Driving me batty!
So there we were in our lovely lodge, relaxing with the telly on in the background when I noticed a movement and hum of wings in the room.
What's that, I thought? It's a bit big for a moth...
Yup. It was a bat. And a bloomin' large one, giving it circles around the room in much the same way as a moth does around a light.
Except it wasn't a moth.
It was a big bat.
Now bats genuinely don't bother me - we have them around the garden at home so I wasn't unduly worried about it but I knew it would be a challenge to encourage it outside again with the least amount of distress to it, Mrs C (who was by now hiding under a cushion) and me.
The ground floor of the lodge was open plan so the chances of encouraging it to leave were probably limited. Thankfully, it wasn't long before the bat tired of showing off downstairs and went all vertical and disappeared from view. Listening to Mrs C exhale with relief, I followed it upstairs to try and at least contain it in a room and get some windows open for it.
I saw its shadow in our bedroom (oh joy) and, as I entered, it was doing its circle flight thing again. Perhaps you can imagine my 'excitement' when I saw that it had invited its mate in as well so the two of them were doing circles, at speed in very close proximity to me.
Suddenly, the thought of being in a room with two of these fast moving (think large, black and blurry) was less appealing but it needed to be done for their welfare and - perhaps to a larger extent - my own sanity once Mrs C realised there were two!
Shutting the door behind me I stood for a moment to formulate a plan. I'm not ashamed to admit I was flinching occasionally as they broke away from their circle and hurtled towards me, pulling away at the last moment for a flight round the room.
I managed to get the Velux windows to my right open quite easily, but I needed to get the windows the other side of the room open to give the bats the best chance of finding the exit. I wished I was fluent in 'bat' so that I could tell them that 'outside was that way'.
Only one thing for it - I edged across the room - finding myself in the middle of their circular flight path and made it to the windows and got them open before returning to the door in a similarly careful fashion. It's quite an experience being in a bat circle!!
One of them suddenly shot out via the Velux so I (bravely) backed out of the room and closed the door to give the other one the chance to leave in a calm and orderly fashion. Opening the door a minute or so later left me disappointed. A minute or so after that - all seemed quiet.
Good news. After a quick (but cautious) search I could see no more evidence of the bats so was happy that they had left and closed the windows.
Fast forward an hour or two. Just dropping off to sleep and Mrs C says 'what's that noise?'. To which I reply - 'it's just the strange sounds of the lodge'. Light goes on and there is a bat circling more or less overhead!
Now I'm not sure whether this was a third (did I mention 'large') bat or simply the other one that I had mistakenly assumed had left but I 'leapt' in to action once more and got the Velux opened again.
The bat must have sensed my internal pleading for it to leave and it did so almost straight away.
I'm sure these creatures - who's flying skills are beyond amazing - are fine as I managed to get them out without flapping about or shouting etc.
But what an experience. For me, at least.
My biggest regret? Not having the foresight to at least grab my phone and video them for a few moments, but their welfare was the most important thing so apologies for having to use a cheesy stock image on this post.
To be fair, the bats might actually have been this big!! Maybe not.