A most interesting interruption to a working day.
Fergus Hancock reports on a microbat that dropped in for a visit.
A small visitor came into our house last Thursday. (3 February 2022). After (s)he found a cat-free spot to land and recover a bit, I took these pictures. When (s)he had recuperated a bit, (s)he flew off, heading back to Munibung Hill.
From species I.D. keys, I worked out (s)he is either a little bentwing bat or an eastern bentwing bat. Both have been recorded on Munibung Hill but no one to my knowledge has looked for them for a number of years and I had hoped they would not be driven away from some of Munibung Hill since construction of the new development on Hopkins St started.
They have a scattered distribution, but are vulnerable where their habitat abuts urban areas due to cat predation etc.
They are small: body length about 50mm and wingspan125mm. Being nocturnal insectivores, this one probably got slightly lost and was caught in sunlight. I saw her/him flying back towards Munibung Hill, so hopefully arrived back at the roost safely.
Preferred habitats include crevices or some smaller hollows in trees or caves/tunnels and they use caves or abandoned rail tunnels. I would like to have a look at the tunnels on the Minmi-Rawdon Vale track when the heat is a bit lower.
On Munibung Hill, they roost in small caves along the Teralba Conglomerate that forms the upper section of the hill. Many of these caves are inaccessible and hopefully host healthy populations of small bats.
This is a small gift and nice to know insect populations are controlled by bats, birds, spiders etc that have recovering habitats on Munibung Hill and sometimes drop by.
Recuperating after having a short rest, (s)he flew off from our place back towards Munibung. I hope (s)he made it home OK.
The powerful owls are back, too. I heard them the last four nights, sounding from the Speers Point end of Munibung Hill.
Fergus Hancock is Secretary of Munibung Hill Conservation Society
(10 February 2022)
If you see or hear any native animals movements in and around Munibung Hill please drop us a note to email@example.com
MMM … Issue 27, March 2022