Bat photography in the French Pyrenees

Last week I spent a week photographing bats with a friend in the French pyrenees, where we visited desman biologist Alain Bertrand. He is an old friend from our desman adventures and winter counts of bats. Also, he provided us with the right paperwork to photograph bats near their colonies.

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The landscape of the french Pyrenees: hills, lots of water and permanently green.

IMG_0925Some species we tried to photograph near a house, such as this effort in trying to guide Kuhls pipistrelles (Pipistrellus Kuhlii) through our infra red barrier. Which did not work :-)

We spent many nights photographing schreibers bats (Miniopterus schreibersii) and lesser mouse-eared bats (Myotis blythii) near natural colonies in caves.

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First bat photographed:

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Lots and lots of gear: tripods, flashes and cameras.

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  Gear ready at the entrance of a colony with > 3000 Schreiber’s bats.

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Lesser mouse-eared bat

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Schreiber’s bat

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Because we had several cameras, we could start playing with wide angles, as well as with lateral perspectives. Following images were taken from a lateral point of view towards the barrier.

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We even shot a collision between two bats:

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Mediterranean horseshoes (Rhinolophus euryale) were found in a cave with a very small exit. This made for wide angle opportunities:

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In the area are many hundreds of lesser horseshoe colonies. Not in any of the 3000 caves in Ariège, but on the attics and in cellars of old houses.

PJ and I found out that in Alain his house there was a little hatch used by lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros). We decided to climb the roof and attach all our gear with ropes.

 

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Quite scary, attaching your pricey gear to on an old roof.

But the results were nice.

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PJ_140805_8321 at work

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A big thanks to PJ and Alain, who made this trip a succes. Can’t wait to do more high speed.
Bye
Karl Van Ginderdeuren

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2 Comments on “Bat photography in the French Pyrenees”

  1. John Fox Says:

    Cool stuff, Karl! Thanks for posting.


  2. […] Bats in the belfry, literally: great bat photography from the French Pyrenees. (Mammal Watching) […]


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