Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

Leisler's Bat

Thursday 27th July 2000
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Leisler's bat
WE'RE CALLED OUT to rescue an injured bat, that has found its way into a house near the river. We're expecting a Pipistrelle, our smallest and commonest species, but, when we take it to our friends who run the Wakefield Bat Group, we're told that it is a Leisler's, Nyctalus leisleri, the second largest British species. It is a smaller, darker brown version of its larger cousin, the Noctule.

Size is relative; at 6 centimetres the Leisler's is less than two inches in length, and weighs 20gm, about as much as an average letter and envelope. But it certainly makes an impression. When the dog found it during the night its squeaks could be heard upstairs. It eagerly takes water, offered on the end of a soft paintbrush, and mealworms.

This one has a broken wing, which is probably the result of its encounter with the dog.

Leisler's Bats are at the edge of their range here in Yorkshire, a roost discovered at Bretton Park in 1991 was the most northerly found in Britain. pipistrelleAt that time only 20 Leisler's roosts were known in the country.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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