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Local weather


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28th June

A very windy day with little to be seen other than six Fulmars, a Mediterranean Gull, a Cuckoo and 400 Swifts.

Over the weekend we received some very exciting news concerning an exhausted small bat which Sam picked up off the shingle beach on 13th June. A quick once over back at the Observatory immediately rang alarm bells as to its identity when we saw the clear white trailing edge to the wing along with the relatively pale brown fur of the upperside, a non-contrasting darker face and large (for a pipistrelle) size. All of these features in combination strongly suggested that it might be a Kuhl's Pipistrelle. We called John Puckett of the Kent Bat Group who was quickly on site to take the bat into care. He cautiously agreed at the time with our concerns over the identity of it and later that day he called me to say that they also thought it was highly likely that it was indeed a Kuhl's Pipistrelle but added that a DNA analysis would be needed to confirm this. Yesterday morning JP called me again to say that the DNA analysis had been carried out and that it confirmed the identification as a Kuhl's Pipistrelle.  It is unclear how many records of wild Kuhl's Pipistrelles there have been in Britain but it looks as if it probably less than ten.

Kuhl's Pipistrelle Pipistrellus kuhlii   Dungeness   13th June 2020
Given the covid restrictions at the time, the condition of the individual bat and the laws regarding the handling of bats it was felt that we couldn't make the bat available for others to see and I suspect before it was taken into care. While it is planned to release the animal again once it is back to good health I have no idea when and where this might be but I suspect that it will not run as a public event.

Elsewhere, the Gull-billed Tern and the Black-winged Stilt were still present at ARC.