Mac was marauding somewhere nearby, and it seemed a bad idea for the bat to be grounded. However, though obviously alive, it made no attempt to move. Deducing that it was sick or stunned, we put in a shoebox with holes, and left it for a while. Later, S-i-L tipped it out onto the grass, but although alert it made no attempt to take off, so was restored to the box for the night.
After a late session of writing I needed a good morning’s sleep, but at just before 5 a.m. the dogs started performing and woke me up. I went out to ‘shush’ them. In the ensuing silence I heard a scrabbling sound, and saw a box with a large ginger cat showing great interest in it. I invited Mac to be somewhere else, and opened the box. An upside-down bat peered at me, clinging to the edge with one claw, but didn’t move even when I took the box outside.
Then I thought he would have more room if he clung from a top end rather than the side, so I lifted the box high and gently swivelled it. Batty moved up to grab the top bit, spread his wings, said, ‘Thank you very much; about time!’, dropped, and flitted off into the morning at a very good lick.
A subsequent bit of research has told me two useful things about bats:
(1) They can actually collide with things and get stunned, particularly when relying on sight after switching off echo-location.
(2) In order to take off, they usually drop from an upside-down position and let the fall give the initial glide impetus (this is a no-brainer; we should have thought of it before).
Before going back to bed, I saw a most unusual (for me) sight. Sunrise was happening. So thanks to the dogs and bat I actually have a set of dawn and sunrise pictures, for once.