Another contribution from Bruce Wayne.
Moths are attracted to light, bats are attracted to moths. When the light happens to be attached to a vehicle travelling at 80 km ph along the Whittlesea – Yea Road at 9 pm near Wallaby Creek… Wham, Kapow!!!
Ater several U-turns searching the road expecting to find a deceased creature, I found it. Hard to spot, the size of a mouse, face down on the bitumen. I took it home to identify it. Picking it up to take inside, there was a slight movement and needle sharp fangs were displayed. Bats like cats, obviously posesses nine lives. There was no sign of injury on the bat, so I wrapped it in a cloth and put it in an old school bag to recover.
I was having difficulty deciding whether the bat was a Gould’s Wattled Bat or a Common Bentwing; both can be found around Flowerdale. So for the time being he was just Boofhead the Bat until he had recovered enough to be examined.
The next evening, Boofhead was quite lively and I was able to photograph him as he scuttled across my desk. When he was picked up, he made a continuous buzzing noise which allowed me to identify him as the Gould’s Wattled Bat (Chalinolobus gouldii). This microbat is common across Australia and roosts in tree hollows – one reason why it is helpful to leave dead trees standing on farmland. This is the mating season for these bats with young (often twins) born in November to January. Boofhead the bat is a batchelor; his gender confirmed by 2 observations. The most obvious observation is that only the male of a species would be silly enough to dive headfirst into something travelling at 80 kmph!
Interested in seeing the bats fly? Then get down to the Hume and Hovell Cricket Pavillion in Hanna’s Road, Strath Creek for the grudge match between Strath Creek and Yellow Creek/Dairy Creek Landcare groups on 28th of April at 1.00 pm.