Gulls chasing Bat

sketch of gulls

Monday, 4 October, 2021, 10.52 am, Newmillerdam near main car park, sunny slight breeze: There’s a commotion amongst the black-headed gulls and a boisterous flock of 20 or 30 of them swoop and tumble over towards me from the outlet corner of the lake. At first I think that someone must be feeding the ducks and they’re falling out, as they do, over a snatched crust.

Then I notice that the pale brown ‘crust’ is moving about on its own account. My first thought is that for some reason the gulls have ganged up on a sparrow, but the manoeuvrability is un-sparrowlike and I wonder for a moment if it could be a late swallow or martin.

One of the gulls briefly captures it and it’s not until it escapes that I can see that it’s a small bat. It dodges around then escapes into the lakeside willows where the gulls can’t follow it and the gulls head off back towards the outlet.

Bat is a New Addition to the Peregrines’ Prey List

I have heard that peregrines can prey on bats, so I was interested to hear from two Wakefield peregrine followers on Thursday when they spotted what appeared to be a bat being brought to the nestbox by the male. A review of recorded footage earlier today confirmed the identification.

Male Peregrine With Bat

Male Peregrine With Bat

The recordings show that the male concentrates on catching young starlings but he also brings in a real variety of prey items. Another species that was confirmed today was greenfinch.