Micro Bats and Predators

To: COG List <>
Subject: Micro Bats and Predators
From: Graeme Clifton <>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2017 06:02:52 +0000
Hi All,
These events unfolded over the last three evenings above and near a farm dam on our property at Wanna Wanna Rd, Carwoola.

Micro bats are seen every night, for as long as I can remember, feeding above this dam.  They start to come out as the sun sets and it is usual to see 6 bats or more.

Sunday evening I saw a falcon ( pointy wingtips) flying over the dam carrying something in its talons and there was an accompanying high pitched squealing from the prey.  Initial thoughts were a mouse but then I realised it was likely a bat.  The Falcon flew to an exposed dead branch.  A few minutes later I saw a concerted attack on the bats.  The Falcon missed in three passes but got a kill on the next pass.

Monday evening was overcast and there was no opportunity to silhouette the Falcon against the sky.  It made two passes that I saw and then it wasn't seen again.

Peregrine or Hobby?  I couldn't decide.

Tuesday evening Martin Butterfield came around and between about 5.05 and 5.30 we witnessed 4 kills.   Two kills were only a few minutes apart.  Clear skies again and excellent views of the action.  One kill was directly overhead at probably less than 10 m above us.

The bats tended to disappear for a short while after a kill, surprise, surprise.  The mode of attack was from behind and slightly below.

There could have been two predators as there appeared a size difference, but we didn't see two at once so that is speculation.

Martin has come to the conclusion that it was probably a pair of Hobbys.

There were two bats still cruising the dam after the action ceased last night so I am assuming the Hobby/Hobbys will be back this evening.

Graeme Clifton
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