By Andy Fale, Dorset Wildlife Monitoring Officer and Volunteer Manager

As the Blackbirds and the Thrushes fall silent, another suite of species get ready for take off. At Bere Marsh Farm and the surrounding area, we have plenty of suitable habitat for a number of species of bat, with many nooks and crannies for roosting and hibernating. So far, we have detected Common pipistrelle, Soprano pipistrelle and Noctule but I’m sure there will be plenty more to find. There are already a number of bat boxes up but we have just had more donated to us.

Intriguingly, whilst out detecting bats, I saw a Nightjar hawking around the tops of the oak trees in Digger’s Copse. This is a species of bird normally associated with heathlands, so it must have been moving through. However, the following evening, 2 were seen trawling the air for moths and beetles. Would they stay? Sadly, they didn’t but you can always hope.

There are plenty of moths living in the varied habitat at Bere Marsh Farm, with woodland, hedges, meadows and gardens. We have only just started looking at which of the 2500 species found in the UK, are at the farm, but we have begun trapping, with a small battery-powered trap. Treble Lines and Heart and Dart are the most common moths, but we are getting a few more unusual species like Mocha, Poplar Hawkmoth, Cream-spot Tiger.

Of course the stars of the show are the Barn owls, gracefully floating around the margins of the fields, where their prey live. Tawny owls are also present and can be regularly heard and not far away are Little owls. All in all, plenty to find!