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19 June 2008 @ 01:25 am
Of bat bites and meteorites  
Tonight was eventful.
I don't think I've really said anywhere that this week Connie and I are at a training for surveying bats. Pretty neat stuff, actually. I've been having a blast.

Tonight we went up a BLM road to do some field work (we do field work every night). We were up at a pond, with lots of cow poop around it, and trees that have been dead longer than I've been alive (burned in 1990).
I started off helping set up acoustics stuff. I didn't expect to like it as much as playing with the bats, but it was pretty cool stuff. It wasn't long before I was dragged away to help at the nets though. Having only caught one bat before tonight, I was needing more practice at the nets. So I got to hang out down there. My first bat of the night, a Myotis evotis was a real stinker. I was doing OK until it decided it wasn't amused, and decided to chew on my finger. Didn't break skin or anything, and I've had my rabies shots, so not a big deal, but it spooked me enough to lose track of what I was doing, thus making my task that much more difficult.
We did get it out, though, and up to the processing table. The early rush was over, and we were left sitting by the nets waiting. I ended up grabbing some acoustics equipment and using it down by the pond. Got a couple of calls from a light-tagged bat, so hopefully those came out (we know the species of the light-tagged, and so they can potentially be used as references).
I ended up being called across the pond, since they were having more success. Of course, by the time I got there they had finished getting the bats out, and I wasn't needed. We stayed over there for a bit though, and while we were there, saw what I thought at the time was an orange light-tag. Connie informed me that she saw sparks, but I still thought it looked like a light-tag... Until Joe informed me there were no orange tags that night. So meteor it was. Big bright orange glowy meteor.

I ended up having two bat catches today (both evotis), for a total of three for the week (my first was an evotis as well). I have one more chance tomorrow, and handling the bats really is my favorite, so that's my plan for tomorrow. I'll probably start at the nets, then head to processing when things die down a bit at the nets. That's my plan, anyway. We'll see how that goes. Tomorrow is our last field day, so it'll be my last chance for a bit to play with these little guys. They really are fun, even when they are angry at you.
 
 
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