Visiting Bat Island …

In the whole twelve years I have lived here, I have never been to Bellingen Island. It’s known by the locals as Bat Island, and I had been told that it was smelly and tick and leech infested.  Which it probably is at the height of summer, but winter seemed like a perfect time to venture in to take a look at the bats (aka Flying Foxes) and the wonderful rehabilitation work being done by Landcare volunteers.

The island is only 30 metres from a suburban street in a pocket of remnant rainforest , and the first thing you notice on approaching the island is the noise. Not from the traffic, but from the bats. You would think that having been out all night searching for food, the bats would be sleeping peacefully in the trees, but no, most of them seem to be spitting, and screeching and fighting …

While others hang nearby, their Dracula capes wrapped around them trying to sleep …

Trying to sleep
Trying to sleep
Hanging in their Dracula capes
Hanging in their Dracula capes

Or yawning, stretching their wings and scrabbling along the branches, sometimes appearing to look directly down at you …

Fascinating and sweet faced creatures they may be, but I’m still not happy when I hear them at night fighting over the flowers on my mango tree.

And here’s a tip – If you go down to visit the bats, make sure you gawp and look upwards with your mouth firmly shut.  You never know what might fall out of the sky !!

Branch full of bats
Branch full of bats

4 thoughts on “Visiting Bat Island …

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