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First Bat of year 2015

First Bat of year 2015

There has just been a shout of Die Fledermaus from the kitchen, nothing to do with the opera by younger Johann Strauss, but Ulli was on the phone to her mother and spotted the first bat of 2015. It was probably Pipistrellus pipistrellus or Pipistrellus pygmaeus (based on previous identifications). It was earlier than last year, which was on the 15th April, but not as early as some years, 26th March 2012 and 30th March 2009. It is great to…

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First bat of 2014

First bat of 2014

This evening I saw the first bat of 2014, it was probably Pipistrellus pipistrellus or Pipistrellus pygmaeus (based on previous identifications). Interestingly this sighting is later than in the last two years, it was 26th March 2012 and 30th March 2009. Maybe I haven’t been looking out enough. I take the bat sighting as a sign of the coming summer, a couple of times recently I thought I heard swifts overhead, but have yet to see any, so I can’t…

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A short walk on the Emperor’s Chair

A short walk on the Emperor’s Chair

Der Kaiserstuhl, literally the Emperor’s Chair, a range of hills in south west Germany, is the remains of an extinct volcano rising out of the Upper Rhine Plain like an island, and a fine place to go for a walk. The place got its name from Otto III who held a court nearby in 994. At this time he was merely King of Germany and the hills were given the name Königsstuhl, the King’s Chair. Some time after Otto had…

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First bats of the year

First bats of the year

I have just seen the first bats of the year, two of them flying around at the back of my flat. Unfortunately it was just too dark for taking photos. It was flying in roughly clockwise circles at about 12 to 15 m above the ground, actively hunting, wing span approximately 20 to 25 cm, the body appeared dark, I didn’t see any light patches on the body. First seen at 19:25. It was probably Pipistrellus pipistrellus or Pipistrellus pygmaeus….

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Strange voice in the early morning

Strange voice in the early morning

It is strange how some noises can rouse you from a deep sleep to full alertness in a moment. This morning I heard one such noise, a strange voice at about 03:30, the odd thing about this one is that it was it was a blackbird (Turdus merula) singing. At this time of year in Edinburgh the sun rises at 04:26, but it starts to get light about an hour earlier and so that’s when the dawn chorus starts. Normally…

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