Bats, bats and more bats!

Trip Start Oct 06, 2006
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I have finally found the local bat group! Megan is an active member and invited me out last night. We went to see the only breeding colony of grey headed flying foxes which now live at Yarra Bend Park along the river. They were encouraged to relocate here by the bat group as they originally made camp in the Botanic Gardens but they were considered a nuisance and certain people gained permission to shoot them! Fortunately, the bat group and animal activists stepped in and saved the colony and they are doing really well in the trees at Yarra Bend.

There are approx 18,000 bats in the colony but that's just an estimate as counting them accurately is pretty hard! We spent a lovely evening stood on the banks of the Yarra watching the sun go down and listening to the bats and a Kookaburra - very atmospheric! The bats starting heading off at sunset to their feeding grounds. It was a pretty amazing experience watching thousands of these huge bats flying out over the river. We even saw one dive into the river to wet it's fur. This is how they drink - by wetting their fur and then licking off the water when they are back in the trees. Some lazy sods wait for other bats to get wet and then lick the water off their pals!

As the bats headed off to distant fruit trees for a feed we headed off to the pub for a drink!
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