July 3, 2011

BATS!

Holy Batman!  I've seen an odd number of bats flying around my street, and the other day, after walking the dogs, my husband showed me a picture he took with his phone of bats emerging from underneath a nearby bridge.  I couldn't believe there was a bat bridge so close, and based on the photo he took, there were a lot!  Yesterday evening, we went to get a closer look and hauled the camera and digital video recorder along.

Arriving there, you could tell there were bats under the bridge without seeing them.  There was a definite funk in the air (where there are bats, there are bat poops), and you could hear chirping.  SO EXCITING!  Around 8:15, they emerged and much more quickly than I would have thought.



We weren't the only people watching...


Past the bridge, they started on their journey for their nocturnal feasting...




Some of the bats were getting pretty close, and I kept repeating, "If I don't move, they won't fly into me.  Stay still.  Take the photos."


They were almost following a zig-zag path out and away.  Click the picture below for bigger.


Someone was about to drive over the bridge while all of this was happening and quickly stopped and pulled over.  They were also impressed with the display.

I have no idea if the bats are here all year, and I have no idea what kind of bats they are.  To make it worse, I wasn't able to get very good shots - this makes me think that maybe I do need a 300mm lens...

If you're in Austin and want to check it out, this bat bridge is located on Dittmar Rd. between Peaceful Hill Ln. and Lunar Dr.

We have video, so stay tuned for a future bat post!  I might also try to go back and get better shots.



7 comments:

  1. What an awesome experience!!! I got to see a whole flock of them (I guess they are in flocks)...flying above my friend and I one year as we were out walking in the evening! They looked kinda white/gray with the moon glowing on them! It was definately a ghostly experience, and it seemed like it happened in the fall for us, which added to the fun!

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  2. How cool is that? I love watching bats. We used to live pretty close to the Congress Ave bats and would sit on our balcony and watch them stream overhead. It always seemed like they left exactly at sundown. The more bats, the better, in my opinion!

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  3. is that THE bat bridge? we have heard for years about folks gathering to watch the bats nightly, but the few times we have visited your fair city, it was too early in the spring. your pictures are quite good - considering the challenge!

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  4. Julie - Ooooooooooh, that would be exciting!

    Jean - I actually haven't seen the Congress Ave bats. I really should go there one evening.

    webb - It isn't THE bat bridge. It's just A bat bridge so far as I can tell which is kinda odd - I guess it makes Austin even more bat-like. I ran a search and found at least one person who knows about this bridge, but I don't think it's very well known. The Congress Ave bat bridge is quite famous, and considering the size of its colony, it would most definitely dwarf this one.

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  5. How exciting! So lucky to have them so close to home...just think, you can take all your visiting friends and family and not have to fight the crowds or worry about parking!

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  6. Cat - Good point! Parking and walking near the Congress bridge is gaaaaaaaaahhahhahahhh....

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  7. The benefit of this bat bridge is that almost no one knows about it, and it's not downtown. I've lived just up the street from this bridge for year, the bats are a pretty recent thing.

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