For a moment I thought it was an eagle. That’s how big it was. Then I saw the impossibly thin membrane of the wings with the sun gleaming through. It still took a moment for my astonished brain to register the fact it was a bat. Indeed, a fruit bat, or flying fox, as the Aussies call them. And there were more of them!
Back in Canada, the biggest bat I’ve ever seen has been palm sized, certainly not like these behemoths! Apparently, they are very common in Australia, and are increasingly a nuisance not just because they eat fruit but because they have an annoying tendency to flock together every evening. By the hundreds. Thousands. Can you imagine the bat guano if they decided to choose a tree in your backyard?
I don’t care. I am just a visitor, and I marvelled at the sight of so many huge, spooky bats gathering. Immediately, I ordered Jim to turn around but I think he was already looking for a spot to do a U-turn. He was just as amazed as I.
Appropriately enough, this (What is the collective noun for bats? Jim suggested a hangout, which I’m sure is wrong but I love it anyway) this hangout of bats has chosen to roost beside a cemetery. And it’s only 3 days to Hallowe’en!
What a sight! A whole park full of trees swollen with strange black fruit and each tree is completely covered. It is not until one stretches or takes flight you realize it is really a bat. What a sound! Squeaking, chirping, squawking! Whoosh! Luckily, they were downwind, so I can’t comment on the other sensory possibility.
Have you ever seen so many bats in one place? I certainly haven’t! I never really understood the term “flying foxes” but having seen these creatures in flight, I can now relate.