A bat assessment of Omeath For Omeath District Development Company, Dolmen Centre, Omeath, Co Louth

By Donna Mullen M.P.P.M and Brian Keeley BSc Hons

The surveys took place from 10- 29 May, with two surveyors and a remote static detector.

One evening included a bat walk which was very popular. Training was given to the community in the use of bat detectors which have recently been purchased, and advice was given on the placement of bat boxes.

Omeath has low light levels, and this is an important factor in protecting bats. Most
activity found was of common pipistrelles, with soprano pipistrelles and Leisler’s bats
seen throughout the area. There was one area which had a long-eared bat recorded,
and another area with a Daubenton’s bat recorded. Low light levels are important for
these species.
The community is very engaged in bat protection and as part of this project, were
shown how to use bat detectors and were given a talk on bat protection.

Bats found feeding/ commuting.
Common pipistrelle -Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Soprano pipistrelle – Pipistrellus pygmaeus
Leisler’s bat – Nyctalus Leisleri
Brown long eared bat – Plecotus Auritus
Daubenton’s bat – Myotis Daubentonii

Methodology for Bat Survey
Bat Survey – Equipment
Exide Lamp
Petzl Tikka Head torch
Two Anabat walkabouts
One Thermal imager
The Echo mini detector was left in place overnight to record bat activity.
Date May 2023

Survey constraints
(1) Mobility of bats – Bat species are mobile and can move from roost to roost,
depending on roost availability, feeding availability and weather conditions. They
may move to roosts which have not been identified in this report in order to hibernate
or create mating or feeding perches. A bat survey is a snapshot of bat activity over
the survey time.
(2) Identification of bats- It can be difficult to differentiate myotis species. For this
reason, the sound files are included within the report. Brown long eared bats are
very quiet, and their presence can be overlooked or underestimated in bat surveys
as they may not register on bat detectors. Description of project It is proposed to
repair the roof and replace slates.

Bat detectors and information
Common and soprano pipistrelles were seen feeding along the greenway. There was
very little bat activity recorded to the north of Omeath.

Site 1
10-15 May
Many common pipistrelles were recorded flying together at this site. This area
recorded the most common pipistrelle bat activity in the area, with bats flying
together,and feeding. It is likely that there is a roost nearby.

Site 2
15-22 May
Throughout Omeath, there was a low level of Soprano pipistrelle activity, but most of
this activity took place in this area. The only Daubenton’s bats signals recorded were
in this area

Site 3
22-29 May
The only brown long eared bat activity in the area was recorded here. Brown long
eared bats are very rarely recorded in Louth, and it is possible that there is a roost

(1) No Mow May should be promoted – bats were seen feeding over the long grass
by the cycleway, and patches of long grass should be encouraged throughout the
village. A Wildflower area should be allowed to develop at the car park by the
Dolmen centre.
(2) The creation of ponds should be encouraged throughout the village, to provide
drinking and feeding areas for bats. The larger the ponds the better, but even
very small ponds will attract a range of insects. Much of the water around
Omeath is salty or brackish and is unsuitable for drinking.
(3) The bat boxes purchased by the group are excellent but need the crevices to be
made smaller. This can be achieved by placing a piece of timber at the base. The
boxes could go on the Scots pine, sycamore, and other trees along the cycleway.
Bats need to drop to fly so the boxes must be at least 3 meters high on trees with
no underlying branches, and in a dark area.

Bat boxes (requiring the entrance gap to be narrowed) and suitable site trees.
(4) Omeath has low levels of light pollution. This is really important for bats and
moths, and it is important that this is retained. Dark Skies areas should be
designated throughout the neighbourhood.

(5) There is considerable interest in wildlife throughout the community. Bat walks,
talks and further training with the community bat detectors should be encouraged.

6) If funding is available, consideration should be given to giving out Wildlife Box
Kits – these could include – a native sapling or hedgerow plant (e.g.,
Rowen/elder/hawthorn etc) a bird box, bat box and some pond liner. If, for
example 50 people put these in their gardens, these would act as commuting
steppingstones for wildlife to travel throughout the area.
(7) To continue the bat box project some Schwegler bat boxes (type 2FN) should be
purchased. https://www.veldshop.nl/en/bat-box-2fn-custom-built.html
(8) Some child friendly bat signage on the cycleway should be placed with the results
of the bat survey and some information on ‘Our Bats at Omeath” – using this
report as background information. Fionn Keeley fionnkeeley@gmail.com
produces the graphics for such signs and also can produce short animations on
local bats and wildlife.