• Overstrand Life

Saturday 10th July 2021 - Bat Rescue and So Fresh

Out at twilight in the garden on Wednesday evening, doing our daily slug hunt, I spotted a bat on the ground near our bins. I picked it up and it spent the night in a bucket covered with an old tea towel, in the workshop. Thursday morning, I quite expected it to be dead but stroking its back, I woke it from its slumbers and it lifted its head. Picking the bat up (wearing gloves) revealed a small hole in the back wing and blood on its underside. I took time to look at its features and body shape and thought it was probably a common pipistrelle. The question was; where was the nearest rescue centre which takes in injured bats? Searches on the internet showed Wild Touch in Ridlington https://wildtouch7.wixsite.com/wildtouch should be able to help. One particular website we looked at made us aware, we needed to act fast. If it had been bitten by a cat (as there were three playing in the garden the previous evening they were strongly suspected as being behind the injuries), a bacteria carried in their saliva could soon result in an infection with potential fatal results. A quick phone call to Wild Touch to check they could help, and we were on our way. On arrival, while we waited outside the gate, the bat was taken for assessment and we were informed the small wing hole will heal but the concerns were with the punctures in its body. These, as suspected, were most likely caused by a cat. Added to the concerns of infection, the bite may have also crushed some internal organs. Wild Touch are now treating the bat with anti-biotics together with a pain killer. If it survives the following four days, it is in with a chance of full recovery, in which case we can collect and release here in our garden. I knew that cats were top bat predators but wondered how they managed to catch them. We now know that cats can hear the ecolocation bats use to move around. We see bats dipping and diving over ours and neighbouring gardens, catching moths and winged insects, and guess the bat I found must have dipped low enough for one of the cats to capture it. To round off, I was right the bat is a common pipistrelle, we are grateful to Wild Touch (we hope the donation we left them will pay for the bats treatment) and The Strand Club are having a fundraiser in August for Wild Touch (link to village calendar page) which we feel, having heard about their work in the past, are an excellent charity to support.

Finally, today’s photos are of some mackerel and whitebait caught just up the coast by a villager, who kindly gave us some of their catch. Apparently the mackerel were chasing the whitebait up onto the beach, making them an easy catch. Peter BBQ’d two of the mackerel yesterday evening – so fresh, their flavour far surpassed any we have bought in the past.