Five of us from SLBG conducted a preliminary survey of Blackely Cemetery (Greater Manchester) to produce the first set of data for this site. This is the second survey I have completed at a cemetery, habitats that have, until recently, been largely ignored by the group.
Starting off at 9pm on a warm, clear evening we decided to stroll round the site in one group, stopping of at points of interest such as mature wooded areas and water bodies along the way. Indeed there were a number of interesting, bat friendly features within this large site, ranging from mature grassland within woodland clearings to unused buildings.
Common Pipistrelle’s were observed individually and in groups of up to 3 at numerous locations around the site and were heard emitting feeding, foraging and social calls. Excitingly, a supposed common pip bat roost was also discovered in an unused building on site. The building had numerous small holes (below pic) between its walls and roofs, which tellingly were free of spider webs or other obstructions. The find of a single poo pellet was enough to determine the building as a roost for common pips. This species faeces is similar in appearance to that of a mouse, but when touched easily crumbles to powder. Additionally, unlike mouse poop, it may sparkle as a result of its diet (moth scales).
- Bat roost entrance hole and close up. In this photo an unwitting moth is perched at the entrance. Im told that a common pip can fit in any gap a HB pencil could be poked through!