Cosmos’ cubs are growing and doing really well. They are now spending more and more time away from the protection of the den, however 1 of the cubs did not make it as her explorations got her into trouble with a neighbouring road. Cosmos will tolerate the cubs presence for a few more weeks but as they can now hunt for themselves and are more independent from their mother, Cosmos will begin to chase them from her territory.
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.
Oddity is currently roosting in his favourite barn on the farm and making the most of the summer insects in and around the farmyard. A new resident has also moved into the barn, a Barbastelle bat called Echo. Barbastelle bats are crevice-dwelling bats, so the small gap behind this electrical board is ideal for Echo.
Echo is a three year old bat, whose main roost was destroyed in early spring. His roost was in a dead and hollow tree which came down during some high winds. This tree is now lying on the ground close to the farm. Stag Beetles, Wood mice and Bank voles have taken up residence, so although it no longer provides a roost for Echo, other species are making good use of it!
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.