would have liked having a bat in my living room, or anything else flying around for that matter. I know they are harmless little things but the very idea sends shivers down my spine.
We have had a few birds falling down the chimney here and getting them out of the house before they poo on everything is a priority !! It happened once in the blackberry season and getting the stains off the furniture and wallpaper was a nightmare.