|Bats in the....Bridge
||[Jun. 4th, 2009|11:15 pm]
...but not the famous one on Congress. I had left fencing to pick up Michael from ice-skating, and came to the Lamar-183 intersection, where a red light stopped me. There was still enough light in the sky to see the plume of little black shapes flitting out from under the upper-deck bridge. Lots and lots of them.
Wow, another place to take visitors for viewing. I think my favorite Bat bridge so far is the one on 35 & McNeil (?). You can sit in the parking lot of what used to be Cabbage and Kings, and they fly right over your head. Beautiful.
I don't know a good place to stop and watch at the Lamar/183 intersection, though. The ones I saw (since I was on the north side of 183 headed NW) were all flying out to the north and as you know that's a very unfriendly intersection. Maybe from the city's transit nexus on the NW side? But they wouldn't be silhouetted against the sky.
Yay bats! Such cute little critters, with such disturbing teeth when you get close.
(I once went to rescue a really large moth form a McDonalds carpark on a Saturday night only to find out it was a bat when I got closer. Poor thing.)
Around here, there's usually one or two reports/year of a rabid bat being four, always a downed one that someone thought might be hurt. Samples in the main bat colonies show the infection rate is low, but still it's strongly recommended that people not handle downed bats (at least not bare-handed.) The bat researchers get immunized.
There used to be an old stone building in town that had a bat colony up in the attic, but new owners bought it and filled the crevices where the bats got in and out.
Fortunately there is no rabies here in Aus, so that wasn't an issue. That said, any thoughts I had of picking it up in my bare hands went away the second it opened it's small mouth full of very impressive teeth.
So I wrapped it in a handkerchief and made sure I kept that between me and the (exceedingly unhappy) bat. It was adorable, and very, very angry, right up to the point when I let it go on a fence back at the local University.
Climbed pretty fast for a little bat, too. =)
I like to see them come out at night, but I don't have time to drive to the part of Austin famous for it...this was a special delight. The big bat colonies in central Texas show up on radar when they come out, they're so dense...some of the weather-people on local TV show the radar images of the bats emerging when the bats return from their winter sojourn.