Oddity covers a large area when he is out at night foraging for insects and as he is not blind (no bats are) he will observe many nocturnal mammals going about their activities. Here are some of the mammals Oddity has spotted on his nightly flight over the farm.
Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to the order Carnivora, within which there are several genera of the family Canidae. The Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true foxes and native to the UK, although they are absent from the Scottish Islands, except Skye. The Red Fox is our only fox species. They are very successful even though they have been persecuted through-out history and this success is primarily due to their adaptability, with foxes being found in most landscapes (including urban areas and coasts) and ability to eat a varied diet.
Bats are in the order of Chiroptera meaning “hand wings”, and are classed into two suborders: Yangochiroptera (or Vespertilioniformes) and Yinpterochiroptera (or Pteropodiformes). In the UK we have both suborders, however the majority are within Yangochiroptera. This suborder of bats is highly specialised and use echolocation to navigate and find their prey. All our bats in the UK are insectivores, eating insects such as midges, moths and beetles.
One such bat in the suborder Yangochiroptera and superfamily Vespertilionidae is Oddity a Brown Long-eared Bat (Plecotus auritus). As the name suggests these bats have brown-ish fur and large ears. When echolocating they are amongst the quietest of bats and in many cases you are more likely to see them in the evening with their fluttering, slow flight than hear them through a bat detector.