06 July 2007

Furry friends

As soon as we moved in we became aware that we had former tenants still in residence. At night as we went to bed we could hear scuttering noises in the roof space. We thought that it was probably squirrels and we called in a wildlife expert yesterday to investigate for us. He went up into the loft and I waited anxiously to find out whether they'd made a complete mess up there. He couldn't actually see any evidence of them, but could hear something. He went up to the hole in the soffit on the west side of the roof and couldn't see any evidence of squirrels or racoons or birds, but decided that it was possibly bats, living in the space between the side of the house and the aluminium siding. He told me that we can't do anything about them at the moment (if it was bats), as they would have baby bats there and it isn't considered to be good practice to disturb them at this stage (although they're not officially protected here in the same way as bats are in the UK). He recommended that I watch the gaps at dusk to see they were bats.

So I did, and they were. As the sun set I saw them leaving from a gap in the eaves. I'm actually quite relieved that it's bats - they're not damaging the loft space and somehow the idea of bats is less disturbing than squirrels. The wildlife guy will come back later in the season, once the babies are able to fly, and put in a one-way door that will let them leave but not come back. I hope they'll just take up residence in one of the barns instead. Looks like they are the imaginatively-named Big Brown Bat.

Oh, and the wildlife guy's name is Hunter.

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